Chad Rico is nothing, if not productive. His 12 Weeks of Summer series continues his consistent hip-hop output. For the most part, these four new songs find Rico relaxed and enjoying himself. In other words, he sounds just like summer.
His ode to a great summer vacation spot, “Barbados,” features Rico enjoying the beach in Barbados. This single’s release date is 7/19. “Never looking down cause I’m looking up,” Rico raps over a slowly loping, easygoing groove. He’s living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, and loving it. He’s there with his woman, and they’re having a great time together. The backing track is relatively simple, including sparse percussion and a keyboard bed. Rico’s rap alternates between a relaxed drawl, and something a little faster. It sounds like the beach life suits Rico during this almost four-minute slice of life.
With “All the Love,” Rico borrows a page out of Drake’s book. Released on 7/26, Rico sounds a little like Drake while rapping about the best experiences of life. These experiences, in contrast to the materialistic “Barbados,” are not about how much they cost – Rico even says so. He also adds a line about the importance of spending time with family, one of the best free things in life. “Thank God for this experience,” he repeats more than once.
Single release schedule:
“How You Make It” on 7/12
“Barbados” on 7/19
“All the Love” on 7/26
“International Gentleman” on 8/2
One called “How You Make It” is also relatively stripped down, even though it includes some pounding percussion sections. Released on 7/12, it — like many of these tracks – is one where Rico can be heard calling and responding to himself, repeating his own lines for emphasis. He describes a woman who is especially good at twerking. It’s not entirely clear, but Rico may just be detailing a strip club visit with this one.
The project’s best track — and Rico saves the best one for last — is “International Gentleman.” Rico raps over The Dramatics’ “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” on this track set to release on 8/2. At only 2:13, this is one recording that ends way too soon. Rico raps his rap with pure swagger. The Dramatics song from 1971 is a true soul classic, and the combination of Rico’s rap and this song’s groove is irresistible. It’s too band he didn’t extend it even more. Hopefully, he’ll create an extended remix of it one day. Perhaps Rico’s title, regarding international gentlemen, refers to himself, as he is a Belizean American.
Rico is smart to put out this series of summer singles in the summertime. He may sing about beaches and beautiful girls, which have been hot summer topics since even before the Beach Boys created an industry around these two factors, but he also knows that without great music, it simply wouldn’t be summer. Now, if you’re at the beach with a beautiful girl, grooving to some cool music, it’s difficult to ask for much more. This is not complicated music, even though it’s made well. It’s all about enjoying some of the simpler things of life. Rico may be an experienced mathematician by day, but when it comes to creating music, he sounds about as far away from the classroom as possible. You’ll feel far away from the cares of life if you dig into these sounds, too.