Review: Riky Rick’s “Stay Shining” EP Is Everything You’d Expect It To Be!

It’s been 8 months since Riky Rick left Mabala Noise under a cloud of controversy; an indie label he signed to 9 months prior for a rumoured R5 million fee. Since then, Riky has gone on to establish his own record label Cotton Eaters Records, partnered with Sony Music Entertainment and signed a brand management deal with Black Coffee’s Soulistic Music.

After dropping what he called ‘Scooby Snacks’, a 3-track EP earlier this year, Riky finally dropped 8-track EP Stay Shining, his first full project since dropping his successful debut album Family Values in 2015.

Stay Shining opens with his 8-year old daughter repeatedly singing ‘shine’ on Jordan’s Intro, as we swiftly get into Joy, a quintessential kwaito-inspired Riky Rick deals with the typical pitfalls of fame; fake friends, infidelity and the negative effects of fame on his family. A reflective Riky on a nostalgic late 90s Kwaito beat.

The title-track Stay Shining pulls Cassper Nyovest, Professor, Major League and Ali Keys for a feel good jam resting on a Gypsy Woman sample. Vernacular Nyovest shines on another heavily kwaito-influenced sound as a playful Riky juxtaposes hyper-flamboyance and aspiration. Professor’s cameo is a highlight on what feels like a light-hearted Riky tribute to him.

Braggadocio Riky comes through on Buy It Out, the self-appointed custodian of luxury brand Balenciaga is his boastful self on this tried and tested singalong variation of massive hit Sidlukotini. On the two-part Pick You Up featuring A-Reece, Riky raps about making it, giving the kids a hand and opening the industry up. A-Reece’s feature feels somewhat disconnected from the first part as he goes off on a potent yet different subject matter and beat. A strong performance by both.

You couldn’t go wrong with a trap beat, a hook from Tshego and a verse from Nasty. Although it sounds like a flow we’ve heard a million times before from Nasty, Tshego’s infectious hook easily makes up for it. Vapors is just one of those standard trap records.

Murdah featuring Davido and Gemini is the best record on the project, the afro-beats love song infused with a dancehall vibe is a winner. A beautiful love song featuring two of the best in the game. J Molley, Youngsta, Stilo, Frank Casino, DA Les and KLY all hold their own on the star-studded Buy It Out remix but the kids, J Molley and Frank Casino stand-out against titans Youngsta and Les.

The EP ends with an emotive hidden interlude, a nice touch. Overall, Stay Shining is an impressive offering from an introspective and self-aware Riky as he sticks to his kwaito and hip-hop synthesized sound we’ve come to know him for!

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