With over 5.7 million YouTube views, hip hop artist B Rich is taking his song Out For a Rip across Canada.
The hip hop hoser, whose real name is Brendan Richmond, said it all started when his fellow musicians south of the border encouraged him to bring his Canadianisms and “Canucklehead” voice to the mic.
“They are from Baltimore and Pittsburgh and we always talk in our local accents when we are hanging out and one day they said you should do a whole track in the hoser voice,” said Richmond, whose tour is stopping in Penticton at The Elite on Saturday. “I remember them commenting on how the Canadian accent is so non-threatening, it’s really like friendly and everything sounds like a question.”
The song, Out For A Rip, which was written a few years ago and intended to be on a solo album, almost wrote itself. It has things any Canadian would recognize from Tim Horton’s, plaid jackets to hockey and syrup, and hits almost every Canadian stereotype. But it is the chorus that gets everyone hooked. Out for a rip is a phrase used when heading out for a drive with a bunch of friends and hanging out.
“I grew up in a small town in Ontario and it was a thing everyone said, ‘Just going out for a rip.’ But, it was when I was on my way to my parents house out in the country and pulled into this gas station that I always stop at that there was this young hockey kid pumping the gas and he stuck his head in my window and says, ‘Just out for a rip are ya bud?’” said Richmond. “When I was writing the verses I didn’t know what the hook was going to be, then that popped into my head. I always wonder if that guy remembers saying that to me or if it is something he just said to everyone.”
It was a video Richmond made to go along with it that set things in motion. The band USS, which is scheduled to perform at Boonstock on the August long weekend, found it online and were playing it at sound checks as well as other bands who were getting a good reception from audiences.
Richmond heard this and decided maybe it was time to start promoting the song. He uploaded the video one evening, not expecting much and went out with his friends. By the next morning it had 20,000 views; 100,000 by the end of the day and a million in a week.
“It was a crazy week. It was pretty shocking,” said Richmond. “I try not to watch it anymore and just let it do its thing. I should probably go back and watch it to see what all the fuss is about.” Richmond said he even got a call by TSN to create a third verse for Out For A Rip tailored for the NHL Panel.
That was made into a comedy video with TV sports personalities, including James Duthie and Bob McKenzie, playing along.
As a huge hockey fan it was a dream for Richmond, and it continues to be. He hears stories every day of the crazy places his song has been.
“I got an email from some friends traveling in South East Asia in a bar in Cambodia and my song came on. Someone sent me a pic of an Out For a Rip personalized licence plate and truck decals. It is so weird but awesome at the same time,” said Richmond. “There is actually companies out there selling Out For a Rip T-shirts. Someone at the Olympics was in the crowd with a sign that said, Just out for a gold are ya bud?”
Toronto Blue Jays slugger Brett Lawrie has even acknowledged the song, tweeting the lyrics from his account. Richmond though, is not looking to be a one-hit wonder. Oddly enough, considering some of the words in his hit song, he had a successful gig performing hip hop for children. Hey Kids is a group he was part of that rapped about everything from robots, to how to give a high-five, the alphabet and other things meant to entertain children. Richmond has also been working with a group of lyricists (Shark Tank) in the U.S. and working on finishing his solo album.
“I’m not looking to write a whole album of hoser rap. I like it, but I don’t want to do too much and for it to get old. My solo stuff is normal hip hop. I grew up blue collar so it’s a lot about that,” he said. “For now, I’m just out here working hard and taking this song across Canada.”
Richmond is performing at The Elite on July 12. Tickets are $10.