“Look who done came through”: Basking in the Dry Heat of RiTchie’s “Dizzy” ft. Aminé

RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll
RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll
Arizona rapper RiTchie calls out all the opportunists, phonies, and self-seekers in his periphery on “Dizzy” ft. Aminé, a feverish, impassioned expression of dry heat, raw energy, and last nerves – and an undeniable highlight off his debut solo album, ‘Triple Digits [112]’.
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Stream: “Dizzy” – RiTchie ft. Aminé

The music industry can be… exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong; music is my drive, my lifeblood, and my world. Music has been a core part of my identity ever since I can remember: There’s nothing else I’d rather do, and 99% of the time, nowhere else I’d rather be. The best part is, there are plenty of folks just like me, too – people in hot pursuit of their passions, who live and breathe music every day. Knowing them and being around them is inspiring.

And if only everyone could be like that – genuine; authentic; real – in it for the “right” reasons, here to put in the work. There’s always a few folks looking to ride someone else’s coattails and take advantage of others’ success. They’re the kind of people who see you as an opportunity, rather than as a person – and music is, unfortunately, full of them. Most of the time you can sniff out fakes and frauds, but that doesn’t take away the headache of having to deal with these people in your periphery; of having to suss out “good” from “bad,” do the “hey hi hello” dance, and engage in all sorts of unwanted (and unwarranted) scenarios. Show business is, as we can all imagine, a lot of show.

And nowhere is that frustrating truth better expressed (and exposed) than on RiTchie’s aptly-titled song “Dizzy,” an all-out call-out of music’s opportunists, pretenders, bad actors, and phonies.

Dizzy - RiTchie ft. Aminé
Dizzy – RiTchie ft. Aminé

Oh man, how many times you came around? How many times you change your style? They really got to break it down, it’s really hard to fake it now,” the Arizona-based rapper sings over soaring keys and pounding drums, taking shots right from the start as he dives a soulful, searing diatribe:

Everywhere got that local little ‘it’
That can-I-kick-it?
If there’s a new thing
He’s always doing it
Always on that new thing
But don’t finish sh*t
I think it’s time for a couple questions
Like, how you ain’t never working a shift?
Like, how you wildin’ but still pay rent?
But it’s simplistic, his parents all rich

Initially released as a single back in late February, “Dizzy” – featuring fellow rapper Aminé – is a standout track off RiTchie’s recently-released debut solo album, Triple Digits [112].

Hailing from Arizona, Nathaniel Ritchie has been a rising force of nature within the rap world for the better part of ten years now. Best known for his work in alternative hip-hop trio Injury Reserve (which he founded with the late Stepa J. Groggs and Parker Cory) and its successor project, By Storm, RiTchie – who went by Ritchie with a T in the group – formally reintroduced himself as RiTchie earlier this year with his debut solo single “RiTchie Valens,” an emotionally charged fever dream that, in many respects, set the tone both for “Dizzy” and the rest of his album. “I’mma play the game, then it’s back to my business,” he declares with heat in his voice. “I see the way that you act, it’s all privileged.”

RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll
RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll

Even RiTchie himself has called that first song a “perfect introduction” to his new solo project, which he says he stumbled upon as a sort of happy accident.

“Over time, I have mentally created these huge qualifications for any music released under the Injury Reserve / By Storm name, making sure that everything I do is different/interesting/technical enough for the reputation we have built over the years,” he shared in a statement earlier this year. “None of this is bad practice, but this environment I created for myself can sometimes make the process feel intimidating and defeating.”

“What started as a personal outlet to release these mental barriers, ended up with me having some fun music I felt comfortable, then confident, and now excited to put out there in the world while me and Parker continue to work on the first By Storm record.”

Okay, Mr. Fishbowl, go and get it
‘Cause we can see all through your sh*t with no tinted
And all that little hatred that’s blurring your vision
And all that little fake sh*t you calling yo’ friendships
We can’t even read you when you type a sentence (Ritchie, Ritchie)
You starting to feel a lot more like a tenant
This sh*t like pulling teeth when you try and sell tickets
This sh*t is just a breeze ’cause I been here for a minute
– “RiTchie Valens,” RiTchie

While “RiTchie Valens” is a barnburner in its own right – putting the artist’s deft lyrical and performance chops under the spotlight – there’s no denying the energy, the emotion, and the raw passion ripping through “Dizzy,” in which RiTchie and Aminé pull together to put all of music’s bad apples on notice.

How many times do we got to sing this song?
That we don’t want to hear that weak sh*t no more
And this ain’t just a case of “to each his own”
This pushing thirty trying to get it still

It’s worth noting the slick Kanye West reference in the above stanza – RiTchie references “Get Em High,” off 2004’s seminal debut The College Dropout, even singing the lyric “we don’t want to hear that weak sh*t no more” in a similar cadence to West’s original delivery, as the latter tried to catch the beat.

If you would stick your neck out for anything
Why don’t you get your girl a little diamond ring?
And maybe buy your kids all some new clothes
‘Cause you be staying fresh, but they got holes

It’s as if both rappers are saying “we see you” to all those people “taking fit pics at the funeral” – who “link-and-build at a urinal,” as Aminé slyly raps in the second verse. It’s an ode to all those clueless scene-types more into the lifestyle than the actual music work. Both artists pack a punch with their words, yet they do so with a witty, humorous bend, keeping things light while still sinking their teeth in.

RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll
RiTchie © Patrick Driscoll

The song’s self-directed music video is one big dizzying POV – a day in the life of Nathaniel Ritchie.

And what begins as a nice, relaxing morning of dog-petting, car-washing, and sandwich-eating quickly devolves into a series of encounters with folks who want to show RiTchie their work; one person even goes so far as to pass him his headphones and play him the stuff he’s been working on.

How do you navigate everyone wanting your time and undivided attention? If you push them away, you’re the bad guy and you risk getting dragged for your attitude and dismissiveness. If you let them all in, you’re left with little time and energy to dedicate to yourself, and all of your own devices and desires.

Look who it is, look who done came through
Every week it’s Mr. This and Mr. Me Too
Your mama in the same crib, you got a new coup
Priorities f*ed up, boy, you is not us

True to its name, “Dizzy” shines a light on RiTchie’s disorientating lived experiences. It’s the nature of the beast that, as your name grows and you find whatever gets deemed as “success,” others will try to get a piece of that fame and power for themselves – and we see all the ways in which that manifests in real life, be it someone coming up to you on the street, at a cafe while you’re minding your own business, at the gym, at the barber shop (where RiTchie promptly turns and exits after someone tries to flag him down), and even in the restroom of a bar.

By the time the video ends and we watch RiTchie outside a local bar, on his phone, actively ignoring someone’s advances for over a full minute, we get it. Who wants to put up with people constantly accosting you, day in and day out? It’s annoying, it’s exhausting, it’s draining, and it’s debilitating. With all those unprompted physical encounters, wouldn’t you be dizzy too? Would your head be spinning too?

And wouldn’t you be fed up, too?

Look who it is, look who done came through
How many times you came around?
Oh, you got a new fit
What, those some frames too?
How many times you change your style?
What that is? You got a new play?
They really got to break it down
It’s really hard to fake it now
How many times you came around?

While “Dizzy” dons a pretty relaxed sound, it’s rather serious in nature; neither RiTchie nor Aminé want to put up with all the noise, and they’ve laid down their own law in four minutes’ worth of charged callouts and confrontations. You can jam to this beat at any party, and you’ll be sure to have a good time – just don’t come up to someone without a damn good reason to do so.

RiTchie describes his new album as “a collection of songs inspired by Phoenix’s new record-breaking 31 days of 110+ degrees set last July as I was making Triple Digits [112].” We definitely feel the heat in “Dizzy” as both he and Aminé come to life with a fiery passion.

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:: stream/purchase Triple Digits [112] here ::
:: connect with RiTchie here ::
Stream: “Dizzy” – RiTchie ft. Aminé

— — — —

Triple Digits - RiTchie

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? © Patrick Driscoll

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