Ricky Bombay has been in the game a respectably long time. After eight years of hard work, hustle, and honing his craft, he finally got the ‘in’ he had worked so hard to earn, and very clearly deserves. There’s nothing I like better than to write a review on somebody who’s made it after actually working hard for it, and putting in that time on the grind that some people just seem to escape ever having to experience as part of their come up. It’s never that rewarding to write about someone who is still in high school and somehow has just been signed after making their first song three weeks ago, and after the smallest modicum of effort, they just get the doors opened for them. But this is not one of those stories, which is why I like it so much.
The 32-year-old spent a considerable amount of time perfecting his sound, his vocal tonality, his stylistic choices, his instrumental repertoire, and his lyrical prowess. After years of countless releases piling up on SoundCloud, he was eventually signed to Mad Capital Records, His recent 2019 single release, “Go Fuck Yourself (Remix),” is a fascinating work of composition. The remix was ingeniously reimagined from a sampled EDM-type song by the same name, originally released by an artist called Two Feet, who it seems composed the original song also from fragments sampled from other works. I love it when this happens. It’s like a producer’s game of telephone. The overall effect of the production is highly detailed, ornate, and almost sinister sounding. There’s an angelic quality to the girl’s voice, chopped and screwed with a surgeon’s scalpel to rhythmic precision, and the sample was the kind of choice only a truly visionary producer would know to make. Who would take that original EDM song and think of making it into anything — let alone something so wholly new as this. That is really the essence of hip hop, at the end of the day. Making Something From Nothing.
All the rappers on this track have incredibly low-mid range vocals, and this is particularly true of Ricky Bombay’s, whose voice sounds like a car trying to start right before you flood the engine. Still, No1MC manages to fluidly interlace these different tonal ranges and even adds beautiful details to the individual layers of the beat, with perfect tape saturation applied to the samples, deeply warm resonance on the reverb, which is salted to taste rather than just for the sake of adding it in. There are no gimmicky echoes or formulaic adlibs. No bait-and-switch moment where the beautiful introductory riffs suddenly open up into some swell of totally different sounding nonsense. This is a thorough, precise, loving work. Ricky Bombay sounds like Tyler, The Creator — but, let’s be clear, there is no comparison being made to Bombay and the Tyler of today. While I am not a fan of his post 2014 work, I have always loved the 2011-2013 Tyler The Creator and that Tyler that will never be again. Or, so we thought. We wanted the old Tyler back, and Bombay gives us that, and then some. Vocally speaking, he’s “Domo23”, and none of the new avant-garde nonsense that Tyler’s been dabbling in for the past six years. Bombay gives us “Yonkers.” Bombay offers us, “I don’t want no lettuce!” It just works. And it feels good to listen to.Ricky Bombay and his crew, Mad Capital, are three triple threat artists to watch. No1MC is an incredibly infectious rapper, with flows that make you want to hit repeat. Billy NoJoke has that classic sound that makes me want to clone him and plant him all over the industry, just to keep that vibe alive a little longer in the swill of auto tuned mumble-garbage that’s littering the web today. This is music made with love, and it’s music you can love actually listening to. No party vibes or mood playlists. No background ambient nonsense. No wispy synths and psychotic high hats. Just detail, interest, grit, wit, and a little whimsy. It’s music you can actually listen to again. And when it comes to listening, I highly recommend that you do.