Richard Nwabuzor released his debut project “Northside Legend” March 12th, 2018 and I recently got the chance to sit down and interview him and learn what he hopes people take away from the EP. (stream it here on Soundcloud). Richard, better known as “Richie Buz” (his rap name), he is the descendant of Nigerian parents and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is currently a Sophomore at Marquette University majoring in political science and sociology. He attended Rufus King high school and has always had a passion for rap music and its power to influence the masses.
Why is it called Northside Legend?
Buz was listening to G Herbo’s mixtape “Balling Like I’m Kobe” and on a song called “Eastside” he raps about being a legend where he’s from. Since Buz is from the Northside of Milwaukee and hopes to one day be a legend, he thought the title would be fitting and sounded “smoove.” He also gave his EP this title because he experienced a lot in Milwauke (on the Northside in particular) and feels like it has a speial place in his heart. This body of work is telling of his experiences in life and thought provoking.
Cover art Info
The cover art for “Northside Legend” was taken from a Huffington Post article that talked about segregation in Milwaukee. He ultimately wanted to showcase how Milwaukee looked and thought it was only fitting to use images of the city instead of just throwing a picture of himself on the cover.
Why make conscious music?
Buz is all about staying true to himself. He says, “I couldn’t rap like the Migos because I don’t live a Migos lifestyle I don’t sale drugs, I don’t got a million dollars, I don’t be in the club, I’m not even 21, so why would I be rapping about stuff I don’t live or have experience from?” He would much rather rap about the struggles he faces to relate to his key fan base which as of right now is in Milwaukee.
His Favorite songs of the EP?
- “How I Feel”
- “Driving in a Lexus”
The intro is his favorite as he points out, “You can’t name one rapper with a cold album who didn’t have a cold into.” he calls it the “attention grabber,” therefore you have to come hard on it to keep the listeners.
What Artists Inspire you?
He had to seperate them into two categories- 90s and current rappers. He feels like he learned a lot from the 90s era and that has shaped his style and approach to music.
- Nas- he believes he is the greatest lyricist
- 2 Pac- loved how his music had messages and how he could tie in politics to his lyrics
- Jay Z- over time he became a fan of his
- J. Cole- feels like he is an average everyday guy who can spit
- Wale- poetic, Nigerian. He relates to the way he talks about women
- Kendrick Lamar- Admires his storytelling and feels like the way Kendrick relates to Compton is similar to how he feels he relates to Milwaukee
Richie Buz wants people outside the city to know what the city is like and for people inside the city he wants them to understand why the city is the way it is and what we need to do to rebuild.
As far as the music goes he would love to become famous from and make a real impact on the music game. However, his education is something he values and says, there is no “guarantee” to fame. His main goal is to be able to give back and use his music as a vehicle for social change. He ends the interview by stating, “as long as I am persuing my education, I’ll always pursue music.”
For someone who has lived in Milwaukee their entire life, I can definitely attest to the fact that this album seems so personal. It feels like one is hearing the diary of a young black male trying to flourish, all the while being under constant fear of authority and society’s expectations. Each bar serves a purpose and some of the metaphors may fly over your head if you don’t pay close attention. He mentions black local celebrities, queens and kings, and even social/political activists. He calls out the police and government officials. This EP is very thought-provoking and lyrically sick! (in the best way possible) You won’t hear a ton of curse words, trap phrases or ideals of a flashy lifestyle, but what you do get is a better understanding of who Richie Buz is and how he sees the world, and the Northside.
My Top Picks:
- Northside Legend Intro
- Driving In A Lexus
- Southside, pt. 1
You can find Richie Buz on Instagram : @RichieBuz and on Soundcloud here
Northside Legend is also avalible on Apple Music here