Thursday, January 1, 2009

One to Watch: Baltimore's Rye Rye

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS! I can't believe how quickly 2008 passed us by but I find myself saying that every January 1st about the previous year. 2009 is here and time waits for no man.

Earlier this week I caught up on my WWD reading from the week before since I was out of town. To my pleasant surprise I saw a young brown girl on the cover of the 12.23.08 issue (see below) when I retrieved my mail. Trust me, this doesn't happen very often. Turns out the cover girl is rapper Ryeisha Berrain aka Rye Rye. Miss Rye Rye, 18, hails from Baltimore, Maryland and is actually a protege of British import M.I.A. Rye Rye is the first artist signed to M.I.A.'s Interscope imprint label, N.E.E.T. Kinda cool, right?

Well, as I read on, I learn that Rye Rye has already appeared on a track called Shake It To The Ground which became an underground Baltimore club anthem and MySpace sensation. I have to admit I've only listened to that song and she's no MC Lyte but my interest is peaked because although Rye Rye is a rapper, she might finally bring the Baltimore club sound to the masses if she blows up. I attended college in Maryland for a minute before transferring to F.I.T. and was introduced to Bmore club music and the jaw dropping dancing that goes along with it. (Shout out to anyone reading this who ever went to Hammerjacks in the late 1990's. CRAZY!) It was much faster than the club music I was used to and reminded me of techno, in a good way. Anyhoo, Rye Rye has M.I.A. cosigning for her so I have high hopes.

Apparently the fashion industry has high hopes for Rye Rye as well. In her WWD spread, she rocked everything from American Apparel to Custo Barcelona. Thanks to M.I.A., Rye Rye is up on designers like Jeremy Scott and goes on shopping sprees at Topshop. She often even makes her own clothes according to WWD. And I'm digging her rainbow hued hair (but girls in Bmore were always left with their hair) because it is refreshing in the music industry's sea of copycat locks. Right now it is too early for me to tell whether this Bmore b-girl is a true creative stylista or just a new artist being heavily styled to fit a marketing plan. It's probably a little of both. Still, I am excited about a young lady on the come up in hip-hop who is (seemingly) relying on lyrical skills (plus fancy footwork) and not using t&a to get on.

Stay tuned.

I'm posting my 'Best of 2008' list next!


Anonymous said...

m.i.a and diplo were actually inspired by rye rye's vocals on a 2005 bmore track called 'hands up thumbs down' by blaq starr. they used her hook on the track 'world town' and asked to meet her. she was asked to do vocals for diplo and sinden beats and was so good the tracks became hers, not theirs. rye rye is beyond, trust.

Bsquared said...

Thanks anon! I'm gonna check out some of Rye Rye's other material very soon.

Run's House said...

Interesting insight you shared anon. Rye rye's got some funky taste :)

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