Mar 9, 2016
1 comment

When rapper Filth Rich talks about putting his life in his lyrics, he means it.

In 2009, the Richmond resident, who was born Clemy Ealy, suffered more than 20 bullet wounds in a shooting. As a result, he is in a wheelchair for life, and his goal of signing with a record label was delayed by a lengthy healing process.

That fateful shooting, which Filth Rich says was not gang related but stemmed from a long-running beef that began in high school, brought a new set of harsh realities and obstacles into the artist’s life. Along with spending a full year in the hospital, his recovery included bouts of homelessness, where he lived out of his car and hotels.

When he first realized he would be confined to a wheelchair, it was “different and difficult,” Filth Rich said. But one important attribute about the artist didn’t change: While the incident showed him life is precious and to cherish every second, his brand of gangsta rap did not get an ounce softer. In fact the opposite happened.

“Being in a wheelchair makes me go harder,” he says, “cause I’m in a industry full of artist that don’t have disabilities. I’ve been rapping since I was 8 years old. So it don’t bother me cause I’m more skilled than most artists.”

An example is the following track. WARNING: The song uses language that may be offensive to some.

Today, Filth Rich is making up for lost time. A few months ago, he dropped a studio album called Peniaphobia, which is defined as a fear of poverty and poor people. He’s also recently released two collaboration albums with rapper F. Carpé, put out two mixtapes with the late, great C-note, and three solo mixtapes.

That’s not all.

“I’m about to drop my new album, “The Art of Elevation,” real soon,” Filth Rich said.

The independent artist is confidant his persistence and hard work will pay off with a record deal. He credits his mother, along with childhood friends Moni Mitch, Prada and Johnny, for helping him when he was down and out.

He also has much love for Richmond, which shaped him and where he still resides despite his misfortunes.

“I love the people in my city. We often get confused as bad people,” he said. “I remember telling women I just met, ‘I’m from Richmond,’ and some would be ready to hang up or walk away, haha. But really we are just misunderstood people, and we are territorial. I put Richmond in my raps because it’s what made me. When I speak on the streets they know who I represent with pride. I love my city. It’s like a bitter sweet thing to me, when I think about Richmond.”


  1. I remember that day well. My sister Brenda Richard & everyone was at the hospital crying cuz we were told that at first he had 19 bullets in his body. Everytime the doctor went in and out, they kept finding more bullets . Even the ones that were lodged in their and couldn’t be removed. We came in and I stood over him praying. My sister was there every day and night even stopped working to come to see about her baby son. Spent multiple times learning more about how to take care of him basically living in the hospital. I came through and he asked me to pray over him again. I told him that this is not the time to give up and to continue fighting for your strength. God hears you. He then was told that he wasn’t going to be able to possibly have kids. He met the love of his life and she’s a beautiful person inside and out and guess what God did? Blessed them with what the doctor said that was possible for not to happen. A baby whose cute as a button and I believe that it’s my own mother’s spirit.
    He was about to sign a record deal and do a song with Keisha Cole. Him and his cousin and brothers were always in the studio. Lolz, these guys here now have been ripping up some tracks.
    I am grateful for his health and survival and I thank my sister and his fiancee for working with him in getting him back on track. And his grandmother for supporting them all in his recovery.
    I love you nephew!
    Have an amazing furry to get on top even further.
    Auntie Jessica Guillory Rance

    Jessica D. Guillory Rance | Mar 10th, 2016

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.