Brownsville, Brooklyn’s own Rim, who came in the game as one-half of DaVillins with his one-time partner in rhyme Villain P, first made a buzz after being signed by his late mentor–and friend–Sean Price under the MC’s Ruckdown imprint (a vanity label distributed under Duck Down Music).
The imprint’s future became murky after Sean Price passed away in his Brooklyn apartment on Saturday, August 8th, 2015, though the crew carried the torch for a while. Rim has long since broken out from DaVillins, establishing himself with a really dope discography, rarely letting a year go by without a solid project (and that’s not counting features).
Deeply obsessed with his projects and fascinated by a largely underappreciated collective he was an early member of, The Walkers, I connected with Rim, who recounted his early days–and shared what he has been cooking for 2023.
Funny enough, his original ambition was a different path: management.
“I started rapping was through Villin P. I wanted to manage him,” Rim says of his music industry origins. “I’m a fan of his … he just don’t wanna do it no more, but he’s nice. At that time, I wanted to manage him, but he wanted me to rap with him.”
The two became a duo, and though they weren’t doing much (in his words), things took a turn when he met the late Sean Price, who took Rim and P under his wing.
“I knew who Ruck was from hearing his name in the street,” he recounts. “I’m from Brownsville, and he’s from Brownsville. We’re from down the hill … I’m from the side blocks, and he’s from the Ps. I saw him in the store one day around the corner from my block; I had a CD on me, like a little demo CD that me and [Villin] P did, and I gave it to him.
“He took it, and that was the end of that.”
It was a seemingly uneventful exchange, though a month later, he learned that Sean had taken it home and listened to it—more than once.
“Rest in Peace, my boy Rich Lowe … he was in Sean [Price]’s house one day, and Sean was playing our music; Rich saw me on the block one day and was like, ‘Yo, I was in the crib with Sean, he was playing your music.’ I was like, man, you don’t Ruck.”
Humorously, Rim notes that Sean has the same reaction when told by Rich that he knew Rim.
“But after that, I realized, ‘Okay, he’s playing our music,’ you know what I mean? So, I let some time pass because I didn’t have his contact information, and I didn’t want my man, Rich, to go back and forth for me,” he explains. “I wanted to introduce myself personally. So I was going to wait until I saw him again.
“One day I hit him on Twitter, and I was like, ‘Yo, what’s good, how much for a feature?’ And he was like ‘$1.99’ or some crazy like that. So, you know, he hit my DM, gave me his number, I called him, and we chopped it up,” he recounts with a laugh.
That exchange was immortalized on the song “Da Fresh Price” off The Fresh Price of Davillins—a project that dropped in 2016 (the year after Sean passed).
DaVillins released two projects under Sean’s now dormant imprint: The Fresh Price of Davillins and the DJ Skizz-produced Cashmere Dice. After that point, P fell back, and Rim went solo, dropping two final projects on the imprint (AlgoRhythyms and KeeP! It Ville in 2019), releasing his subsequent projects via indie outlets like de Rap Winkel Records or independently—an increasingly more profitable move in Hip Hop.
It was post Ruck Down, though, that Rim found himself surrounded with new energy in the form of The Walkers, which he is quick to explain isn’t a group.
“We’re a collective … I would say It’s more like a D.I.T.C. meets Native Tongues. Everybody is different in the clique; everybody has their own style.”
Meet The Walkers
“Spoda and Bub Rock started it,” he says. The core members (Bub, Spoda, Eddie Kaine and Rome Streetz) had initially connected either individually or online; it was incredibly organic. For example, Rim credits his associate Jazz for sharing the track by Bub Rock produced by Wavy Da Ghawd that first got him to follow and eventually connect with the MC. He first got introduced to Rome’s music through Big Ghost and soon after began chopping it up.
Kaine, he notes, was already his friend.
The true genesis of the collective, though, was K.Burn’s 2018 New Golden Era Concert in Brooklyn—when they all finally met in person.
Shortly after this meeting, Rim also brought Detroit MC Ty Farris into the fold.
As a collective, they’ve grown to include a mix of producers and artists: The Standouts, Don Carrera, Wavy Da Ghawd, The Artivist, Code Nine, Chyna Streetz, Aida, Passport Rav, Emilio Craig, Ox Omni, Odawg and Frankky Smaccz.
The group’s most recognizable member to date has been Rome Streetz, who, after a series of acclaimed collaborative LPs—notably Death & The Magician with the legendary DJ Muggs—has broken out as a member of Griselda, dropping his imprint debut Kiss The Ring late last year.
“We were always trying to make a name for ourselves; Rome was killing it though … he just elevated,” he exclaims.
While everybody has spent the years since 2018 making their moves, as folks often do in collectives—trying to find their lanes—Rim clarifies that their camaraderie has remained intact. “We always kept cooling … we worked on a few songs [collectively].”
If this is your first time hearing about The Walkers, reviewing the member’s catalogs reveals plenty of collaboration and cross-pollination. The question is, with this much firepower involved, will fans ever get a full-length project from The Walkers?
Unlike a group, collectives have many moving parts; sometimes, things never line up properly. Native Tongues are a great example. However, Rim has a much more optimistic outlook.
“We gonna drop that album soon, but you know, right now everybody’s just working individually; it’s beautiful, man. We all support each other,” he says, adding, “We not rushing the project.”
The hustle doesn’t stop
Rim has a lot on the horizon for fans to be excited about; for one, there’s a one-producer project about to drop that he’s playfully reluctant to disclose. “I’m not going to say the [producer’s] name; I’m just going drop it. It’s dropping this month. Just know that.
“I also got Rembrandt coming, a completely separate 20-track project,” he continues. “I got some of your favorite producers on there. I got Statik Selektah, Big Ghost, Evil Dee, Buckwild, Sebb Bash [fresh off of a stellar LP with fellow Walker Ty Farris], Wavy Da Ghawd … I got a bunch of other people. Some good features too.”
To top it off, he notes he and Eddie Kaine have a new project in the works—and considering how dope their summer 2022 project Meta was, we can only imagine how dope that will be. Again, one producer is in tow and Rim is mum on details.
However, one legendary producer he isn’t as mum about is the iconic Pete Rock.
“I just hollered at Pete Rock yesterday … he just hit me,” he exclaims. “He about to send me some more beats. We got one in the stash, just one in the clip. But you know, we are working on something.
“I’m doing this all for Sean P man, you know what I’m saying? Cuz he ain’t have to take me under the wing or do what he did for me. So I’m doing this all for Sean.”
Check out Rim’s latest release below.