Oakland, California-based rapper Ricky Lake, aka Marcus McAlpin, releases ‘Saving Ricky,’ a 14-track collection of tight and right songs merging hip-hop and pop elements into magnetic, unique sounds.
The son of a pair of doctors, Ricky Lake was living in L.A. when his parents moved the family to Nashville, where he found himself surrounded by weed, strange books, and hip-hop music. Experiencing culture shock, he adjusted to the feeling of dichotomy. He started making music, too.
Later, while living in Oakland, he developed his unique sound – dark yet delicate. Working with artists at San Francisco’s Text Me Records, Ricky amalgamated savors of modern pop and rap, while indulging in a sumptuous lifestyle belying his innate sensitivity, which he disguises as nonchalance, but is at the core of who he is.
Saving Ricky features the production and talents of a number of Ricky’s fellow artists at Text Me Records, where the album was recorded.
The album begins with “Venom,” featuring Young Ocean, which rides hints of Latin tangs blended with tasty thumping beats, while Ricky and Young Ocean imbue the lyrics with alluring flows.
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Speaking from a subjective viewpoint, entry points include “Pacific Palisades,” featuring Yung Skrrt, a deeper, darker tune with beaucoup heft and resonant, echoing vocals. “Lithium” is one of the premier tracks, revealing swifter flows as rolling popping accents give the tune booming, rumbling energy.
“Bad Summer,” opens on slowly swirling synths rolling into a creamy, undulating hip-hop groove topped by a velvety, melodic flow chock-full of warm, complex tones. This track, slow, low, and cashmere, is both alluring and powerfully tantalizing.
“Apartment Love,” featuring Amen travels on gleaming synth tones supported by a throbbing rhythm. Ricky’s melodic flow, backed by glowing female harmonies, injects the lyrics with tender textures.
“Hamburger Hill” commences on surging synths transitioning into a stuttering-lite rhythm, while Ricky’s silky flow infuses the lyrics with rich, evocative flavors.
“Never Fold,” featuring WADE08, starts off with tints of jazz tones and then segues into a fat, potent rhythm. Bold brass accents give the harmonics a heady sonic sheen, while drawling, skintight flows imbue the lyrics with imminence.
On Saving Ricky, Ricky Lake pumps out delectable fusions of pop and hip-hop, as well as deluxe flows atop totally banging music. Definitely one of the year’s better albums.