Injury Reserve’s RiTchie drops debut solo single “RiTchie Valens”

In August, Nathaniel Ritchie and Parker Corey shared their first joint single under the name By Storm – a moniker derived from “Bye Storm,” the final track from their latest album featuring Jordan “Stepa J” Groggs as Injury Reserve. (By the time I get to Phoenix abandoned in 2021, a year later Groggs' death.) In an episode of The FADER Interview Podcast following their relaunch as a duo, Corey and Ritchie called the name change a “smooth handover.”

Six months later – and a decade since Injury Reserve debuted – Ritchie (stylized RiTchie) has shared his first-ever single as a solo artist. Entitled “RiTchie Valens” in homage to Pioneer of Chicano rockthe piece is ironic but stylistically inventive.

After an introduction to the song's baroque rhythm and its two central vocal samples — the auto-tuned melismas “RiiTchieee” and “Why would you n***as do that to me” — RiTchie launches into a speech against the haters and frauds, framed” in rhetorical questions followed by the satirically sung refrain “Let me know.”

“This shit like pulling teeth / You think all this heehee haha ​​really gets to me?” » he begins, his voice twisting into a mocking grimace. “N***a, that’s news to me / I’m a grown man here, man, you really think I’m losing sleep?”

An incisive hook follows the verse, including the killer line, “They scream (“RiiTchieee”) like I am / Ritchie Valens, yeah that n***a still stands, bro.” Then the verse comes back a little further into the mix before fading out eight bars, leaving the beat to run about the same length as in the intro. Despite its many moving parts, “RiTchie Valens” ends perfectly with five seconds to spare before the two-and-a-half minute mark, maintaining a satisfying sense of symmetry.

Watch RiTchie's self-directed “RiTchie Valens” video (shot by Corey) and stream the song alone below.

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