SOUTH BRONX NATIVE RICKY BATS AND HIS GOTHAM CITY BOYS MOVEMENT MAY BE ARGUABLY THE FASTEST RISING INDIE ARTISTS COMING OUT OF THE BX BOROUGH. OFTEN INFLUENCED BY HIS LIFE EXPERIENCES, BATS LYRICAL ABLITY AND CONTENT EARNED HIM A FEATURE IN THE 2015 FRESHMAN EDITION OF XXL MAGAZINE. HIS MUSIC HAS BEEN PLAYED ON NYC’S POWER 105.1, HOT 97.1, PHILLY’S 91.3 FM SHADE 45, BUFFALO’S 93.7 FM THE BLACKOUT, AND ESPN’S FIRST TAKE, AS WELL AS NUMEROUS RADIO STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BATS HAS COLLABORATED WITH ARTIST SUCH AS MAINO, CORY GUNZ, MYSONNE, SHEEK LOUCH, HELL RELL, TONEY SUNSHI NE AND UNCLE MURDA. IN MARCH 2017, BATS DROPPED THE FIRST SINGLE OFF HIS CURRENTLY UNRELEASED FIRST ALBUM. THE SINGLE “MY CREW HUNGRY” FEATURING UNCLE MURDA.
VALIDATED: Growing up, what kind of music was played in your household?
RICKY BATS: Growing up in my grandparents’ household my grandfather would play a lot of Frank Sinatra. There was also a lot of Spanish and freestyle music in the mix.
VALIDATED: Name the hip-hop artists that have influenced your flow.
RICKY BATS: Growing up I was a real big Nas fan. I loved his creativity and word play. But I also was a Method Man fan because I used to love the way he performed. He would get the crowd hyped up and put on a real good show.
VALIDATED: What can fans expect from your latest project?
RICKY BATS: The "Bats Wave" mixtape is my next project. What the fans can expect from the "Bats Wave" is the authenticity of HIP HOP. It gives the fans an inside look of my world. The trials and tribulations of being an independent artist in this music industry. It also shows my growth as an artist and a businessman.
VALIDATED: What's your earliest memory of hip-hop, the culture?
RICKY BATS: My earliest memory of the culture was around 6 years old with my uncle Boy Boy, my mom’s youngest brother. He would be in the back room blasting rap music. My grandparents would scream at him for him to turn off that noise.
VALIDATED: Name your top 3 Bronx rappers.
RICKY BATS: As of right now I don’t have a Bronx top 3. I used to have one until I met him in person. I would say Fat Joe is an inspiration because we came from the same hood and he made this hip-hop thing a reality to me. Knowing it can be done. No matter where you grew up.
VALIDATED: Can you recall the moment you fell in love with hip-hop and what inspired you to pursue it professionally?
RICKY BATS: I fell in love with hip-hop when I wrote my first rap at the age of 13. Just seeing how people would react to what I wrote was an inspiration to keep going. I started pursuing hip-hop as a profession when I came home in 2014. I figured if basketball players are getting paid for what they love to do, why can’t I.
VALIDATED: How difficult is it creating your own lane while trying to stay true to you and your brand of hip-hip?
RICKY BATS: Well, I write music that I like to hear. And if you like what I like to hear, then you will like my music. I was never the type to jump in somebody else's lane when I can have my own. Artists can’t stand out if everyone is doing the same thing and making the same music. So instead of me talking about what everybody else is talking about, I figured my life is interesting enough to talk about my own reality.
BRONX, NEW YORK HIP HOP ARTIST & ACTOR
VALIDATED: Tell us about other ventures you're currently working on.
RICKY BATS: Well like I said, my latest project is called the Bats Wave mixtape hosted by, none other than, Gotham City Boys’ own Flip Jackson, which is soon to drop within the next week or so. It can be found on RickyBats.com. I also released my next single called "Lay Low" which is on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon and many more. I’m also slated to be in a Showtime series that's directed by one of Hollywood's top actors.
VALIDATED: Where can the fans support you and your label online and social media?
VALIDATED: Finally, what can we expect from your label, "Gotham City Boys" in the near future?
RICKY BATS: What you can expect from Gotham City Boys is raw talent. Classic music with substance not sounding like the last 5 records that was played on the radio. Music that touches your soul.