Rich the Kid hits a sophomore slump with “The World is Yours 2”

Rich the Kid fails to backup his hit debut record, with lackluster tracks and shallow lyrical content.

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Rich the Kid hits a sophomore slump with “The World is Yours 2”

(Icebox/Wikimedia Commons)

(Icebox/Wikimedia Commons)

(Icebox/Wikimedia Commons)

(Icebox/Wikimedia Commons)

Oliver Sampson, Writer

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Queens native Rich The Kid has been making headlines for the right and wrong reasons since the release of his debut album “The World Is Yours” last March. Rich has been the victim of two robberies since June, a home invasion and a shootout outside of a recording studio in Los Angeles in February. He was beaten and hospitalized after the first and luckily left with no injuries after a count of ten shots were fired during the second. Despite the chaos, he seemed excited about the release of “The World is Yours 2.” But did it live up to the hype?

On his Instagram story last week, he stated he was “hottest rapper out of New York.” In a Billboard interview, Rich said, “Listen, the album is going to be the most streamed album. I told you already, it’s going to be the album of the year, but it’s going to be the top streamed album of the year.” While he did receive some backlash for his claims, it’s good to see that he’s in good spirits and still as confident as ever.

Rich started his career in 2013 at the beginning of the SoundCloud wave and has been a rising star ever since, collaborating with a number of high profile artists and garnering a large following. He had his breakout year in 2018 after the release of “The World Is Yours.” Dropping Billboard-charted tracks like “New Freezer” (ft. Kendrick Lamar) and “Plug Walk” made Rich the Kid a household name.

With “The World is Yours 2” Rich aims to continue his rise to stardom and show the fans he could produce another hit project. While Rich delivers a fairly entertaining listen this time, he fails to back up the claim that he’s the “hottest rapper out of New York.”

The project doesn’t bring anything new to the table for Rich and lacks standout songs that have the potential to garner as much buzz as the lead singles on his debut. Where it suffers the most is in the lack of diversity in flows and lyrical content.

Rich almost entirely sticks to rapping about the big three; money, drugs and women. This is strictly braggadocio, there’s nothing introspective or emotional here. Even if you’re a die hard fan of Rich, this can get old very quickly.

On “4 Phones” he raps, “Want the money, yeah, the check that’s it, Rubber bands all around my wrist, Broke n*ggas they ain’t talkin’ ’bout shit.” What helps keep this album from being completely stale is the production, which provides a number of upbeat bangers. His debut album featured much lighter production, and the sequel somewhat differs by increasing in aggressiveness. Still, Rich shows few signs of growth, which makes for something with little replay value.

The opening track, “World Is Yours 2-Intro,” is one of the catchier cuts on the project, opening the album with a bang. While Rich doesn’t get too personal, he does a solid job of describing his come up, rapping, “I used to call collect, I used to worry and stress, I used to pray for a check, used to want to ball like the Nets.” What sounds like a whistle in the background perfectly complements the heavy bass. Rich sounds in his element here.

While this is one of the better moments, it’s already clear from the jump that Rich is using the same formula he’s always used. This continues with one of the lead singles “Splashin,” which displays a generic trap feel and no lyrical substance whatsoever. We’re already at the third track and it’s clear much of this album’s entertainment value is going to rely on the production.

While there are a number of Rich’s solo cuts that are throwaways, a couple did catch my attention.

“Racks Today” has an electronic feel with production coming from Ricky Racks. The distorted vocals in the background and high pitched piano notes provide a nice and fresh change of pace. Sadly, Rich fails to produce a decent chorus and has some extremely bland bars. Rich raps in the second verse, “I got me the Bentley, might go the Wraith too, Pass her ’round ’cause she f*ck with the crew, All this money, you wouldn’t know what to do.” This is painfully basic and severely hurts the entertainment value of a track that had much potential.

“Racks Out” on the back half of the album has cloudier, more low-key production and allows Rich to shine and come off as intense and motivated. This is one of the few times we see some sort of personality from Rich.

The multitude of featured artists offers many of the highlights throughout, helping to break the monotonous feel of the solo tracks. One thing you can definitively say about Rich is that he has a huge network of artists that he can tap into, ranging from Miguel to NBA YoungBoy.

Despite this, many of the features steal the show and have Rich taking a back seat on his own songs. It’s never good when the main artist is getting outshined consistently by his features, but that’s the case here.

Where Rich holds his own the most is on the first track with a feature, “Fall Threw” (ft. Young Thug and Gunna). The rattling high hats and catchy flute make for one of the more hard-hitting beats, and all three artists deliver a solid verse. The chorus features Rich and Thug riffing off one another with fast-paced flows providing an animated ride.

“Woah” (ft. Miguel and Ty Dolla $ign) is the most melodic and flowery song here. This track features a stunning chorus from Miguel and equally impressive verse from Ty Dolla. This moment on the album definitely helps break the constant trap vibe, but it takes Rich completely out of his comfort zone. His sole verse is lackluster and pales in comparison to these two R&B juggernauts.

This pattern occurs on the tracks “Like Mike” (ft. Jay Critch and A Boogie) and “Ring Ring” (ft. Vory) as well. Critch handles the catchy chorus on “Like Mike” providing typical bars about his lavish lifestyle. Even though A Boogie’s verse was brief, it still overshadowed Rich’s performance once again.

“Ring Ring” gave me my first taste of Vory, who I was pleasantly surprised by and had me instantly doing a YouTube search. Vory rides the beat more smoothly than Rich, as the spacey production was clearly garnered more to his auto-tuned singing voice. Considering that this was the second to last track, I was tired of hearing Rich’s same flow and would’ve enjoyed this more as a solo Vory performance.

Verdict: 4.5/10

I didn’t expect Rich to switch things up much on “The World Is Yours 2,” but he has clearly digressed in his ability to leave an imprint on much of his own music. While there were a lot of features on his debut album, he was still able to frequently have a voice and be a focal point. His biggest misstep here was allowing other artists to take the reins on the choruses, often leaving Rich with just one forgettable verse. None of the solo tracks pop like “Plug Walk,” and the select few that do have any replay value mostly come as a result of the production. The difference between someone like Playboi Carti and Rich the Kid is that Playboi compliments his production by switching up his flows, the cadence of his voice and occasionally the lyrical content. “Die Lit” is a perfect example of a “SoundCloud rapper” who lets his beats and features enhance his performance, not overshadow it. Now after two full-length Rich The Kid LPs with little variety, I am not really interested in anything else he has to release. If Rich wants to have any longevity and continued success, he needs to do something different.

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