The rapper, songwriter and producer known as Richie Carter has released his debut EP record, “Rockford's Richie.” The EP contains five original Carter tracks for an approximate total listening time of 15 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release outside the influence of the corporate music industry. Nuanced, varied, colorfully creative and exceptionally written and performed, “Rockford's Richie” is a clear standout for one of the premier indie rap releases of the summer and a striking introduction to this talented rapper from Illinois.
Richie Carter cites as his main influences Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, Camp Lo, Outkast, Bob Marley, Jay-Z, Foster the People, Chvrches, Drake, and “a lot of classic rock from the '70s to the '90s.”
His own sound is crisp, direct, punchy and full of top-notch urban poetry. His themes are often positive, his tones aggressive, his musical accompaniment infectious and incredibly well-orchestrated. His raps are always the main event of his music regardless of the high quality of his beats and melody lines. His razor-sharp articulation makes his music accessible to fans of all genres of hip hop and of music in general.
None of this comes as a surprise when taking into consideration Richie Carter's status as a veteran rap artist.
“I've wanted to make music since a child,” he writes. “I've wrote lyrics and poems for as early as I can remember. In middle school me and my friend bought a $20 USB mic from a computer store, built a decent computer, and bootlegged Adobe Audition. After that we began making freestyles and remixes to our favorite songs. It was mostly just for fun, but as time grew I became more talented, and people started offering me opportunities to record and perform.”
True, this is not a rare story in the new era of affordable digital audio workshops and home-studio recordings. The rarity lies in Richie Carter's natural talent, which has strengths spreading from musical composition to the penning of excellent lyrics, to the flawless delivery of said lyrics and to a seemingly bone-deep understanding of flow which keeps his powerful little EP album moving like a perpetual motion machine from track to track, and from repeat play to repeat play. The EP can be enjoyably listened to several times running without becoming tired.
Asked to comment on the themes of his latest record, Carter writes, “[It's about] coming from a smaller city – especially Rockford – which has very bad press from Forbes Magazine. People tend to lose hope and become complacent, assuming this is as far as life goes for them. My message is to remind everyone that the sky is the limit and it's their choice how far they fly.”
This kind of uplifting rhetoric is part of what has helped Richie Carter build a loyal, enthusiastic throng of fans that is quickly growing beyond the Rockford area (which is just two hours from another hip-hop Mecca: Chicago). They clamor to pat him on the back on social media and actively implore him for upcoming performance dates. Carter responds to them all with warmth and humble gratitude.
“Life has obstacles,” he continues. “We all face them – some run through them, some run from them. I encourage everyone to run through them. Your passion will fund every dream you have, if you're willing to put in the required 'work.'”
Richie Carter was born Erich Kalstrom and is a native of Rockford, IL. He most recently opened for Bubba Sparxxx from Troup County, GA and has performed in a great many locales in the Chicago area as well as at premier festivals including the SXSW concert in Texas.
“Rockford's Richie,” the debut EP release from Richie Carter, is available online worldwide beginning 20 July 2015. Get in early, fans of hip hop everywhere. Very early.
Lead Press Release Writer
“Rockford's Richie” by Richie Carter –