Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
"Tha fo', tha one, tha five"
Mike J | Central Coast, CA United States | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wish I could give this album an unbiased review...I just can't. First you need to know that "415" was to Oakland what "213" is to Long Beach. The fact that Oakland's area code is now "510" does not change the significance or impact of this album. This is the legendary, classic debut of Richie Rich and D-Loc and one of the rarest and most unhearalded classics in hip-hop history. To my memory, it was released in 1990 and was an instant hit in tight-knit Bay Area circles. This record was our "Straight Outta Compton".
Production was handled by DJ Darryl, (yes, the same DJ Darryl of Master P's Beats-By-The-Pound fame), but was very different from his later work. To get an idea of the sound, think Snoop's "Doggystyle" or CMW's "It's A Compton Thang". In fact, "Gz & Hustlaz" from Doggystle, (frequently considered one of its best produced tracks) borrowed from the same sample used on this album. In truth, this album was at least 3 years ahead of its time production-wise.
Also, the unique use of snippets and scratches will have you laughing out loud at how clever they are. On "415in" the classic "Ain't No Half Steppin" Heatwave line used by Big Daddy Kane on his classic is combined with a female voice going "It was so sick". Towards the end of the same track, cuts from God only knows where advise that Richie Rich "shot his wife and her lawyer" followed by screams of pain. While this sounds overly morbid, it's actually the precursor to the Bay's fascination with turntable trickery.
Lyrically, this is the best performance by Richie Rich and it's what would eventually land him his deal at Def Jam 5 years later. D-Loc also holds his own against the future Bay Area legend. Songs like "Sideshow", "Snitches & B*tches", and my obvious personal favorite "415in'" showed both lyrical depth and diversity of topics. Sideshow, for example, is a tribute to the notorious and now outlawed vehicle competitions held every weekend at Lake Merritt and Eastmont Mall where classic and tricked out Mustangs and Cougars battled for respect and sometimes cash. While gangsta-ish themes prevailed throughout the album, it was all done with Oakland style and, believe it or not, a sense of humor. This was not an L.A. record by any stretch.
As a whole, this album is close to perfection. There are no tracks to skip and no subpar lyrics. While everyone who knows it will have their personal favorites, it never will fail to hold attention throughout. Just when you think you've got 415 figured out, they change up a little bit on you.
Maybe this regionality was part of the lack of notice paid to this album. More likely was the lack of promotion or major label push. The mentality at the time was to sell records at a street level like Too $hort before them and The Click after them with hopes of getting signed to a major. In part, the formula worked. 415 would release an album 2 years later on Priority Records. Unfortunately, both Richie Rich and D-Loc caught up on short jail bids at the time. Neither appeared on that record and it suffered greatly as a result. Any way you look at it, this album stands as a testament to the creativity of the Bay. At the ridiculous $60 plus prices posted on amazon right now for the CD, in my personal opinion it's still a bargain.
One of the best rap albums of the 1990's hands down
D-Gambler | Bay Area, CA. | 09/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""As long as I give you 12 tracks of that real sh**, you give me my 12 dollars, we even!"-Tupac Shakur
In 1990, there was a Hip-Hop and RnB movement coming out of Oakland, CA. Artists like Tony,Toni,Tone, EnVogue, Pebbles, Digital Underground, Too $hort, and M.C. Hammer were blowing up the mainstream airwaves and putting the Bay Area on the map. Under the radar was an independent rap group called 415 who released an innovative street record titled "41fivin'". Richie Rich, D-Loc, J.E.D. and DJ Daryl created a sound that would be the blueprint for early 90's west coast gangsta rap. "The Chronic" and "Doggystyle" took a big influence from this album. The last track "Smokeshow" was the first WBALLS skit, and the references to smoking dank like it's cool and doing it doggystyle speak for itself. The 415 CEO J.E.D. does the P. Diddy gimmick by talking in between verses of "Snitches & Bitches" to elaborate on the storytelling. DJ Daryl exercises the power of sampling in it's highest form by picking beats of old songs that contain a similar message with the rap. For example, "She's a brick house" for "Groupie A** Bit**". Sixteen years later, the album still bumps like it's brand new. It's not outdated by any means. The mainstream media doesn't give this album any credit because it's a Hip-Hop album that's intended for the ghetto black audience. You could only find it in the black market, swap meets, etc. Just like BDP's "Criminal Minded" and 2pac's "Makaveli" album. An amazing Bay Area Gangsta Rap album that sounds like it should of been released by Death Row Records."
Oakland cali puttin down
westsidecali4life | northbay | 05/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"richie rich and d-loc put it down for oakland"