As artists below the Mason-Dixon continue to running this rap shit, Rich Boy and his self-titled Interscope debut is out to put Alabama on the map with the likes of Georgia and Texas. Following the Kanye West blueprint, Rich Boy dropped out of Tuskegee University to try his hand throwing some D's on this bitch. Of course, "Throw Some D's" is likely the only reason you're reading this, as his hit single has been burning the airwaves for months now.
From the outset it is pretty clear we shouldn't be expecting talents along the lines of a Bun B or even Chamillionaire. What Rich Boy lacks in lyrical and technical acumen he can make up for with banging production and a likable swagger. Thankfully for Rich he's got one of Hip Hop's hottest up and coming producers in Polow Da Don manning the boards for most of the album. "Boy Looka Here" is a shining example as Polow unleashes something nasty that matches Rich's style perfectly. The chorus may drag it down a bit, but Rich and Polow connect nicely again on the strip club anthem "Touch That Ass" which again displays Polow's dynamic production and Rich's style. The horribly-titled "Hustla Ball Gangsta Mack" may feature the same old tired d-boy rhymes, but you're crazy if you won't have it at full volume in your ride.
Like pretty much every major label album these days, Rich Boy is weighed down by cookie-cutter filler tracks. The throwaway Lil' Jon track "What It Do" is cringe-worthy and Rich's mundane shit talking at women doesn't help matters. What do you know, the very next song he takes a 180 and writes a "heartfelt" (and I use that term loosely), pseudo-love song complete with syrupy hook. The LP's shot at a reggae vibe just doesn't work and "Lost Girls" is prime for skipping.
By the time you hit the trifecta of the Needlz-produced "Gangsta," Brian Kidd's "Get To Poppin'" and Outkast producer Mr. DJ's "And I Love You," it becomes very apparent that the only reason you're listening to this album is for the production. Rich Boy's book full of clichés is begging to be shut by this point and the point is further driven home by Big Boi's ridiculous guest spot that puts the young 'Bama native's lack of talent into perspective. His tale of the trap, "Ghetto Rich" is one of the few moments where Rich offers something that a million other rappers couldn't do in his place. With that in mind, how many other rappers could have done the exact same thing with Polow's "Let's Get This Paper?" Nevermind - how many could have done it better?
Rich Boy ends up being a pretty good album, but it probably should have been titled Polow Da Don as he really deserves the bulk of the credit. The album may be good, but a cookie-cutter rapper like Rich Boy is going to have less shelf life than his album will. When the next young rapper comes along with the next hot anthem, he will replace Rich and no one will blink an eye. But never mind all that for now, if you want an album to bang in the whip, you got one.