The single called My Cupp (yes, two P’s) definitely has its swagger on. It is the latest club banger with a world of possibilities. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not done by Akon or any other foreign international act. The voice is that of 23-year-old, Richard ‘Richie Loop’ Webb, one of the newest artistes out of Robert Livingstone’s Scikron/Big Yard outfit.
Richie Loop, simply put, is on the cusp of getting “hotta dan 10 fireside” and he is genuinely savouring every second as he shoots towards stardom. Richie has a song that is ready to ‘shot’ on Billboard, he has the right image and he has a story.
It was in October of last year that he linked up with Livingstone and joined Big Yard — not as an aspiring artiste, but as a man who sits in the studio, makes the beats and produces tracks. But less than six months later, Richie Loop has made that quantum leap from the anonymity of behind the mixing board, straight into the spotlight with a single so hot that he can barely cup it in his hands.
“I always dabbled in singing but what I did was just stuff for my friends to listen to. I never really saw myself on stage as a performing artiste,” the quick-to-smile youngster told Splash. “But I guess life had something else planned for me. All I can say is what is destined for you is destined for you,” he added philosophically.
Actually, it was while listening to a Lil Wayne interview on the topic of cups that Destiny came a-calling. “I said to myself that I should really write something about cups and the hook just came to me. I started writing the song and making the beat simultaneously – right there and then,” Richie Loop recalled.
He knew he was onto something good when other Scikron/Big Yard artistes including Iceman and D-Major gave a listen and passed it with flying colours. Robert Livingstone then gave it the real listen, made a few essential changes and endorsed the Cupp.
Like a true student of Robert, Richie Loops is quick to spread the glory associated with the single, rather than claiming it all for himself. “It’s a team effort,” he emphasised. “It was really Robert who encouraged me to start voicing. He heard me singing the chorus for the D-Lynxx Question tune, ‘Wha you come a mi yaad fa?’ and said that since I could write and make beats then I should really consider voicing some songs. And … the rest is history.”
The team is now in the process of doing the treatment for the video. “We had a treatment already, but someone else went out and did something similar, so we went back to the drawing board,” an excited Richie Loops explained.
A person who clearly doesn’t put himself in a box — or even in a cup for that matter — this artiste describes himself as a singer, deejay, rapper and singjay. “And if I can talk words over the beats and people like it, I will do it,” he declared, while a member of his ‘Yard’ added trying to keep a straight face, “You have to understand that Richie is really Lady Gaga’s brother.”
The almost overnight success of My Cupp — which has seen quite a bit of chart activity locally, #3 on FiWi Choice, # 10 on Richie B Countdown, # 15 on Re and # 17 in Toronto, and is poised to take off overseas — has sent Big Yard’s promotional plan in a tizzy. The calls from radio stations here in Jamaica and in places such as California, Georgia, Germany, Japan, Dubai wanting the single and interviews are tumbling over each other and Richie has also found himself on a couple stages locally in recent times.
“It’s been a lot of coaching regarding how to do interviews — what to say, what not to say — how to perform, use up the stage, get the crowd involved. And the team is an important part of this process, watching and giving their criticism,” Richie Loop said.
The practise, he feels has been paying off, as he is comfortable on stage, and his only obstacle was at the recent kite festival when he was performing and tried repeatedly to put up his foot on the monitor at the front of the stage, but it just wouldn’t happen. Hopefully, practise, will indeed make perfect.
Another interesting situation for him was the performance at U-Tech, at the end of which the students were bragging that the “foreign singer” had performed on their campus. Mr Cupp, as one interviewer called him throughout a recent interview, was not happy with that description.
“I know the song sounds international and that is good because that’s the way we do our thing … we make music for the world. But at the same time, I want the world to know that a yaad we say. Strictly home-grown talent from start to finish,” declared 23-year-old past student of Clarendon College and Excelsior Community College.
And, on an equally serious note, he pointed out that artistes on the Scikron/Big Yard roster make sure that they record “air fare songs rather than bus fare songs”.
“We do songs with visas, songs that can pass airport,” Ricky Loops emphasised.
Let’s see if this cupp runneth over.