I came up in a family where music was usually playing in the background. Either my dad was playing records on his personal sound system, my uncle Keith was practicing the drums, or my uncle Mike was hosting a house party while playing deejay.
The ladies of my family seemed to love music just as much. I can recall times watching my mom sing along to Supremes's songs as if she was Diana Ross herself. Not too mention my sister was a Prince fan. These were my first experiences with music.
My family exposed me to quite a few iconic artists like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and Luther Vandross. They also introduced me to artist that weren't as popular, but were great in their own right like Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, Stephanie Mills, and Alexander O'Neil.
My family members helped open my ears, but it was my desire to be cool that made me write my first rap song at age 12. It was during the crazy mid-80's. Break dancing was trending and hip-hop was the cool new thing. I wasn't the best at break dancing, so I decided I wanted to write a rap. Not to be a rapper per say. Just to be cool.
So that weekend, while working at the flea market at my parent's booth I went for a cruise around the market like I always do. As I was checking out this one vendor's stuff, I came across an old nursery rhyme book. It was maybe 3 inches wide, 4 inches in length and about an inch thick. It was packed with cool nursery rhymes. Specifically, ones I hadn't heard or read before.
I bought the book for a quarter, I think? Once back at my parent's space I began reading it. However, as I read it I tried to make each nursery rhyme a rap song. Believe it or not, that's how I started getting the beat down. Later that weekend, I came up with my own words to fit one of the cadences of one of the nursery rhymes. I practiced it, and then recited it the next week during a lunch time freestyle session. People liked it and I was cool.
Over the next few years, I wrote a lot. Not just raps. I was also interested in journalism so I wrote articles for my school newspapers. Plus whenever I came home from school with no homework my Dad would have me take an article from an encyclopedia and re-write it in my own words.
I liked writing, and I also liked music. Meshing the two together became and still is my main creative outlet.
Consistently writing, practicing, and a few shows landed me my first professional music opportunity at age 20. A mutual friend introduced me to a rapper from Seattle named E-Dawg. We hit it off pretty good and eventually got into the studio and recorded two songs, Drop Top and Lil Locs.
Lil Locs was a dope street banger, but it was Drop Top that opened the eyes and ears of hip-hop legends Sir Mix-a-Lot and Rick Rubin. Drop Top, a smooth summer anthem was ultimately the inspiration for Seattle...the Dark Side, a compilation album. released by Rhyme Cartel/Def America in 1993.
Of course it wouldn't be a real rapper's story without legal troubles, gun shot wounds, and prison terms, right? Well, that's what's happened to Filthy Rich, which is the name I came into the industry as. Subsequently, over the next couple of years things got really rough, but no matter how rough things got I'd always reach for my pen or pencil to get me through the madness.
That madness mixed with some goodness comes to life in my music. Most of my fans are drawn to my voice, which is raspy and original. They also appreciate how I approach each song from a realistic perspective. Still, as real as it gets I try not to lose sight of the basic objective, which is to make good music that people can enjoy.
Around 2005 I co-founded a rap duo called Black Bizness. We recorded and independently released 2 albums; Shop Open and Buyin' N Sellin'. BNS was presented by Bay Area rap legend San Quinn. This era signified a new beginning for me. I started the phase as Filthy Rich, transitioned in Rich Tycoon a.k.a. Filthy Rich, and emerged as simply Rich Tycoon. What I call a better version of Filthy Rich.
Independently I've recorded songs with Yukmouth of The Luniz, Chris Rene of Simon Cowell's X-Factor, and other luminaries such as Oakland rapper Keak Da Sneak (3XKrazy), producer Sean T, Dubee (Thizz Ent.), and Indecent the Slapmaster. I've opened up for Fat Joe and Paul Wall. I've also inspired many up and coming artists/groups throughout my musical existence, and in 2015 Sir Mix-a-Lot pulled me on stage at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz to tell the crowd, I was one of the dopest emcee's he'd met. Thanks Mix!
I guess you could say I'm almost famous. To date, I've sold records in over 20 countries. Even though some of them were only 3 records. lol... Still. I'm an artist, people like my music, and I hope you do too. I've got a little something for everybody.