Rittz – The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant album review

After much ado, Georgia rapper Rittz announces himself with a highly foreshadowed debut album, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant. Since aligning himself Yelawolf’s independent label Slumerica, Rittz has dropped several singles and a lengthy mixtape (White Jesus: Revival) as a run-up to up this debut release. Now, turning to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music imprint, Rittz’s brand of dirty south hip hop hits the big scene.

The debut effort from Rittz is unlikely to disappoint his fans, touting consistent production values and Rittz’s signature rapid-fire rhymes, but it might not so easily win over a casual listener. What limits this album’s appeal is a number of thematic contradictions. And although it’s an extremely polished product, the music just doesn’t make the right kind of impact for an MC’s debut.

As far as the overall sound experience of the album, it sounds really crisp. Rittz’s vocals always come through loud and clear, showcasing the rapper’s blazing fast choppity-chop rapping style. Rittz’s fast but not hurried delivery dices up an inky black backdrop of clean bass tones and tight synths. His rapping competes with the speed and precision of double-time kicks and tick-tick snares. I have to be honest though, I felt the slickness of the tracks losing luster pretty early in the album. Maybe it was the straight up sex jam “Sober,” but I couldn’t help but imagine some of these songs playing out in a beat up after-hours strip club.

Three quarters of the way through the hour-long album, Rittz’s machine gun flow started to wear me down as well. I found myself practically begging for featured artists to come in and break up some of the monotony. While I usually respect the sparing use of features on a solo album, especially a debut, I wish Rittz had given up the mic a little more often. The guest verses from MCs like Tech N9ne, Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T., are a much-needed change of pace on Jonny Valiant.

His flow aside, Rittz is at his lyrical best when he keeps it strictly personal, like in the song “Interview.” Here he faces down skeptics, critics, and public interrogation in the form of rapped responses to a fictional interview. However Rittz stumbles when the focus becomes less individual and he resorts to glorifying excessive lifestyles filled with drugs, booze and sexual exploits (see: “Sober”). To further complicate things, Rittz seems very determined to remind the listener of his no-nonsense ethos with songs like “Fuck Swag,” and “For Real.”

Ultimately, I couldn’t fully get over these missteps. An MCs debut album is a rite of passage that should make an unmistakable statement representing the sum of everything in the artists life that went into the creation of the album. Not only is Rittz’s statement a little contradictory, the album fails to create a lasting impact musically. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an unbelievably consistent effort from an MC in a debut, and it could probably serve as a great soundtrack for your next drugged driving excursion. Unfortunately, the punch that The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant packs will wear off a lot quicker than the buzz you’re catching to it.

Press Releases



(Los Angeles, CA – August 2009) – BIG SCOOB’s voice, presence and personality are so booming, they’re … Monsterifik. His fans feel it, and so too did Tech N9ne when he signed the Kansas City native to Strange in April 2009. On Sept. 15, 2009, the most successful independent Hip Hop artist in history will introduce the world to BIG SCOOB with TECH N9NE PRESENTS BIG SCOOB MONSTERIFIK, the second album released under the Tech N9ne Presents title (Krizz Kaliko’s Vitiligo was the first). BIG SCOOB’s Strange Music debut features the radio singles “Salue” and “Big Fella” and rap heavyweights 8Ball & MJG, Tech N9ne, B-Legit and J Richter from Kottonmouth Kings.

During his teenage years and early 20s, SCOOB lived life as a gangbanger while growing up on 56th and Highland. He considers himself fortunate to have survived. SCOOB first met Tech N9ne when the two squared off in a beatboxing competition during their junior high days at Bingham Middle School. The young rhymesayers quickly became friends, especially when SCOOB learned that Tech lived in his same neighborhood. They helped form the successful local rap group, 57th Street Rogue Dog Villains, which released four albums under Midwestside Records, including the popular single, “Let’s Get Fucked Up.”

After falling away from the music scene for several years, it was Tech who helped coax SCOOB back, particularly within the past year. Tech asked SCOOB to perform a series of collaborations, rekindling the magic they experienced while with 57th Street RDVs and fueling SCOOB’s desire to return to the rap game. SCOOB is ready to make his grand reappearance.

“In every city, every state, there’s ghettos,” SCOOB says. “I believe when I tell my story, there’s millions of niggas who share the same story. I believe if I can get them to just listen to the music, it’s about to be something big.” SCOOB will be on the K.O.D. Tour 2009 launching in October.

Ghostface Killah Videos Wu-Tang Clan

Ill Bill Videos- Ghostface Killa, Tech N9ne, DJ Premier, and more – The Hour Of Reprisal

ILL BILL & Ghostface Killah

ILL BILL & Tech N9ne

ILL BILL & DJ Premier


ILL BILL on “White N!gger”

The Background:

The Hour of Reprisal, the highly anticipated second solo album from Brooklyn’s independent hip hop kingpin ILL BILL is finally scheduled for release on the Uncle Howie/Fat Beats label on September 16th, 2008. The former Non Phixion member and current La Coka Nostra riot-starter has surgically crafted a fine masterpeice featuring guest shots from Raekwon The Chef, Immortal Technique, La Coka Nostra, B-Real, Necro, Tech N9ne, Bad Brains, DJ Muggs, Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage, Max Cavalera of Sepultura/Soulfly, DJ Premier, Vinnie Paz and More.