[Review] SonReal & Rich Kidd – “The Closers” (Full Stream)

Over the summer, SonReal and Rich Kidd announced they would be collaborating on an EP to be released through Black Box. After hitting the studio in Toronto and Los Angeles, the duo’s catalog grew from an EP into a full-blown album titled The Closers, which is being released this Tuesday, October 16th. The Closers is an infectious album, combining SonReal’s talent for crafting hooks with Rich Kidd’s production talents – not to mention each artists’ strength on the mic. Ever since collaborating on SonReal’s “Already There”, their chemistry on a record has been evident, and steadily improving. On The Closers, they mesh together perfectly. Check out the track-by-track breakdown below (streams included).

1. “The Openers”
The album begins with “The Openers”, produced by Rich Kidd and featuring Inglewood emcee Thurz. Rich Kidd sets the tone for the album with the opening bars, describing his progression: “From an opener to a closer/ A renter to an owner/ Listener to an originator…”.

2. “Real Life”
Next up is the introspective “Real Life”, also produced by Rich Kidd. The track picks up where “The Openers” left off, describing the duo’s ascent through the ranks of hip-hop, and the effects of their rise.

3. “Best Believe”
The energy picks up with the infectious “Best Believe” (produced by Rich Kidd), a definite head-nodder and a personal favourite off the album. Stream “Best Believe” below.

4. “Money Money”
Up next is “Money Money”. This time, Rich Kidd hands over the production to this year’s Battle of the Beatmakers winner, WondaGurlBeats. Check out the visuals to “Money Money” below.

5. “Hometown”
Following that is the sentimental “Hometown”, which you may have seen snippets of in their webisodes leading up to the album release. Produced by Arthur McArthur, “Hometown” sees Rich Kidd and SonReal reminiscing on their hometowns of Mississauga, Ontario; and Vernon, British Columbia. SonReal sings: “I had to leave your ass today/ We all act like it ain’t hard/ When you leave something you love/ It always seems to leave a scar.”

6. “Control”
Next up is the stirring “Control”, one of the album’s strongest cuts, which is also produced by Arthur McArthur. Following in the theme of “Hometown”, the duo take turns revealing memories of growing up, although this time the memories are more painful, trading stories of their parents separating.

7. “Mind All Day”
The mood lifts on “Mind All Day”, as Rich Kidd makes his return to the production side. You may remember “Mind All Day” from SonReal’s Words I Said and Good News projects; however, the production is entirely new on this version, and sounds even better than before.

8. “F*** Yeah”
The energy continues on the party-ready “F*** Yeah”, produced by Beat Merchant. Listen for the Dave Chappelle/Rick James skit reference.

9. “Don’t Stop”
The motivating “Don’t Stop” is next, produced by Rich Kidd, returning to the theme of Rich Kidd and SonReal’s ascendance in hip-hop. The mood is celebratory as they talk about all they’ve achieved. Rich Kidd raps, “When I was coming up, they told me I wouldn’t make it/ Now, I’m breaking bread with the bakery.”

10. “Slumber (The Closers)”
The album draws to a close with the introspective “Slumber (The Closers)”, produced by Rich Kidd and Vancouver super-producer Chin Injeti, playing on the concept of being ‘slept on’.

Overall, The Closers is an enjoyable listen, ranging from introspective (“Real Life”, “Hometown”, “Control”) to straight-up energetic (“Best Believe”, “F*** Yeah”). Rich Kidd and SonReal have great chemistry, and clearly enjoy working with each other. Pick up The Closers in stores this Tuesday, October 16th.