Rich Kidd and Sonreal at The Rivoli, Saturday, December 1. Rating: NNN
Rich Kidd should be more famous. Through a rugged and idiosyncratic self-produced mixtape series, We On Some Rich Kidd Shit, and extensive collaborations with almost every grinding rapper, singer or DJ in this city, Rich Kidd's built up a sizable following. On The Closers, his new collaborative project with Vancouver rapper Sonreal, Rich flexes a new muscle by veering into songwriter territory. It's probably the most commercial thing he's done. You can almost hear this skeptical city suck its teeth in unison.
But Rich isn't a fool, nor is he anything less than himself. What some listeners lose through the glossy sonics and seemingly unlikely pairing of The Closers recording is redeemed live: the music lives and breathes. The camaraderie between the two, both in toques and collegiate-looking gear, is contagious; Rich, leonine and hype, balances out Sonreal's gawky energy and so-so singing. Both can rap but Rich is the real closer, finishing the night with the cold thump of his new classic, Boiling Point.