Sunday, December 28, 2014

Royal Flush - 976-DOPE

Royal Flush is a rap group from Houston, TX. It was founded in the late eighties by Ricardo Royal, who is originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey. After many attempts by his mother to fix a broken marriage as well as a broken home, she decided in 1981 that it was best for the family to move to Houston. Ricardo was enrolled into Aldine Senior High School and that is where the group Royal Flush was first assembled. The original lineup consisted of Ricardo Royal under the alias Gangsta Ric, Tricky T, Klass C, Cowboy and Sergio Magnifico. As a group they began showcasing their talents and battling rappers across local clubs, eventually catching the eyes and ears of the honorary James Smith of Rap-A-Lot Records. He quickly convinced the group to sign with him and together they recorded material for their debut album "Uh Oh!" Now, "Uh Oh!" was suppose to be a controversially ground breaking record which would be aimed at society, politics and even the justice system. Royal Flush were promised by J. Prince to freely express themselves on the microphone all the while keeping the contents very hardcore; which is exactly why the album was aptly titled "Uh Oh!" In the end, none of this happened and "Uh Oh!" was released in 1988 as a watered down, curse free rendition to anything but what the group had envisioned it to be. Apparently management decided that it would be best to release the album this way so that it can garner more air play. They even went as far as thinking that the audience would not accept such an album because they were not ready for something that hardcore and gangster. A disgruntled Ric Royal asked if him and his group could be released from their contract with Rap-A-Lot records and surprisingly, J. Prince agreed to let them go. Royal Flush would then sign with the rival label out of Dallas, TX known as Yo! Records. Now with Tricky T and Cowboy dropped from the lineup and replaced with King Albert, the group released their sophomore effort 976-DOPE in 1991 on Yo! Records. The bulk of the production is provided by the infamous DJ Snake who is no slouch on the drum machine. While Ricardo Royal, Kirk Yano and Rick Rooney also help out on some tracks. The beats can simply be identified by Snake's signature drum pattern along with his excellent choice of samples that go hand in hand. They tend to hit heavy and are also very catchy with their rhythms. Also the scratching and mixing is provided by Def Jam Blaster. The lyrics are also on point. Gangsta Ric is a very good song writer and rapper. He pretty much wrote both their albums single-handedly. His lyrics are dope street tales that tend to suck the listener into his figurative world. The rhymes are combined with sharp word play and are delivered with utter precision. The other members are not too far behind but its quite plain to see that Gangsta Ric is far more superior on the microphone. Guest appearances are made by Born 2wice and MiMi. All in all, 976-DOPE is everything Ricardo Royal hoped his debut would have been. His vision and style is presented over fourteen quality tracks and gives the listener a general idea of what him and his group were trying to accomplish the first time around. Some say he should have waited for his time to shine at Rap-A-Lot, while others say that he did the right thing by not only just leaving them but also serving them with a hefty helping of some good old fashioned, poetic justice.

Deadly Verses

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sweet review. keep em coming