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Isis, MC Lyte, the late Ms. Melodie. Roxanne Shante, Shazzy, and Queen Latifah. Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj. From nervy tomboys to the sexually audacious, women have constantly sought control in the male-dominated world of hip hop. And it’s out of this lineage that Ne’ Richa has come. But don’t think she’s interested in being pigeonholed by the history of women in rap. “I’ve never been the type to be comfortable in a pair of heels, stilettos and all that,” she admits. “Till this day that just doesn’t fit me. I feel better in sneakers and sweats. [But] with females, sometimes it feels we have to flirt a little bit or show a little leg here, or just kind of moreso be like the damsel in distress. And I don’t do that.”
Ne’ Richa dropped her first independent record L.F.C. (Late 4 Class) in 2011. The album received nothing short of fanfare in her hometown. Soon her buzz began to spread. Recently, the legendary BDP rapper KRS-One invited the flowy-haired lyricist onstage while performing at Pennsylvania’s Forward Hall. After a bar, KRS took back the mic in shock. “Hey, I can see you on tour right now!” he exclaimed.
Ne’ Richa’s subtle style feels like double-dutch over beats. Lyrically her poetic arrangements stand next to the shoulders of jazz scatters or spoken-word artists, more than your typical bar-style rappers. Her music creates a perfect storm of soft-pitched tones over trippy and sometimes middle-eastern inspired beats. On “Flights” Ne’ Richa rhymes, “Came from nothing / going forward / many dreams / life is torrid.” Her “flights” are governed by what she calls her “wings”— the firm push that’s sure to land her where her ambition and hands-on approach is already taking her.
Ne' Richa is ready to disprove the theory of "sophemore jinx", & "The Moxy" does just that. Taking a cue from her predecessors, she strives to push past her debut, both creatively and skillwise. As the album's title suggests, she aims at leaving you impressed with her audacity and willingness to try new concepts. Ne' Richa successfully intertwines a raw street appeal with a universal approach, while introducing a paradox of relevancy & nostalgia. It's time for Hip Hop to take on a new feel, and Ne' Richa is in the driver's seat.