For this spotlight we meet up with local hip hop artist Ric Rude to talk about the local music scene, freestyle, and writing his first rhyme.
How did you get your start in Hip Hop?
Kind of a strange story. i was just hanging out in the old neighborhood My neighbor at the time was into music and rapping at the time. He heard me playing music and stuff so he called me over as I was riding my bike and asked me if I rapped. I lied and told him he did and he asked me to rap so I went back home and wrote my first rhyme.
I came back the next day and presented it to him, but not in the way you’d think; I just handed him the paper with the rhyme on it. He looked at it handed it right back and said “spit it”. It just grew from there.
It became an outlet, a source for ideas and just to put everything that’s bothering me into music.
Where do you get you influence from?
I grew up listening to the classics, LL, Heavy D salt and pepper. That’s the music that really spoke to me while I was growing up and really got me into hip hop. Lately, I have been listening to new hip hop, Blu and Exile and Black Milk. My main influences and favorite artists are Rakim and Gangstarr as a group.
Free style or written rhymes?
A good artist should be able to do both to a certain degree. During a cypher you want to on top of your game and to be able to spit whenever. But if you are just starting out and not strong freestyle wise I am not opposed to pre-written stuff.
As for an album it needs to be written out, contextual, and have a certain flow to it. Neither freestyle or writing is easy and a good artist needs to find a balance between the two.
What do you think of the current local music scene?
The local scene is always changing and growing but it still has the same pitfalls as it has always has. There is a great pool of talent locally but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Local stations don’t seem to be too supportive of the local artists, so everyone in the scene has to put in their own time in. Some might feel like they can’t get ahead in their own city and move away to make it big.
Independent sites like Act Live have really helped get the word out, but I feel like the rest of the community needs to get involved to help educate the people to whats going on a local level. If we don’t support our own local talent then who will?
What keeps you in Rochester?
I was born and raised here. Rochester is my home where all my family and ties are. I have younger siblings and I want to stay here to make sure they are on the right track growing up.
As an artist though, it’s give and take. All of my ties are here and I grew up in the scene in Rochester. There is always the question though about if I wanted to go into music full time, what kind of opportunities I have available here rather than somewhere else.
Ric Rude is performing at Dubland Underground with Harvey Who? and Soul Khan November 12th. Info Here