I first met Richie Benson in 2018 at SXSW in Austin, as he was promoting his music and single, “Ghana” and I’ve been anticipating his first project ever since. Not only was I intrigued by his confidence and personality, but I was also impressed by the quality of his single at the time. Watching from afar, I could tell he was more than a “SoundCloud artist” but someone who actually takes his time to put out excellent records. While “Ghana” isn’t on his debut project, this 6 track EP is still full of bangers. Born and raised in Nigeria, Richie, moved to the states a couple of years ago for school but decided to pursue music instead. Croc City Boy is the result of sticking to his dream and crafting his own sound. Read my track by track review of his project below!
The EP starts off with a heavy hitter and possible radio hit from the project, “Gang & Family” featuring Prettyboydo. Upon the first few seconds, you could immediately see why Prettyboydo was featured on here. This slow jam is a perfect intro track and sounds like the background music to an evening drive with your lady. Richie sings, “My woman, my everything, she’s down for anything, she’s my whole everything, she’s here for me, she’s gang-gang family“, making for a catchy chorus that won’t get old anytime soon.
The second track “Serious” featuring Nnedimma, is reminiscent of Richie’s initial sound, back when I knew him as “Island boy” – but with an extra boost. The production gives off that island vibe which Richie is no stranger to, as his vocals fit perfectly within the pockets of the beat. The feature didn’t add much to the track though. It would have been great to hear the beat break down as she layers some strong vocals closer to the end of the song.
“The Man”, previously released last year, is the third track of the EP, clocking at only 2:40. With no time to waste, he gets right to the point with this one. Produced by Charlie Okolo, this simple beat is enough to get your head rockin’ but it sounds like there might be something missing, maybe that’s why its the shortest track on the project? It’s a dope song still.
The next song, “Love Don’t Lie” featuring David Meli & DJ Boat, is one that had to grow on me. Four tracks in and the beats sound very similar to each other. Perhaps the project may have had a better overall “feel” if this song was placed after “Hangover” (the next song). After a couple of repeats, I’m still amazed by how well his tracks are produced and engineered, not a single instrument sounds out of tune, and all the vocals are sharp and understandable. I emphasize this because a lot of new artists think that just because they aren’t “stars” yet, they don’t have to work as hard to perfect these things, but for Richie, it’s evidently the opposite. Kudos.
“Hangover”, which was also previously released last year gives more “Croc Boy” than “Island Boy” vibe to me. Dope song to ride to, I would have liked a video for this one.
The last song on the EP, “Wrong/Repertoire” starts off distinctively different than the rest of the project and I was instantly intrigued. You could hear what sounds like animal noises and it made me think…is this the real Croc Boy coming out?? The beat drops and just like that…I’m in all the way. Sonically, this is a different feel and mood than the rest of the project and he didn’t miss a step. The production is dark as he starts off singing, “If I did you wrong, let me know I did you wrong”, which made me think this must be an apology letter. In his previous songs, it was all about serenading his lady and having a good ‘ol time. Somewhere in between then and now, something went “wrong”, and then the song title made sense. Midway through the song, the beat switches to a Partynextdoor-esque type of flow. In the second half, “Repertoire”, is a more introspective record about himself, ego, mannerisms, behavior with the ladies, college life, mental state, and alleged drug use? This is my type of vibe, my personal favorite. This is the most personal he got on this EP, and digging into it a bit closer, I found that it was the only song on the project that he was credited as the only engineer. I’m guessing that means he may have been alone in the studio recording this. The perfect song to sit alone in a dark room to listen to.
Overall, this 20 minute listen is an interesting and engaging journey into the mind of Richie Benson and would leave you looking for more. Check out the album on Spotify, Itunes, and follow Richie on Instagram.