Jordan Groggs, Injury Reserve Rapper, Dies at 32

RiTchie – Triple Digits [112]

On his debut solo album under the new moniker RiTchie, the Injury Reserve/By Storm rapper offers up a charcuterie board of sprawling sounds and introspective verses.

Although RiTchie—formerly known as Ritchie With a T—doesn’t deliver a masterpiece on par with Injury Reserve’s final album, the experimental By the Time I Get to Phoenix, that apparently wasn’t the goal. Instead, Triple Digits [112] is a kind of appetizer for the first By Storm LP. In RiTchie’s own words, it’s “a cathartic creative release from the expectations of Injury Reserve and By Storm music”—a low-stakes safe space for a rapper building up both a wealth of ideas and a critic’s-favorite reputation. 

On the chaotic title track, over a frenzied synth loop and heavy drums, RiTchie offers a glimpse of his anxieties, as a barrage of voices open up and talk about him. “I’m worried about you, Ritchie,” one says. “That’s just Ritchie—don’t worry about him,” another counters. But RiTchie breaks free of the concern, “rolling through the city” and continuing to vent about a day in the sweltering heat. “It’s triple-digits, sympathize,” he requests.

“Tried to keep it all to himself / It’s all too much to hold,” RiTchie raps on “The Keepers”—one of many meta-reflections on his musical ambition. “I feel the same beat, same drums, might have to let it go / Might have to let it show, but don’t know where to go,” he spits on “Looping. “I try my best to flow; I try my best to change.”

In this attempt at renewal, RiTchie samples a wide array of styles: the hazy, indie-rock-ish “WYTD?!?!”; the dusty psych-soul of “Dizzy” (featuring a guest verse from Aminé); the skittering, AutoTuned experiments of closer “5onthe.” To finish off the album, as if surrendering (temporarily) from his quest for the Next Big Idea, RiTchie screams out: “We’ve been here before.” GRADE: B+

You can check out Triple Digits [112] on Bandcamp and elsewhere. 

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