Rittz The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant

RittzThe Life and Times of Jonny Valiant
One of the few uplifting moments on Rittz's new album occurs when he's shouting out his homies in Toronto — Droppin' Knowledge booked Rittz for a spot date in late 2011, which contributed to the Atlanta, GA rapper's early buzz. The rest of the album is morose, a diatribe against commercial rap bloated with personal confessions. Rittz raps well, channelling Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and mentor Yelawolf, but he beats his content to death. "My Interview" is a creative, albeit embittered, criticism of rap journalism built upon the call-and-response between interviewer and interviewee. Rittz thinks the media perceives him as a "fat, long-haired piece of shit," so he responds by being that monster. "My Clothes (Interlude)" is a skit as explicit as "Deeez Nuuuts," just short of the misogyny of "Kim." "I'm the only fucking reason you have any structure in your life… I will fucking bury you," warns Rittz, presumably to his girlfriend, who suspects him of cheating. The last piece of the puzzle (after industry and girlfriend) comes on songs like "Heaven," a drug ballad featuring Yelawolf. Yela drops the veil on his technical delivery and slurs to us in plain English, while Rittz supplies the fungi. "I look up in the sky and hope that I end up… in Heaven!" The production mirrors that of Southern contemporaries such as Big K.R.I.T., who's featured here, along with Tech N9ne, Suga Free and Mike Posner. Rittz wants this thing just as much as, say, Eminem did, and that comes across — overbearingly. (Strange)