I came up in a family where music was usually playing in the background. Either my dad was playing records on his personal sound system, my uncle Keith was practicing the drums, or my uncle Mike was hosting a house party while playing deejay.
The women of my family seemed to love music just as much. I can recall times watching my mom sing along to Supremes's songs as if she was Diana Ross herself. Not to mention my sister was a huge Prince fan. These were my first experiences with music.
My family members helped open my ears, but I wanted to be cool and that made me write my first rap song at age 12. It was the crazy mid-80's, break dancing was trending, and hip-hop was the cool new thing. I wasn't the best at break dancing, so I decided I wanted to write a rap. Not to become a rapper per say. Just to be cool.
Over the next few years, I wrote a lot. Not just raps. I was also interested in journalism as a teen, so I wrote articles for my school newspapers. Plus, when I came home from school claiming that I had no homework my Dad would have me take an article from an encyclopedia and re-write it in my own words. I believe doing both of these things helped me hone my story telling skills.
Consistently writing, practicing, and performing at a few shows landed me my first professional music opportunity at age 20. A mutual friend introduced me to a rapper from Seattle named E-Dawg. We hit it off pretty good and eventually got into the studio and recorded two songs, Drop Top and Lil Locs.
Lil Locs was a dope street banger, but it was Drop Top that opened the eyes and ears of hip-hop legends Sir Mix-a-Lot and Rick Rubin. Drop Top, a smooth summer anthem was ultimately the inspiration for Seattle...the Dark Side, a compilation album released by Rhyme Cartel/Def America in 1993.
Most of my fans love my voice, which is raspy and original. They also appreciate the street stories in my songs and how I approach each song from a real perspective. Still, as real as it gets I try not to lose sight of the basic goal, which is to make good songs that people can enjoy, relate to, and learn from.
Around 2005 I co-founded a rap duo called Black Bizness. We recorded and independently released 2 albums; Shop Open and Buyin' N Sellin'. Buyin' N Sellin' was presented by Bay Area rap legend San Quinn. This era signified a new beginning for me. I started the phase as Filthy Rich, transitioned in Rich Tycoon aka Filthy Rich, and emerged as simply Rich Tycoon. What I call a better version of Filthy Rich.
Independently I've recorded songs with Yukmouth of The Luniz, Chris Rene of Simon Cowell's X-Factor, and other luminaries such as Oakland rapper Keak Da Sneak (3XKrazy), producer Sean T, Dubee (Thizz Ent.), and Indecent the Slapmaster. I've opened up for Fat Joe, Paul Wall, Too Short, and a few others. I've also inspired many up and coming artists/groups throughout my musical existence, and in 2015 Sir Mix-a-Lot pulled me on stage at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz to tell the crowd, I was one of the dopest emcee's he'd met. Thanks Mix!
I guess you could say I'm almost famous. To date, I've sold records in over 20 countries. Even though some of them were only 3 records. lol... Still. I'm an artist, people like my music, and you I think you will too. I've got a little something for everybody.
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Home Town: Oakland, California
Born: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Skill(s): Recording Artist, Song Writer, Producer
Animated Graphic Created by Elena Steeves aka Gone (RIP)
Rich Tycoon @ Coolout Network 25th Anniversary/Seattle, WA - Photo by Ian Phares