Solid Gritty


Photo by Colin Peddle

www.soundclick.com/therit

Fuelling the fire of the growing St. John’s hip-hop scene are M.C.’s Riley Fitzgerald (a.k.a the Rit) and Johnny Wheeler, known collectively as Solid Gritty.

The two began making songs together a few years back as The Villains along with a couple of friends who eventually lost interest, leaving Wheeler and Fitzgerald to determine what should be done with the all the beats and rhymes they had accumulated.

“Between school and work, everyone went their own way,” says Fitzgerald. “Even now it’s hard to do shows because Johnny is so busy. I’ve got the time but he doesn’t. Kind of like an absentee father situation.”

The group have been turning heads with their high energy live shows which reflects an appreciation for the old school give-and-take flow of groups like Run D.M.C., but with a modern, grimy sound that comes from a life of long St. John’s winters spent holed up in the house.

“I think our style is completely different,” says Wheeler. “We do it dirty, upbeat, in your face.”

“We record in the basement in our longjohns and winter jackets,” he says. “There’s no bubblegum stuff comin’ outta there when you got a blanket for your boots.”

Of the name, Fitzgerald explains, “it comes from Johnny having misheard one of my lyrics. The line is ‘My style is Gritty, call me Ritty,’ but he heard Solid Gritty, which I think is a better name than The Villains anyway.”

Wheeler—who is the reigning Newfoundland and Labrador Lightweight and Novice bodybuilding champ—even went so far as convincing Fitzgerald’s girlfriend to tattoo an SG on his wrist with a homemade tattoo gun to show his dedication.

“I think we really complement each other well,” he says. “Lyrically, I leave the dictionary alone and break down clear, where Riley is more metaphorical.”

“So far the reception has been great.” CB

97 comments

George Street Festival, July 2007

July 26-31 Thursday, July 26 Stereotype, The Novaks, Sloan Friday, July 27 Billy & The Bruisers, Redline, The Insiders Saturday July 28 The Excitement Gang, Bump, Blue Eyed Blonde Sunday July 29 Freshly Squeezed, The Moxxy , Kim Mitchell Monday July 30 Abbey Road Beatles Tribute, Fleetwood Dreams, Hotel California Tuesday July 31 Siochana, The […]

19 July 2007

  1. juice · July 19, 2007

    compliment is spelled wrong ..real pro! haha

  2. Suave · July 19, 2007

    actually in this instance it is spelled correctly, as to complete each other.