INTERVIEW: Riding high following the release of "Bossman," Rich The Kid has discovered and perfected his formula for entrepreneurial success.
If being a boss was easy everyone would do it. Yet Rich The Kid has built an entire image around the benefits of entrepreneurship, going so far as to drop off his brand new album Bossman on this very day. Forever in a state of childlike whimsy befitting of his moniker, Rich appears refreshingly unconcerned with anything that doesn't directly further his upward mobility. And why wouldn't he be -- the house has built for himself and his family is lined with gold-papered walls and platinum plaques.
A man of few words in the best of times, one is left analyzing cadential patterns to discern deeper meaning. An enigma of sorts -- a rapper, a family guy, a skateboard hobbyist. A seemingly laid-back artist forever driven by his own understanding of entrepreneurial prowess. Perhaps one day the formula will become clear to us laypeople. In this time of uncertainty, it's easy to find comfort in the unchanging: Rich The Kid makes bangers and he makes money.
We had a chance to speak to the prolific artist a week before Bossman's release. This interview has been edited for clarity.
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HotNewHipHop: How you doing Rich?
Rich The Kid: Yo, what’s going on?
How’s your day going so far?
Congratulations on dropping “Red.” I was listening to it before, pretty cool man.
Yes sir. What’s going on?
Look, before we get into the music, I saw you recently hit up Disneyland with the family. Did you have a good time?
Man, it was awesome. I loved it.
Was it your first time? What does a “Bossman” do at Disneyland?
Shit, everything you can do. Everything you can do.
So how do you get ready for an album release? Does “Bossman” differ from your last project insofar as the release process?
Um, shit, I just be like working. Still recording. Cause you know I have Bossman 1 and 2.
Did you record them both at the same time?
How do you decide which songs end up on which project?
Well, I keep recording nonstop. So whatever comes next is going on Bossman Part 2.
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Cool. When did you make the decision to become your own boss?
Shiiiiiiit, I think it was like, about four years ago.
Was there any incident that led you to make that decision?
That’s the right way to do it. I wanted to do it the right way.
Did you find it hard to prepare yourself to enter an industry prone to taking advantage of artists?
Shit, you know, you gotta learn the game. See, you gotta learn the business too. A lotta people don’t learn the business, but I learnt the business.
How did you prepare for that?
Just by experiences, going through different situations. Talked to my lawyer and shit like that. It’s really important that artists learn the business first.
What’s one piece of advice you might want to give to young artists who might be going through some label drama right now?
Be tight with your lawyer. Talk to your lawyer. Don’t give up. Keep going.
I just watched an interview you did where you mentioned you wanted to drop a lot of music but your label wanted you to wait. Why do you feel a high-volume approach is the move for you?
Shit, because you gotta fuck it up.
Well, I mean, makes sense.
So, you have all this talk of owning masters and signing bad contracts. What happens if an artist you respect tells you they’ve been stuck in a shitty situation like that?
I would tell them don’t take no for an answer. Go hard. You gotta go hard every day, whoever you going against. Don’t stop.
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How does one make the transition from worker to boss?
Take the chance, you know what I’m saying. A lot of chances and risks.
How did some of the Bossman collaborations come together?
I got Lil Baby. We had a couple of songs, any time we might be in the same city we get in the studio and knock some shit out. When I was signed with QC, I knew Baby before he was rapping.
I saw you also have a song with Nicki Minaj -- how did you guys meet and build a relationship?
You know, I always wanted to work with Nicki. She’s really dope for real, so when I had an opportunity to do something with her, I had to get on it.
For sure. What are some other artists you used to listen to that influenced your own style?
Do you remember the Nas/Jay-Z beef back when it happened?
Yeah, I remember that.
Who were you cheering for at the time?
Nas. I’m from Queens.
Good connection there. When are we going to get the Nas/Rich The Kid collaboration?
I don’t know but that’d be fire.
On another note, congratulations on married life. When did you make the decision to tie the knot?
Boss moves. I’m really family-oriented. Everything I’m about is family. When I found the right woman to have by my side in life, I had to make the right choices.
I saw you put the proposal on Instagram, you must have been nervous.
Yeah for sure.
What are your favorite things about married life? Do you feel it gives you that added sense of stability?
Definitely. You stay learning a lot. You learn a lot from each other. It’s a beautiful thing.
You’ve gotta build a lot of trust too. It could take a while, but it’s worth it in the end.
So look, I noticed a lot of your big hits like “Splashin” and “Plug Walk” have a bit of an eerie feel to the instrumental. Is there something about those types of beats you enjoy?
Yeah man, it’s just uptempo.
Cool. Do you have a favorite track?
“Plug Walk” is one of my favorite songs.
Cool. So, before I let you go I have to ask about your skateboarding ability. Have you been doing that for a while now?
Yeah for sure, you know I’m going crazy.
Is that something you still do?
Whenever I get the time.
You must be busy though--
Yeah, real busy. New album coming out too.
Anything you’d like to share before we go?
Greatest rapper of 2020. I’m coming for all the awards. Number ones.