Ricardo Thomas, better known by his stage name Rick Rock is a hip-hop producer from Birmingham, Alabama, based in Oakland, California. He began earning major credits in 1996, when he contributed tracks to both 2Pac's All Eyez On Me and E-40's Hall Of Game. In the years to follow, he cranked out productions mainly for West Coast rappers like Keak Da Sneak, Spice 1, and Xzibit; however, he also worked with mainstream artists like Will Smith, Fabolous, and Method Man.
Rick Rock eventually signed a contract with Virgin Records to present a group of his own, Federation. The group debuted in 2003, releasing the single "Hyphy," whose title would soon become the common stylistic tag for Bay Area rap of the E-40 variety.