Hip Hop Maestro
“I wake up in the morning thank God for another blessing…”
And so begins the hip hop blessing of “Junghetto’s Call” laid up by Ricardo David Vila, a.k.a. Ricki David, three-time Michiana Hip Hop Producer of the Year and South Bend’s rap equivalent to Notre Dame football.
“Living in this area, it’s all Notre Dame,” Ricki says, “so you’ve got to pretty much jar that crowd.”
Jarring a crowd with sampled beats and raps is something Ricki David learned early on growing up around the streets of Michigan City, Indiana, with a mother who worked as a DJ around Chicago and unwittingly inspired her son by scratching records in the living room of their home, when they had a home. It was tough times growing up in and out of homeless shelters, but while David admits he “saw it all, everything,” he managed to stay out of trouble without once getting arrested.
Ricki focused his energies on the music he was listening to – Kid Rock, Slipknot, Korn and heavy metal groups early on before turning his attention to techno and the samples and beats that poured into the music of hip hop. When he started pursuing his own music at the age of 15 by writing his own lyrics and rapping with neighborhood friends, Ricki applied all the genres of music he grew up listening to into his first mix tape, “Cash Runnaz Vol. 1,” when he was just 18 years old.
The following year, Ricki released his first album, “Fresh off the Block,” then moved to Indianapolis where he took to the streets handing out CDs and performing at hip hop showcases at clubs, venues and festivals around the city, including Black Expo.
In 2010, Ricki moved back to South Bend. He formed Ricki David Productions and began hawking his array of beats and samples around northern Indiana, and took his music directly to the streets of New York, Houston and Phoenix, handing CDs out directly to personally cultivate his audience. The tunes “Hands Up” and “1 Night” featured hip-hop artist Catrina Centenni, “Turn Me Up” featured the rapper Baby C, and “I’m Gone” and “Addiction” featuring both Catrina Centanni and Baby C made it online to Reverb Nation.
Look no further than Ricki David’s videos to see the true talent of a perennial award-winning hip hop producer. The camera lens opening up into the barrel of a Glock handgun that fires introduces Ricki’s 2011 video “Let’s Get It” featuring rapper Bird G and serves as the opening to a powerful testament to the skills of a seasoned videographer with a tight eye to the streets of hip-hop America.
Now 28, married and a father to three, the South Bend resident has been named the Michiana Awards Hip Hop Producer of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He has released three instrumental beat tapes, a 6-track pop-electronic EP record, and his latest single, “Bingo,” dropped in April and is now on ITunes.
On “Junghetto’s Call,” Ricki penned and delivers a sharpened view of everyday America that wakes up asking for another blessing on the souls of Trayvon Martin and Ferguson… and stakes his claim to a fresh hip-hopera journey that melds new school hip hop with world tribal jazz, and ends with an old school message of humanity preached, delivered and sent by legendary Motown musician Billy “Stix” Nicks that all ages and generations need to hear.
It’s only fitting that Ricki’s signature line that introduces each of his recorded tracks should be used to end his bio here…
“Rick…keee… Daaay… vid…”