Rigz is back with his fourth full length album ‘Heal In‘ where he continues to define himself as one of the dopest emcees in the game. As you can appreciate, there are a number of features on the album from fellow Da Cloth members Mooch, M.A.V and Rob Gates, as well as a handful of other emcees who are willing to bless the mic alongside the Rochester emcee. The beats are largely handled by Chup who not only produced Rigz’ ‘Roach Gutta Slums‘ but has also handled production for the likes of Eto, Benny the Butcher, Lloyd Banks, CRIMEAPPLE, Estee Nack and many more. Needless to say, the beats on this project are fire and they withstand the microphone onslaught that Rigz and his featured artists deliver.
This latest album has some high expectations. Coming on the back of ‘Substance Abuse‘ his collaboration with Futurewave in 2020, and the acclaimed ‘Gold‘ with DJ Muggs last year, hip hop heads have lofty expectations for Rigz, and we’re pleased to let you know from the jump, that he is up to the task. ‘Full Plate‘ kicks things off as an intro discussion work ethic and resilience, before the music really jumps off with ‘Somewhere‘, a syth-laden banger featuring the high-octane Rob Gates and speaking on thriving rather than surviving. Next up is the menacing ‘Pick Ya Poison‘ featuring Bishop the Great & Shonyea which certainly has a Mobb Deep sounding vibe and the message is similar – it’s a warning. There is no escape.
‘Nobody‘ is a melancholic, moody number that is quite haunting and introspective. Vanderslice delivers a sombre sound, which Rigz flows over with authenticity to make a real impact and convey that loneliness that can infiltrate our thoughts and feelings. Rob Gates is back on ‘Instacart‘ which is a nefarious tune. Grimey production and the blick-heavy bars make this a real concrete corner narrative before ‘Guide Me‘ takes a slightly more light-hearted approach with a more uplifting score and the Rigz / M.A.V combo works beautifully to deliver this potentially volatile track before this ‘Revolving Credit‘ skit closes things out for this segment.
Asun Eastwood delivers a brilliant feature alongside Rigz on ‘It’s Fuck Me But Love You‘, which is a tale conveying the importance of staying true to yourself and the work that preceeds the success delivered over potent production. ‘Parrying‘ really snaps with the crisp percussion and some nice keys woven in, and Jai Black partners Rigz for this elusive-themed heater before ‘Masterpiece‘ sees Rigz shine solo over a more soulful audio canvas, as he speaks on the work and creativity required, the hits and misses that end up with a result that is inpsired and perfect.
Da Cloth teammate Mooch picks up the mic to spit alongside Rigz on ‘Fundamentals‘ which is one of those gangsta-themed tunes that blends darkness and dominance over a string-laced, dusty, boom bap track that slaps hard. ‘Henny Shards‘ uses a piano driven score to set the tone, almost like a 90’s TV drama theme song, but while the production is simplistic and subtle, the bars are incredibly sharp and dangerous. M.A.V is back for ‘Brand Ya Pain‘, and the soulful, jazzy vibe mixes in some delightful keys to create a lounge-feel as Rigz speaks on knowing who you are, and what you’re not.
‘Exhibit R‘ is a look at Rigz himself, speaking about his come up and the work he had to put in with that dope game, before taking the hustle to the music route but still having to grind to create success. The production on this is subtle but robust enough to underpin the introspective narrative but allowing the bars to be the highlight. Finally, the album concludes with the title track ‘Heal In‘ which focuses on the stress, strain and struggle Rigz has navigated over the past year or so and does it over an uplifting if not understated soundtrack with a triumphant vibe.
Bangers: Pick Ya Poison, Parrying, Nobody, Fundamentals, Instacart, Heal In.
Score: 9.5 / 10. Another home run from Rigz who balances the bravado, street poetry and bangers to create a well rounded and entertaining hip hop offering. Lyrically he finds ways to play with words and craft his narrative without sounding tired or repetitive, and his beat choice is sublime. If this is the last joint he drops (as alluded to on the final track) then it’s the complete body of work that he was aiming to deliver. But something tells me, there is plenty more in store from Rigz in the near future.