Tsilhqot’in hip hop duo release first professional album

·3 min read

An Indigenous couple residing in B.C’s Central Interior is hoping to bulldoze their way through the music industry with their newly released hip-hop album.

Let the Games Begin is the first professional album for engaged duo Rebecca Solomon and Richard MacDonald, who go by the stage name Rich n Beka.

The five-track album was made available on Oct. 27.

“It’s about speaking up for our native community, politically, but then we also added sports elements,” Solomon said.

“That’s where the double meaning came in on how we’re not giving up; we’re striving forward. We’re not being slowed down by anyone. We have a voice and we’re going to be heard.”

The pair have been involved in music since their childhood. While they attended high school together in Williams Lake, Solomon said they did not speak with each other often.

With the two going their separate ways that would all change years later when they had reconnected in Vancouver where Solomon had completed her diploma in professional recording arts.

“We’ve been making music for the whole six years we’ve been together,” she said.

Since late 2015 the pair has lived in Williams Lake where they have spent time fine-tuning their craft and offering live performances at CJ’s Southwestern Grill.

After successfully receiving a $10,000 grant from the First People’s Cultural Council, they would dive into working on Let the Games Begin earlier this year.

“We had lots of time,” Solomon said with a laugh.

“It was supposed to be done back in May but COVID pushed back our project which was a blessing in disguise because it gave us more time to write and think about how we were going to release it.”

After months of brainstorming, Solomon and MacDonald would make the six-hour drive to Vancouver in July 2020 where they would spend one-week recording.

“In the studio, we were pretty nervous because we didn’t hear each other’s verses until we were in the studio,” Solomon said, noting she has to pre-write her lyrics or at least have them remembered whereas MacDonald has the skill of freestyle.

Fusing their lyrical styles and beliefs, Solomon said it had all worked out in the end with family and friends being their biggest supporters having even sponsored their music video “Go For The Win” which features scenes from Boitanio Park and the Esler Sports Complex.

“This is our first and it’s just the beginning,” Solomon said of their album and songs, which they hope will inspire youth to have a voice and not care of what others think.

“That’s the problem with society nowadays,” she said. “They’re feeling suppressed with their voice.”

When the couple is not creating their beats and writing songs, which can take anywhere from weeks to months to complete, Solomon is a full-time mom. MacDonald, who plays hockey for the Williams Lake Stampeders, works in the construction industry.

Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune