The need to make a powerful impact to gain recognition upon entering the game is more vital in 2008 than it was 1993. In today’s radio-dominated market, the key to the limelight is…well, a hit single. Last year Rich Boy met his rookie requirements with the smash hit “Throw Some D’s” only to be categorized with some of his peers who are no longer with us. (Anybody seen Shawn Mims?).
On his rock solid, self-titled debut, Maurice Richards took his untapped region of Mobile, Alabama and brought his story to the households of the uninformed and made a lasting impression. Still unconvinced that the world thinks that he’s a fluke, Rich Boy’s set to deliver his latest mixtape Bigger Than The Mayor full of aggressive material that’s sure to make your amp lose it’s grip on reality. Read as he speaks with the Crew’s TC and abolishes all preconceived notions surrounding him.
They may call him Rich Boy, but he thinks like a grown man.
TSS: Rich Boy!
Rich Boy: What’s happenin’ which ya? Hold on gimme two seconds…”Hey baby you leaving me?”
*Two seconds turns to three minutes…*
Rich Boy: Yeah, I’m back!
TSS: What you having some domestic disputes? Female trouble?
Rich Boy: (Laughs) Man, I don’t know what the girl talkin’ bout. She wanted an autograph and everythang. I hope I don’t sound retarded, but I just came back from the dentist and my mouth still numb!
TSS: It’s all good, we gonna make it do what it do regardless.
Rich Boy: Yeah, we gonna make it happen.
TSS: Alright, it’s been like a year since the album dropped, so you’re not a rookie anymore. What’s your outlook on the game like right now?
Rich Boy: I feel real passionate about what I got going on and feel real passionate about what’s coming. I’m just trying to have meaning and definition behind everything I do this time around.
TSS: You talking bout Bigger Than The Mayor? This is gonna be like a “street album” opposed to a general mixtape of you rapping over other people’s beats right?
Rich Boy: Yeah, it represents everything that goes on in the street where I’m from, everyday life, parties, the new things like E pills, this and that. It’s not like I agree with it but it is what it is ya know? When I make an album, it’s going to represent my outlook on how I would like the world to be. But the mixtapes is actually how the world is. I just went in there and did the first thing I felt. I did it for the people who ride in they cars in the hood. That’s who I’m catering to because they’ve been asking me for that for the longest so I did it for them. And my album that’s coming is gonna be deep, something that can help people make it through life.
TSS: You got a name for that album?
Rich Boy: Yeah, it’s called Buried Alive. Yeah, I got that title cause you know I talk to my brother every week through a prison phone. And he be telling me about the boys who got life and all that, and you know I got two cousins who got life from drug convictions. So I really wanna represent for them and all the people that messed up their lives from making big mistakes. And I ain’t saying it ain’t they fault, but it’s a big price to pay when you make a certain mistake and they give you life. So it’s like it’s no different from being executed.
TSS: That’s true. If you never gonna see daylight again, you might as well be dead.
Rich Boy: Yeah man, when they give you life, on your paperwork it says: “The date of release is deceased.” So I felt that was a great title for an album.
TSS: No doubt, and you touched on those topics on the song “Let’s Get This Paper.” Matter fact, I heard you used your own money for the video to get that out there. You feel you reached the people as you intended?
Rich Boy: Oh man, I’m so proud of that “Let’s Get This Paper.” And I had no one trying to get the ball rolling with me so I just stuck to what I believed in and I really wanted that video out there because I loved that song. I wasn’t trippin’ about them spending no money on no video. It ain’t about money to me, it’s about putting the music that I love out there.
TSS: Yeah and speaking of the label, I read somewhere that you had your debut going a certain direction and your label wanted you to concentrate on rocking the clubs. Is there any truth to that?
Rich Boy: I actually had nothing but real songs recorded. I had a song called “Cinderella” where I was talking bout this girl who was an innocent bystander at a shooting at the club and who was gonna call her momma and tell her she ain’t got her daughter no more. A bunch of deep shit like that. So it fucked with my nerves that the label wanted to put out all the other stuff. I’m sitting back like “that ain’t me!” Even the type of club songs that they did put out, that really wasn’t me either. I’ve never been the type of cat to sit around and just search for a single. Everyday we hit the studio and just let our emotions flow on how we felt that day. If it came out a club song that’s what it was. If it came out a real deep song, that’s what it was too. The mixtape has plenty of the type of club songs I do. You know some ol’ “ghetto club” songs that you hear at the hole in the wall clubs, the type people scared to go to.
TSS: Yeah, the industry is a business so I can see em’ calculating the type of singles they want to put out there, but tell me why they would want to alter the actual content of the album? You know change it from the “Let’s Get This Paper’s” and “Ghetto Rich’s” opposed to more “Throw Some D’s?”
Rich Boy: My take on it is at the end of the day, they stuck in they old ways. It used to work a certain way. You used to be able to drop a single and sell multi-millions of records because it was only a few artists out. But now you got everybody rapping so you have to approach it different. You have to hit the streets with those mixtapes, you gotta break artists in a different way. And they don’t know how to break em’, especially the Southern artists. Look how many artists that didn’t really blow like that from the South except for someone like Young Buck. And Young Buck was with a big movement[G-Unit] so it was easy for him. Me and Polow [Da Don] was by ourselves struggling and fighting just to make it pop. He’s like my blood brother in this industry. We just stayed passionate on the music we did and that’s how I feel like I was able to be a success.
TSS: So what do you say to the people who criticize you saying “He was in college, but now he’s rapping about life in the trap and the streets “like you’re backtracking your situation?” How do you address that criticism?
Rich Boy: You can’t really make the entire world happy at the end of the day. If I tried to make the entire world happy, I’d end up killing myself, know what I’m sayin’? I just look at like I stay true to myself no matter what another person thinks. And people go through the same thing as me. Like you know it ain’t right to fuck 10 different bitches but you probably done did it…
Rich Boy: Know what I’m sayin’? And that’s the same thing. On my album I preach the truth like “I ain’t wanna do it but I did that.” You can come to Mobile [Alabama] and see where I come from and see that everything’s true that I rap about. Just cause I went to college doesn’t mean I don’t come from the slums. We come from the slums, we come from dope boy shit, all that shit. I actually didn’t have to touch no drugs til’ I got in school because I had to figure out a better way to pay for school cause my momma and daddy couldn’t do it all. And I’ll never sell that story, because I don’t want to motivate everybody else to be like “Yeah you gotta sell drugs to make it through school” and I tried to be low-key about it but I’ma tell you the truth and tell you I ain’t never touch no dope until I went to school.
TSS: Yeah tuition is a bitch!
Rich Boy: I’m tellin’ ya! They want like fuckin’ $20-30,000. Where you supposed to get that shit?
TSS: And now that you mention your hometown, what’s the Hip-Hop scene looking like now that you done blew up?
Rich Boy: Oh man, it’s actually great. These people have hope now. It’s a lot different than what it used to be. I don’t know if it’s cause I popped or whatever but we got a Guitar Center down here now. We never had no Guitar Center or nothing like that down here. People buying studio equipment, people buying studios, people motivated to do music!
TSS: You working with any of the local artists down there?
Rich Boy: That’s just about all I work with is local artists. The small town, Youtube, Myspace artists. I get on Myspace everyday and search for artists that got good songs on they page or fanbases behind them. I try and do songs with people who have no names for themselves yet.
TSS: Would you say the game is overcrowded right now?
Rich Boy: Oh it’s most definitely saturated. Every neighborhood got their own local celebrity and that’s why record sales went down also. People only supporting what they want to support cause there’s so many different choices out there. But you can’t blame em’. If you support your homeboy and that’s who you want to see make it, then that’s what it is. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
TSS: So you never felt any type of animosity towards anybody like “You’re better than this dude” or people should be paying more attention to your music?
Rich Boy: Nah man, you can’t look at it like that cause everybody got different styles. There’s some people out there that’ll say Soulja Boy is better than Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z and you’ll look at em’ like they crazy. But that’s what they feel and how could not be true to them? That’s how they feel so Soulja Boy would be better than Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z to them. It’s really all about opinions at the end of the day man. I just try and be great at what I do.
TSS: You still feel like you got the stigma on you like your just a ringtone rapper or one-hit wonder even though you can go either way?
Rich Boy: It’s whatever man. I’m an overall artist. I feel like the Bo Jackson of the rap game, I can do it all. That’s the talent God blessed me with and I’m thankful and proud of it. Everybody don’t get this opportunity as big as this world is, so I’m extremely grateful. I take this career real serious. I actually treat my situation like I never had “Throw Some D’s” cause you got to. People want autographs, fresh material, they wanna see ya again so you gotta keep grindin’ it out.
TSS: So you plan on producing more?
Rich Boy: Yeah I actually put this whole mixtape together myself. I co-produced a couple songs, I did over half the songs myself and I did some songs with Super Villian, Zaytoven, and Drumma Boy. And I got Rocko, Shawty Lo, and Gucci Mane on the mixtape so it’s gonna be some real shit. I’ma treat this mixtape like an album, touring and promoting it so the people can feel where I’m coming from.
TSS: Aiight, I feel like we cleared the air on a lot of topics, let’s get random for a sec.
Rich Boy: Cool man.
TSS: Who’s the hottest chick in the game?
Rich Boy: Hmmm…since Trina just dropped her record, I’ma roll with her right now.
TSS: What’s the last album you put on your iPod?
Rich Boy: I went out and got that Rocko. I think it’s a great album for those motivated for getting money and those who like to work hard.
TSS: Polow or Timbo?
Rich Boy: Man, Timbo’s a legend but in a few years who knows?
TSS: I see you going to Italy next week. First time overseas?
Rich Boy: Yeah I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be a great experience for me.
TSS: Aiight, what’s it like to have the seats in your ride like peanut butter and jelly?
Rich Boy: (Laughs) Awww man…it’s almost priceless. You could pay for the whip and the interior, but the feeling is priceless.
TSS: Kinda like having success in the game?
Rich Boy: Exactly.
Rich Boy’s new mixtape, Bigger Than The Mayor, hits the streets on 4.15.08.