It has been far longer than I believed I could wait since the release of any content created by the Rich Forever gang, Rich The Kid’s longstanding trio also consisting of Famous Dex and Jay Critch. Rich Forever 3, the group’s fourth project together, was released over two years ago; the consistent and exciting eleven-track compilation showcases each member’s capacity to spazz over a variety of production types.
Although the album was severely delayed, a perpetual and familiar shortcoming for Rich the Kid and Famous Dex, it substantiates the infectious combination of the three talents. On tracks like Pardon Me and You Flexin, no matter which of the three was controlling the hook or delivering the verses, each member equally and properly carried their weight. This compelling dynamic swiftly carries listeners through the entire album, all the way to Rich Forever Way Outro, a convincing testament to the group’s symbiosis.
Since the trios most recent successes, there have unfortunately been some individual instances that raise concern for the group’s future prosperity. To begin with the more obvious circumstance, Famous Dex seems to be falling off. Dealing with drug addiction, the pursuit of sobriety, and multiple well-documented instances of relapse on social media, it is no question that Dexter is struggling. His fan base is constantly a source of concern and support, though—each Instagram depiction of instability galvanize fans to speak up, as they quickly fill his comments with kind words of encouragement. Even in the midst of such fortification, Dexter has seriously struggled with delivering a hit.
In fact, it seems like an eternity since Dex has made any serious attempt at redeeming himself; the few unsuccessful (and occasionally god awful) singles released in the past two years have immediately flopped—or at least been widely ridiculed. Dex often teases new tracks on Instagram, with the intention of receiving feedback from fans, which (I suppose) would influence him to drop the song, assuming that it meets expectations. The reality, though, is that he rarely releases these songs; usually, his comments are immediately filled with upset fans begging for the talents of the old Dexter. Considering his early projects showed distinguished promise for such a young and unusual personality, it’s no question that Dexter is in a sticky situation.
Rich the Kid has ostensibly been doing much better than Dexter, but he too hasn’t really been improving. His second studio album, The World Is Yours 2, which was also quite delayed in its release, ended up being underwhelming in comparison to the first installment. His second plan to take over the world wasn’t very well thought out; the excess of features (which were often poorly planned) didn’t work to his advantage. The March 2019 album made it apparent that Rich’s versatility isn’t entirely there, and the whole thing was a bit sophomoric. I would have liked to have seen more of an effort from the Rich Forever CEO.
The only one who hasn’t visibly regressed since the release of Rich Forever 3 is the mild-mannered Jay Critch. Critch has always been one of the more consistent members of the group, but his lowkey demeanor and rather quiet internet presence has left him drowned in the ostentatious presence of his fellow Rich Forever members. In late 2018, Critch released Hood Favorite, a reliable and undoubtedly hard album. This project contains Ego, a staggeringly successful and popular single that showcased Critch’s full potential. For the entirety of the track, Critch seamlessly explodes on the Jamz beat, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot criticize this masterpiece. Despite his under-the-radar personality, Critch has been steady snapping, and it’s fair to say that the New York rapper is underrated.
These respective analyses have left me with a question, one that has been on my mind since early this year: when Rich Forever 4 finally releases, will Jay Critch, in all his glory and consistency, carry the album? If you were to ask me this question in 2017, I wouldn’t allow the contemplation of such an absurd hypothetical, as the group nearly always steps things up when they are in each others’ presence. But now I am skeptical, and the possibility of such an unpleasant reality is beginning to bother me. Luckily, we have received our first taste of Rich Forever 4, and I couldn’t be happier.
The illustrious trio is back in business, with the release of Party Bus, and they did not let me down. Immediately, Crtich starts off with his trademark pre-chorus flow, which seamlessly flows into the hook—an impossibly catchy one, if I may. Without hesitation, Rich jumps in, and momentum builds at an impossible rate. After another addictive Critch hook, Dexter did what I thought was no longer possible. With textbook flow and the vivacious spirit that captivated countless Dexter fans in the beginning of his career, he showed us that he has not fallen off; indeed, he has shown us that the Rich Forever Trio is right where they left us two years ago.
Famous Dex’s verse left me speechless, and I began to feel like a damn fool for underestimating the group’s potential after such a disappointing moratorium. In an attempt to wrap things up before I get too emotional, I’d like to say that not only is Party Bus a certified hit, but I am absolutely blown away by Famous Dex’s performance; to say the least, he made the unexpected comeback we needed from him.
Released just two nights ago, Party Bus demonstrates the Rich Forever combination we know and love. Jay Critch, Rich the Kid, and Famous Dex all demolished the beat, and if the group can continue to perform at this level, the rap game is unquestionably unprepared for Rich Forever 4. The album is said to release next month, and all that’s left to do is pray that its release is not delayed, so we can jump back on the Rich Forever wave once again.