Ric Wilson has been a frequently featured artist on our platform for quite some time now, so it was a matter of time before we brought him in for a Q&A! About a week ago Ric blessed his growing fan base with an impressive new EP titled “BANBA”, and it has been in rotation in my headphones nonstop since the drop & for good reason too. He has been putting out some good music for quite some time now but this new tape was on another level, and I picture Ric continuing to prosper & becoming one of the new faces of Chicago in the years to come. Learn a thing a two about Ric below & if you’re in the city be sure to come out to his show at Lincoln Hall this Saturday by copping a ticket here!
EM: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers who may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself.
RW: I’m Ric Wilson, I make rap music & I fake sing.
EM: What is your earliest memory of music?
RW: One of my earliest memories is seeing Alicia Key’s Fallen video on MTV where she was looking super fine, and then Usher had that music video for “U Remind Me” & I remember buying a wind breaker jacket & copying his dance moves in the middle of the street.
EM: When did you first start creating music?
RW: When I was probably about 15, about 2011 but I didn’t take it serious until after college in 2015.
EM: What/who inspired you to become an emcee?
RW: Drake. I use to go to YouMedia and do poetry, so I started turning my corny love poems into raps because of So Far Gone Drake. He was the first rapper who was doing love songs & it inspired me.
EM: How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened before?
RW: Nowadays when I explain my music I always say it sounds like Anderson Paak, Chance The Rapper & Tupac having a baby.
EM: Who are your top five biggest influences musically?
RW: James Brown, Janet Jackson, Prince, Andre 3000, Jim Morrison, Selena
EM: So you’re from Chicago, how has the city influenced you as a person as well as your music?
RW: Most of my life I spent in Blue Island, Illinois. The majority are black and latino in the community, I had a ton of Mexican friends growing up so it was an interesting mix.
EM: What was the first album you ever bought?
RW: Nas Illmatic was the first album I ever bought, I had albums from my dad prior to that but that was the first one I ever dropped my own money on.
EM: What are your five favorite albums?
Common – Be
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Hotter Than July – Stevie Wonder
Sam Cook – Keep Moving On
Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun
EM: What are your five favorite mixtapes?
Acid Rap – Chance The Rapper
Control System – Ab-Soul
Mac Miller – Kids
A Kid Named Cudi – Kid Cudi
The Kendrick Lamar EP – Kendrick
EM: If you could collab with one person dead & one alive who would they be?
Alive – Stevie Wonder
Dead – Whitney Houston but if I was performing live with someone it would have to be James Brown
EM: What’s your favorite music video?
RW: Where Is The Love by Black Eyed Peas
EM: Who are some of the Chicago artists who are currently listening to?
RW: Victor!, Noname, Whitney, Case, Valee, Family Reunion, Cuco from LA as well & Omar Apollo
EM: If you had to pick a few bigger name artists that you would like to work with in the future, who would they be.
RW: Chance, Rex Orange County, Vince Staples, Joey Dosik, Tom York
EM: You recently released a single titled “Sinner”, can you speak on the process of creating that?
RW: What happened was that Hirsh was creating the beat and he sent me the song with Nick already singing on it. I met Nick through Darwin at Classick who connected us, he had a ton of bouncy beats so we started working on shit through the internet on Facetime and shit. It was originally Rane Raps song but I asked him if I could use it for the EP and he let me, so on the second part I connected with Kweku Collins because we are both from the city and I felt like we are both have similar styles are far as we carry ourselves. I was listening to D’angelo’s second album Voodo, Telefone by Noname & Jay Electronica a ton at the time, so they influenced the track a little bit.
EM: You just performed on Windy City Live, how was that?
RW: It was super dope to be able to perform in front of a live studio audience, it was a little different because everyone was sitting down but I still got to interact with the audience. The whole staff at Windy City Live was very happy to have me, they treated me well and it was a good experience.
EM: You also released an EP recently titled “Bamba“, can you speak on that?
RW: Its more of a level up from my other stuff, I have grown artistically and overall as a person. A ton of my stuff from the past sounded very rare, big & soulful and this tape has some more of that. It’s more loopy beats, it’s a lot more personal in terms of content and I talk about my struggle a little bit more than I have in the past.
EM: What’s your favorite book?
RW: My favorite book is Trouble Don’t Last by Shelley Pearsall
EM: The National Anthem or The International Players Anthem?
RW: The Internationals Players Anthem
EM: What can our readers expect from you in 2018?
RW: I have a headlining show in Chicago June 2nd at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, be expecting more shows & music!
EM: Last question, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
RW: Hoping my first album drops. Living in a house owned by me big or small. A better car than I have now. More happiness better dance moves . Being super ordinary