October 19, 2010 | 8:00am
Last week we re-introduced you to Rico Love, the next big hitmaker climbing up the hip-hop / pop industry ranks based here in Miami. In a time when major labels aren't exactly quick to take gambles, it seems Universal Motown sees Rico as a sure bet. Last week, the 27-year-old producer / songwriter announced the launch his own new imprint, Division 1, supported by said label giant.
Some of Rico's biggest successes to date have been for more pop-oriented artists like Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and, of course, Usher. So his choice for the first Division 1 artist, Young Chris, is interesting in that it veers away from that.
Chris is a 26-year-old, Philadelphia-based rapper who, as part of the duo the Young Gunz, scored a Top 20 hit back in 2003 with "Can't Stop, Won't Stop.
" At one time signed to Roc-a-Fella Records and an associate of Beanie Sigel, Young Chris' sound is definitely more street than many of the artists with whom Rico is famous for working.
No matter, though, because Rico, of course, is an occasional rapper himself. He recorded his own debut album, The Fifth Element
, in 2007, but set it aside indefinitely after his songwriting and production talent proved more lucrative. In the meantime, he's also appeared as a guest on tracks he's produced, like Fat Joe's "Aloha."
As a songwriter, he also recently scored a hit with Dirty Money's "Hello, Good Morning."
Thus this new track Rico and Chris have released as a Division 1 teaser shouldn't surprise. It's called "Break a Bitch Down" -- or "Break Em Down," in the clean version -- and, like so many other breakout tracks, is a warning to protect your girl, lest Rico and Chris steal her away. Most exciting, though, is the overall production, full of sirens, squeals, and snare snaps meant to sound claustrophobic and get a club popping off. Download both the dirty and clean versions below.