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.
After having fun by dropping hints via its social networks, OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival presented by Virgin Mobile is proud to announce the lineup for the festival’s 2013 edition which will take place from August 2nd to 4th at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal.
Headliners include Mumford & Sons, who recently won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year; legendary New Wave-era English bands The Cure and New Order; folk act The Lumineers; as well as hip-hop sensations Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Now in its 8th year, Virgin Mobile presents OSHEAGA Festival has welcomed more than 400,000 fans and presented more than 600 bands since its creation. Having been sold out for the first time last year, OSHEAGA will once again offer local and travelling music lovers an exceptional experience this year thanks to great artists, an amazing atmosphere and all the energy of Montreal during summertime.
Festival passes (3 days) for Virgin Mobile presents OSHEAGA 2013 will go on sale on Friday, March 15th at noon. If availability allows it, single day tickets will go on sale later. An exclusive presale will be offered to Virgin Mobile Members as of 9 am on March 13th.
Virgin Mobile Members who want to get in on the presale can head to www.virginmobile.ca/benefits. Members will also have the opportunity to win exclusive experiences including front of the line bypass, access to the VIP Members Lounge, backstage tours, artist meet and greets and more. Follow @virginmobilecan on Twitter for ongoing updates.
New this year, the Osheaga Experience notably gives access to a dedicated viewing area at the 2 main stages and to the Experience Lounge, where festivalgoers will be able to enjoy a catered dinner and a private bar as well as golf cart transportation from the main stages to the Lounge.
FESTIVAL PASSES (3 DAYS) (including taxes and service fees): – General Admission Festival Passes: $235 – Reserved Seating Festival Passes: $395 – General Admission Experience Passes: $740.94 – Reserved Seating Experience Passes: $1159.45
OSHEAGA ACCOMODATIONS In 2012, the Osheaga Festival presented by Virgin Mobile introduced the Osheaga Hotel – a low-cost, high quality hotel reserved exclusively for fans of the festival. With strong demand from festivalgoers, the Osheaga Hotel sold out in less than 48 hours. In 2013, we are proud to announce that the Osheaga Hotel has grown to meet the needs of our fans. Now known as Osheaga Accommodations, we have added two more properties for Osheaga fans to call home during their stay in Montreal.
Our 2013 offerings are the Maison d’Aga, the Maison d’Oshee and the Chateau Marmotte. Located in McGill University student residences, all three properties were formerly prestigious hotels (Sheraton, Marriott and Renaissance) and are located in downtown Montreal just 15 minutes by metro from the festival site. Official Osheaga Accommodations guests will be entered to win exclusive prizes such as meet and greets with Osheaga artists as well as backstage tours which will include a meal from Chuck Hughes’ famous catering tent. Please note that all Osheaga Official Accommodations guests must be at least 18 years of age – minors will not be permitted entry.
OSHEAGA TRAVEL PACKAGES Also new this year, Osheaga offers travel packages including accomodations at Centre Sheraton Montreal and Marriott Château Champlain. All packages includes 3 day festival passes, exclusive Osheaga water bottles and posters as well as the metro passes to get to the site. For more information on the travel packages visit www.osheaga.com .
GALAXIE CHANNEL Galaxie is bringing you the Osheaga channel on the Galaxie Mobile app. Listen to all the best music from the artists performing at the 2013 edition of Osheaga. There is no better lead up to the festival than this. The channel will be available as of Wednesday, March 13th at 10am.
Stream the 100 commercial-free Galaxie channels on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android device. The Galaxie Mobile app offers a 7-day free trial and can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or from Google Play. For more information visit galaxie.ca.
AIR MILES OFFER This year, the AIR MILES Reward Program comes on board as an official sponsor and will be offering Collectors the ability to redeem AIR MILES reward miles for 3-day festival passes. AIR MILES will also be hosting exclusive upcoming events and contests for OSHEAGA fans. Stay tuned to airmiles.ca/events for more information as it becomes available.
OSHEAGA will announce more bands and the daily lineup soon. More news on OSHEAGA Arts and Osheaga + MEG Pro industry gathering (formerly MMOI) will also be announced shortly.
Please note that OSHEAGA will present several shows at the Esplanade du centenaire du Canal Lachine before the festival: Of Monsters and Men with Half Moon Run on May 24, The XX with Grizzly Bear on June 7, The National with The Barr Brothers on June 13, and The Tragically Hip with Sam Roberts Band and Rural Alberta Advantage on June 22.
OSHEAGA will also host a SXSW showcase on March 16, with performances by Folly & The Hunter, Humans, Valleys, Half Moon Run, Lisa Leblanc and Plaster.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to know everything about Virgin Mobile presents OSHEAGA 2013 and visit www.osheaga.com for more details.
Since 2006, the Osheaga Music and Arts festival has established itself as the most important festival of its genre in Canada. With its numerous outdoor stages located at parc Jean-Drapeau on Montreal’s Saint Helen’s Island, Osheaga attracted 120 000 music lovers from North America and Europe last year. A huge celebration dedicated to music and visual arts, Osheaga has given itself the objective of discovering local and national emerging talent offering them the opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest international artists in the business including: Coldplay, The Killers, Iggy & The Stooges, Sonic Youth, The Roots, Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire, Weezer et Eminem. Over the course of several days, approximately 100 bands will take to the various stages at parc Jean-Drapeau and across the city in the festive ambiance that only a Montreal summer can provide. Osheaga also holds a series of concerts and exhibitions in several locations around the city during the week leading up to the main event. For its eighth edition, the Osheaga Music and Arts festival, presented by Virgin Mobile, promises an exhilarating experience with, among others: The Cure, Mumford & Sons and Phoenix.
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