Riky Rick has transcended the traditional ideal of a rapper in South Africa with his cultural contributions in fashion, his unparalleled aesthetic approach to his videos and inspired short film titled Exodus.
Riky’s fashion sense has been one of the most unique and defining facets of his career and of his personal brand. His style revolves around combining street wear items with traditional high fashion.Riky emphasizes, “I’ve never been a follower and I’ve never had a huge competitive bone in me, so I’m not blinded by what’s cool or what I think is trendy and what I think I should do.”
Riky’s love for fashion emerged when he was 12. He speaks fondly of his older brother’s fashion influence on him; his face lights up and his voice is filled with passion as he reminisces about receiving the latest pairs of Jordan’s from his father’s travels to the states, to being inspired by progressive fashion when he moved to the Austria. For a creative like Riky, fashion is fundamentally about expression. It’s another outlet, another canvas to channel his voice without having to say a word. “Everything is nostalgic for me”, he muses.
Riky’s love for fashion extends beyond street wear. His favourite international brand at the moment is Gucci. On the subject of street wear and high fashion, Riky says, “We’ve had a shift in high-end fashion; high fashion is really street wear now. High fashion is doing exactly what street wear is doing, it’s just packaged a little better and made more expensive.” Locally, Riky’s love for local fashion is captivated by emerging designers such as Didi (Life Was Never The Same) and Dodo, who has his own brand that produces t-shirts and track suits. “Locally, the independent designers are really killing it”, he emphasizes.
Being a connoisseur of culture, Riky has formed an incredible bond with the founders of international street wear brand, Daily Paper. He and members of the BoyzNBucks crew were at the forefront of introducing the brand locally. “I was living in Amsterdam when they started the brand, and we just naturally gravitated towards each other.” Riky explains that he was basicallythere when they started producing their first t-shirts and that they build a rapport. “We were together in Paris for Fashion Week and I was in Amsterdam with them a few weeks ago and did a show for them as well. They have a global brand now which is amazing; that’s the dream. Our dreams have come together now, with both music and design. ”
Before uniting as a crew, the members of BoyzNBucks gravitated towards each other because of a common love for sneakers, fashion and the culture as a whole. “At the beginning, we just had a common love for threads and a common love for kicks, and when we went into rap, that’s one of the things that stood out the most”. BoyzNBucks has since had a significant impact on local culture, as Riky describes it, “These guys have always been trendsetters, the music just amplified it.”
Part of what makes Riky such a fascinating artist is how multi-faceted he is. He studied Film Production at AFDA, which has impacted his aesthetic approach to music videos and inspired his recently released short film, Exodus. “I went to AFDA and I wasn’t doing music yet, and I only discovered that I could produce music when I was there.” Riky’s approach to music videos is rooted in always striving to achieve the highest aesthetic level possible. This has resulted in him contributing significantly in raising the bar for South African hip hop videos. Riky attributes part of the success of his inspired execution of his music videos to collaborating with director, Kyle Lewis. Riky explains, “A lot of people have been going to him for music videos now, based on our music videos, which is a great compliment.” Riky further explains that’s it difficult to complete his journey with him as a director as many other people have gone to him afterwards; “It waters down what we’re trying to achieve in the long run.” Apart from Kyle Lewis, Riky cites Adrian Lowe as another director he has loved working with. On his influence on local music video Riky says, “When people in the industry start going to the same people you’ve worked with, that’s the sign that we changed the game.”
Riky’s recently released short film, Exodus, offers an immersive visual experience exploring the overarching themes in found in Family Values. Riky explains that Exodus was inspired by his desire to make a feature film. “I couldn’t afford making a 60 minute film, so we decided to make a short film based on my album.” Riky further explains that he didn’t want to shoot anymore music videos and opted to produce Exodus and incorporate aspects of his album instead. He’s passion for visuals have extended into his desire to produce a full feature film within the next two years.
Riky’s passion for music, film and fashion has culminated in an incredibly multi-dimensional career. What drives an artist like Riky is an intrinsic creative pursuit; the desire to continuously reach a new level of artistry with each of his projects, his only measure of excellence is himself.
What happened to Riky?
So what really happened to Riky? Was it the fact that Stogie T took shots at him, the same way literal shots were taken by 50? Was it the fact that Riky left Motif to exercise his autonomy as an artist, the same way 50 did?
The speculation around the infamous line that has kept social media abuzz for months will continue. In fact, we have a feeling that the master strategists Riky and Stogie T are perfectly happy with that; any decent marketer would be.
Whatever happened to Riky, he’s managed to conquer all the challenges that have been presented to him and carve out an incredible career as artist, an influencer, arbiter of style and game changer. We can’t wait to see what the next chapter will be in his exciting musical and creative journey.
May Boss Zonke’s reign continue …..