Entertainment and Food
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.”
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