RICH KIDD - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
About Rich Kidd:
Ritchie Acheampong, popularly known as Rich Kidd was born April 28th, 1987 to Ghanaian parents. Rich Kidd is one of the most respected producers and hip hop artist in Canada. Produced / collaboration work with Drake, Busta Rhymes, Nelly Furtado, Kendrick Lamar, Redman, Raekwon, DMX, and Talib Kweli. Rich Kidd has received various awards and nominations including Winner of Best Performance (hip hop) for TIMA Awards, Winner of Best Mixtape 2011 for Stylus Awards, Nominated for Best Rap Album for Juno Awards 2013 and Nominated for Best Rap Video for MMVA 2013. In this exclusive interview, Kidd shares on his opinions on black music in Canada.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My stage name is Rich Kidd. I was born in Scarborough and spent most of my life growing up in Mississauga. I produce, MC and do some work in the community as a youth program facilitator.
What's your inspiration or how do you get motivated?
My inspiration comes from my old neighbourhood and things that went on while I grew up there. The stories, my style and attitude comes from that place and is reflected through my songs. I get motivated by being by myself.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
I got to the place where I am at by working hard, working smart and being myself. My current project is my album called In My Opinion. You should expect greater things than what I am doing now because I do.
What would you like to be remembered for?
For being the architect of music that will be known as Canadian Music (in a good way). There used to be a time when people would not listen to a song because it sounded "Canadian" and that was negative. I want to be the person that turns that around.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
I just prioritize. I try to involve them all into my work. My mom has been in two of my music videos. My nephew in two as well. My homies are in everything I do. And I spend a lot more time chillin' than I should.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
My favorite book is Oh, The Places You'll Go, besides that, its The Alchemist. My Favorite movie is Menace II Society. My favorite genre of music is hip hop. My favorite food is fufu (Ghanian dish).
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience has been good. I've gone through racism, prejudice, and unfair legal troubles before but all in all, I'm blessed to be black in Canada.
What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada?
This question is so vague. I can't say the black community, as a whole, is doing right nor wrong. There are so many different Black folks in my family alone. I have scholars and doctors in my family and I have murderers and drug dealers in my family. The only thing we need to do is love ourselves and each other more.
Do Blacks support black music, events and businesses?
I made a comment about black music on facebook and I almost got "lynched" by all these white commenters on my "friends" list. I define modern Black music as hip hop, r&b, soul but now blacks are heavily involved in pop, EDM and country so its hard to pinpoint. But if we talk hip hop, I feel like black people do support black people but its all about relating (music wise). If I'm a black person that grew up in Barrie, I'm not necessarily going to relate when you're coming from Regent Park or Toronto talking hood politics. My shows are multicultural and I like that.
Do we have musical artists in Canada that are as good or better than those in the US?
My opinion, we got great artists, they got more great artists because of population. We have wack artists and they have more because of population. They have an exploitation machine called the music industry and ours is limited to certain genres. Originally, hip hop was supported by blacks and sold to us and every other race by exploiting the lives of those in the inner city or from backgrounds of poverty. They can't exploit black culture up here and that’s why our music industry is lacking. Remember, at the top it's just them.
Who are your favorite Black Canadian Artists?
Maestro, half of Drake, Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, Melanie Fiona. Trey & Darren Anthony, Shamori Downer, Benjamin Kwofie for Royalz Clothing.
What is your understanding of Black History in Canada?
Black history in Canada is so vast. We have immigrants that came here from Africa and The Caribbean that have helped mold this country. We have descendants of slaves that came through the underground railroad for a better life in Nova Scotia. There's a lot I understand but there's so much more to learn and I do, everyday.
Hope you enjoyed our exclusive interview with Rich Kidd.
Follow Richkidd online:
twitter.com/richkiddbeats / @richkiddbeats