After a long hiatus, rapper Ricky B will be returning to the stage on Friday, November 12 at Maison. B is responsible for some of New Orleans’ all-time classic rap songs, including “Shake Fo Ya Hood,” “Y’all Holla,” “Who Got Dat Fire” and “Let’s Go Get ‘Em.”
The former St. Bernard Projects resident and John McDonogh Sr. High alumnus born Ricky Bickham began rapping in 1986, influenced strongly by the gangsta rap of the time. After DJ Jimi’s “Where They At” swept New Orleans in 1992, Ricky decided to move his music away from the dark, violent imagery of the gangsta rap he had started with. In 1994 he released a bounce EP, Ricky B for Bouncin’, on Ivory “Mobo Joe” Payne’s Mobo Records on the Westbank that became an instant classic. “I try to reach out to the kids and show them that you don’t have to listen to violent songs…you can listen to positive music and realize that the city surroundings you live in might be bad, but you don’t have to get into that violent lifestyle,” he was quoted as saying in a 1994 OffBeat article. By the spring of the following year, he had gained enough popularity to book a performance at the 1995 Jazz Fest.
In recent years, Ricky B has been living in Baton Rouge, having taken a long break from the music industry. He recently released a new song, “Save My City,” taking the listener back down memory lane to visit the old stomping grounds and personalities of classic New Orleans hip-hop and R&B, shouting out DJ Slick Leo, Club Polo, Sporty T and many others.
Opening for Ricky B Friday night are DJs Musa (resident at The Saint), Brice Nice (see his Ricky B mini-mix above), and Emynd, a Philadelphia resident who runs one of the most prominent Bounce rap blogs, nolabounce.com. Despite his involvement in the bounce scene, including a recent bounce remix of the Aloe Blacc hit “I Need A Dollar” that featured locals Lyrikill and Tony Skratchere, this is his first public performance in New Orleans, making the evening that much more special.