Ric Wilson

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Although he’s known foremost for his animated rhymes, Ric Wilson could just as easily be classified as a left-field R&B or subversive pop artist. Firmly grounded in reality and resolutely upbeat, the South Side Chicago native hit his stride with the funk/house/bachata/rock hybrid “Soul Bounce” (2016) and has continued with unpredictable flair through a steady flow of singles and EPs, including Banba (2018) and the Terrace Martin-produced They Call Me Disco (2020). A phrase from the latter summarizes his approach: “We don’t chase the wave — we make the wave.”
Music and activism were instilled in Ric Wilson as a young congregant at Chicago’s historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. He was later inspired as a writer while involved with the poetry program Young Chicago Authors. He debuted in 2015 with the Penny Raps mixtape and The Sun Was Out EP, by which point he was deeply involved with community work. After he turned another corner in 2016 with the highly energized “Soul Bounce,” he continued to expand stylistically as his dedicated following grew. Amid some guest appearances and some supplemental singles, he issued the EPs Negrow Disco (featuring an intro from Chuck D) and Banba in 2017 and 2018. As the decade drew to a close, Wilson established his own label, Free Disco, and linked with Terrace Martin to make another EP, They Call Me Disco, which arrived in 2020. The low-slung liberation anthem “Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P” was released shortly thereafter. ~ Andy Kellman