Rich Boy: Seeing Is Believing

By Nic Perrino  |  04/28/2008

Rich BoyRight now is the easiest yet hardest time to be a rapper. It's easy because there are so many new ways to get exposure. It's hard because that makes for a lot of new people you're going up against. And fans right now aren't stimulated for long. Playlists on someone's iPod no longer consist of just the big cats, you're bound to see a name or two you've never heard of. For an artist like Rich Boy, who came at us at the exact time a lot of other rappers from the south were doing their thing, the pressure is on to prove that he is worthy of more than just a one hit wonder. What have you been up to? What are you working on right now?

Rich Boy: I've been working, staying in the studio -- living in the studio -- putting my projects together. I got two projects I'm about to drop. My first one is going to be Bigger Than The Mayor, my mixtape. It's like a street album that I wanna put out before I put my regular album out. I'm trying to drop the first single around the summer time. So what were your goals coming into the music game and how many of them have you accomplished?

Rich Boy: My goal first of all was to create myself security. My second goal was to provide an opportunity to where me and my people could be successful together. It wasn't to be the greatest rapper, or the best rapper, or sell the most records. It was just to be successful. We never had an opportunity to be successful. I just took it as an opportunity for us to get out of our situation. Yea I read that you said you wanted to "make enough to get some real estate and restaurants, so you can support and supply jobs." What jobs would you create for the youth who grew up in similar situations to you?

Rich Boy: You know, I could open restaurants and open apartment complexes, so that people could maintenance that. Just building businesses like that provide a lot of opportunities for jobs. That's what's up. You came at us when a lot of other new southern artists did, and you know a lot of them were just hit singles and then boom they were gone. Do you feel more pressure to prove yourself worthy of being around long because of that?

Rich Boy: I most def feel I'm worthy. You know, it's like when a kid do his homework. He know he gon' pass. You know, he shudda got an "A," so it's like I do my work and I work real hard, so anything I get I know I deserved it. I feel like I'ma just keep working hard and I'ma be real passionate about it. So you do feel that pressure though, to prove yourself?

Rich Boy: Always. Even nowadays, you could be legendary and people still want you to come even harder on your next album. You see it with Jay-Z, people just want him to still top the next album that he does. This generation is fast and they always want you to get on some refreshment. They always want fresh food on the plate. How hard is it for you having had your first single blow up like it did? Is there that pressure like "Okay, how the hell am I going to top that?"

Rich Boy: I never actually looked at it like that. At the end of the day, all I can do is be myself and try to be great at what I do. My boy Dubbz, who DJs for John Jay Radio at my school, was actually in a DJ focus group and met you at the Interscope DJ listening session. He was one of the first NYC DJs to drop "Throw Some D's." Back then if someone told you how huge that song was going to be, what would you say?

Rich Boy: I'd probably say "that's great, I've been waiting on it" (lauhgs). I most definitely wouldn't have thought the other route like "Nah, I'm not goin' to make it." You're supposed to stay as positive as possible and you know, if anybody woulda ever told me I'd say, "Sure I feel the same way." Ok, so you have these crazy fun songs and you also have more deep songs with subjects that you're passionate about. What type of people do you think can appreciate both sides of you musically?

Rich Boy: I'm glad you said that because that was my whole point of doing a mixtape separate from my album. My mixtape involves all those fun songs, those party songs. My mixtape reflects the lifestyle of what goes on in my neighborhood, but my album represents how I would like to see the world -- my point of view, the changes I'd like to see going on, [and] the things I see going on wrong about the world. It's deeper, my album is deeper than my mixtape. My mixtape is the cover of the book. My album is what's on the inside. Yeah, there's people who probably like one or the other and people who like both.

Rich Boy: Yea, you got people that appreciate both. You got people that might just go get the mixtape and people that might just go get the album. You got the true fans that are going to get both. So if you had a choice between the two, to only be able to make the fun music or the deep music, which would you choose?

Rich Boy: Deep music. I don't want to just be remembered for party songs. I don't think there's nothing too important about that. How is it when you're making a song? What makes you decide "Okay, today I'm going to write a hype song," or "Today I'm going to talk about some deep stuff?"

Rich Boy: It depends on whatever I did that day, what mood I was in at the time. I picture myself in the club when I do a club song and I picture myself in the car when I'm doing a song that's just about riding in your car and feelin' good while you're riding. It depends on what type of song it is. I actually picture myself in the situation... Do you imagine what people are going to be doing when they hear your song?

Rich Boy: I try to picture people and how they would react to me saying this with this beat, the catch phrase of the song or "is this the part where everybody in the club says this part?" I picture all that when I'm recording. I just look and try to picture a crowd and their reaction to it. I also try to picture a crowd at a show; how would they take this song if I actually perform in front of people. I really like your song "Wrist Out The window." That's an example of one of your more fun hype songs. What is the perfect example of the exact opposite of that song?

Rich Boy: "Let's Get This Paper." That's when I really sit down and I really just reflect on life and put it on a piece of paper and go in the booth and record it Well, I'm a mother. And I've done a lot of things that I know I'm going to be going crazy when my daughter does them. Since you chose to drop out of college to pursue your music career, what would you say to a kid who comes to you thinking about dropping out to follow their passion?

Rich Boy: I would tell them, "If you really believe in yourself to that point and you know for a fact -- there's no doubt in your mind and you would bet your life on it that you going to be successful -- go for it, you know?" But if you have any doubts in your mind, you probably should stick to school. What about trying to do both?

Rich Boy: Yea, if you could balance both out, that's your best option. That way you have two options. If you could balance both out, try to do both. Okay, enough with the serious stuff. What's the first drink you order when you walk in the club?

Rich Boy: The first drink I order when I walk into a club, believe it or not, is a Bud Light. A lot of people be shocked as hell when I say that, but it's actually a Bud Light. What are some songs on your playlist right now?

Rich Boy: A new artist Rocko, his song called "Dis Morning." I'm listening to Shawty Lo, "Foolish." I'm into the whole ATL movement. And Marvin Gaye, a lot of old Marvin Gaye. Oh and I can't forget Lil Wayne: "Lollipop" (laughs). I love that song. It's got a good feel to it. It's not even about the topic of the song; he caught the moment and you could feel it as soon as the beat come on. So you've gotten to see a lot of new places since you've been in the game. What's your favorite place to visit now?

Rich Boy: My favorite place is still South Beach, Miami. As of right now, every now and then, it might change. But for this season, it's South Beach, Miami. That's the best place. I've been outta the country, but South Beach is just where it's at it. Seems like it's against the law to be anywhere, but South Beach (laughs). (laughing) So what are you about to do right now after we hang up?

Rich Boy: I'ma prepare to go to Atlanta. I got a couple of more days there before I go to Italy and Germany. I'ma go work on a couple more songs on my album, Buried Alive, coming this summer. Anything you want to tell the people reading this interview?

Rich Boy: I wanna say to everybody reading this interview, even the critics who criticize me and the people who love me, either or. Without the critics, without the people and without the fans, I wouldn't have did it. So I just want to thank them for staying on their job and being fans and critics at the same time.