Life & Death Through the Eyes of a Martyr
Ridic has been a fixture in Hip Hop for the last 5 years. He and Case were the co founders of Mental Case Productions which spawned the Gutterscum Family, and partnered up with Sleepwalkers to form a true Supercrew. After Mental Case disbanded in 2004, Ridic joined forces with Serif over Case's production to form Skull Control (the group). A few tracks were recorded, and quite a few venues were destroyed, however, they never really took off, mostly because Case and Ridic never really gelled with Serif on a creative level. Ridic and Case tend to stick with a true hardcore brand, which clashed a little with Serif's more laidback style. So they parted ways. What was next for Ridic (ule) and Cray-Z-Case? Well, Chainsmoke Music was born. The core of this label began as, and will always be, the relationship between Case and Ridic. However, others have joined in on the business. The main solo acts include Essex and Nick Fury the Lyrical Gunslingar, who, when put together with Case and Ridic, form Living Proof. 'Life and Death... Through the Eyes of a Martyr' is the first release by the label. This is also the solo debut of Ridic, and is exclusively produced by Case. Cameo's include fellow Mental Case alumn Nato Rock and Dynamek, as well, of course, as Chainsmoke representatives Essex and Nick Fury. Also featuring ABQ jazz/funk/blues vocalist Mike Herndon on 'Walk the Path.' With cover art coming from the hand of legendary Albuquerque MC/artist, Jungle, this record lays the perfect foundation for Chainsmokes ultimate goal: Bring back the hardcore. What does it sound like? If you ask Ridic, he'll tell you, 'like nothing you've ever heard.' However, there are some definite influences from artists such as El-P, Wu Tang, Chino XL, and Thirstin Howl III. Ridic's voice ranges from laid back baritone to all out scream, while his delivery is sporadic and his rhyme schemes incredibly intricate. Lyrically his personality comes across in a couple different ways: insensitive arrogant jerk, struggling entrepreneur, reluctant leader, and heathenistic blaspheme. Listening to this record it is apparent that he has a serious problem with organized religion and authority figures. Case's instrumentals compliment Ridic's style perfectly. Booming basslines, screaming highs, and complex drum patterns seem to drive the sporadic delivery that is Ridic's style. People that can appreciate this album should keep their ears to the ground. Essex is next on the slate for the release of his album very soon, and Ridic is already working on his second. With a Living Proof album also looking at an end of the year release, fans have a lot to look forward to. Keep your ears open...