Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Zen Buddha of the N-Judah: Rapper Richie Cunning

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 7:30 AM

richie_paper_small.jpg
From this week's issue of SF Weekly:

Some San Franciscans make a Mission burrito run as soon as they return to town. Rapper and producer Richie Cunning just takes a deep breath and says, "Oh, thank God." He loves the city's air enough to give it a shout-out on his debut LP, Night Train, a record with a Blue Note look and a Golden Age hip-hop feel. "There's definitely a different smell in different parts of town, but there is always the air," he explains. "In a literal sense, it's not so much the smell as the texture, the moistness of it."

There was plenty of moisture -- buckets of it -- in the air the day I met Cunning at the High Tide, a cozy Tenderloin dive bar his father used to own. "When I was a wee lad, I used to come here with my dad [while he did] the books on Saturdays and Sundays," he recalls. "I'd just drink 7-Up and grenadine [and play] Pac-Man."

Richie Cunning was born Richard Lipton; he remembers the day, 15 years back, when he swapped one name for the other. He was lugging a stack of LPs from Amoeba Music to the Sunset District, mulling over rap names. "Richie Cunningham [from Happy Days] just came to mind," he says. "I was like, 'That would be cool, without the ham on it.' I always thought of it like I sampled the name -- I only use the part that I want."

Read more about Richie Cunning, including his beliefs about Muni-as-muse, here.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

David MacFadden-Elliott

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"