Manchester hip-hop artist RIO has officially released his long-awaited debut studio album.
A respected and popular member of grime’s old guard, RIO announced his grand comeback in summer following a five-year hiatus from music .
The rapper revealed he was working on some new material that would “change the game” in Manchester – and six months down the line we have his ten-track LP: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Remembered for club hits such as ‘Can’t Stop We’ and ‘We Love Grime’, RIO’s new record is a more mature, thoughtful piece of storytelling – digging into his Mosside roots and exploring his rollercoaster journey through the music world.
RIO started selling mixtapes on Market Street in 2010 before rising through the ranks and appearing on the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra, Radio 1, Red Bull, Soccer AM and Capital Xtra, receiving support from big names such as DJ Target, Semtex, Tim Westwood, Mistajam, Ras Kwame, Mary Anne Hobbs and Annie Nightingale.
The rapper also collaborated with the likes of Ghetts, Blizzard, C4 and Royce Da 5’9″.
Now, after being out of the game for over a half a decade, RIO claims he is “here to stay”.
His new release, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, is a multifaceted effort executively produced by JSD – flipping through genres, moods and styles.
The record features introspective tracks like ‘Ghost’ (which divulges his reasons for taking a step back from music), the spine-tingling ‘Awake’, and Caribbean-flavoured ‘Medusa’ featuring Mr Benz.
You can listen to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly online now here.
A documentary on the rapper’s career has also been posted to YouTube.