Mobile, Alabama, where everything is laid back and slow. No one cares about 20-inch rims and Escalades. It’s chill and quiet, but you’d never think that if you had “Boy Looka Here” bumping through your speakers. Rich Boy, 23, hasn’t always been a musician. He went to college to be a mechanical engineer, which is far, far from the ghetto life. Dropping out of college to follow his musical dreams, Rich boy wouldn’t be deterred. Going from a beat maker in his college dorm room to making an all-out assault on the charts by putting the same drive he had in getting out of the ghetto into his music. Rich Boy still keeps his feet on the ground, determined never to forget where he comes from, but with enough vision to know the importance of expanding his knowledge base to keep progressing.
Josh Martin: Rich, thanks for giving us some time, man. How are you, and how does it feel to be twenty-three and have a CD out, that has received such success?
Rich Boy: Man, I can’t even explain it. It feels great, I don’t even know. It’s so big, I can’t even grasp it yet.
Josh: You’re currently on tour, but not just any tour. This isn’t just small venues, these are arenas. How does that feel that one of your first tours is an arena tour?
Rich Boy: It’s wild man. It makes you feel like a giant, like your on top of the world for real.
Josh: I saw you were raised in Mobile, Alabama. That isn’t exactly a huge city, very laid back and southern. How has all that affected your music up till now?
Rich Boy: I feel like it really helped my music. It kept it so I didn’t just write one way or whatever. I didn’t write music just for the clubs, or when your going through stuff. Or when you’re just going through anything like just a rough trial in your life. I write about things and stuff like that. Growing up in the hood I rap about certain topics that I wouldn’t have rapped about if I hadn’t grown up there.
More of A Socialite Life’s exclusive interview Rich Boy after the jump.
Josh: All right, so I see you talk about how you used to roll with “dope” boys, but you went to college at Tuskegee to be a mechanical engineer. How do you go from drug dealers, to college, to an Emcee?
Rich Boy: I couldn’t see myself always doing the same thing, ya know? It’s like, I wanted some kind of transition. Growing up in hood life, it would be a great goal for me to go to college. So I wanted to be the first guy out of my group to go to college. I applied for college, and got in.
Josh: I read while you were in college, you were producing beats and Roy Jones Jr. picked up a few of your beats. That’s another big transition.
Rich Boy: It all happened so quick that I really wasn’t prepared for it when it first started happening. So it came real quick. I almost didn’t understand the game for what it was, so I just tried to fit in. And it just was all something that happened so quick that at the time, and I just didn’t understand.
Josh: You go from that to working with Cash Money Millionaires and Polow Tha Don. How did that go? You produced your own music, to going to working with Mannie Fresh and Bubba Sparxxx
Rich Boy: Working with Mannie and Bubba, it was weird. I saw all those people on TV. I grew up watching them a bit. So to think I’d be rapping with them one day and is one of the best times I’ve ever had. Being around all the guys I got to watch growing up, is crazy. It’s a surprise. It’s most defiantly one of the best things I’ve had.
Josh: So lets get to the CD. Interscope is one of the top rap labels and it’s known that they don’t just sign anyone. Do you feel pressure from that?
Rich Boy: It’s actually wild. Some days, I wake up and it’s a natural feeling, and it’s cool. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Some days, I wake up and I feel a huge amount of pressure. So to sign myself to that label, and attaching myself to that name Interscope, it means I have to do something huge, so most definitely it is pressure.
Josh: On your album you have Polow, David Banner and Timbaland who did some production too. How was it to work with those people on your first album?
Rich Boy: The most surprising to me was John Legend and Outkast. They had both listened to my songs, and once they heard one of the songs, they told me they instantly wanted to be a part of the project. Once I got John Legend on there, I knew I was on a super good position. I knew that this would be one of the only rap albums out there that would be something different.
Josh: I saw you did a pre-mix. I know you’ve already got remixes. Even before your album came out, you had remixes to your tracks. How wild is that?
Rich Boy: I felt like it was an honor. I had Nelly, Murphy Lee, Andre 3000, The Game, Jim Jones on my remixes, because they all wanted to be on the remix. Then Lil’ John did the beat and I felt like they took the song to another level. This just gave me another sign as to how well my album is going to do man. It gives me a very good chance to be a successful album.
Josh: You don’t just rap about cars and women, you actually write about deep stuff. Can you elaborate on some of it?
Rich Boy: I felt like the rap game was a saturated with that kind of stuff. I knew I had to do a couple songs about cars and women ’cause it’s whats hot. It is what’s up. So um, I have a song called “ghetto rich” and it’s all about racial profiling, and how it is to be black as a whole. I have a song about why one of my partners died, and why they died. Certain things like that. A million dollars can be middle class today, and a lot of people think that million is rich. With my name being Rich Boy, I try to educate with that. I have a song about the war, and about how they hunted Saddam. Political, real stuff.
Josh: Your CD has a song “lost girls,” about how some women just chase men for money or status.
Rich Boy: Yeah, and I’m the first rapper in a long time. I ask the ladies about it. I’m coming from the ghetto and I can relate. So it’s good that I get the chance to talk about those topics.
Josh: I know you have some club songs too. People need to cop the CD for “Boy Looka Here” alone. Is it the new summer anthem?
Rich Boy: Boy looka here is a real representation of my state. People don’t understand our language or our slang and the way we speak. We’re just laid back and that’s how we talk, we’ll see something and say “Boy Looka Here.” It’s just how we do it.
Josh: All right, man. I know you’re out on the Street Dreams tour, with Jim Jones and Young Jeezy. Must be wild. But we here at A Socialite’s Life, we wish you the best and hope to see you in the future!
Rich Boy: I’ma get into restaurants, real estate, more music. Ya’ll will see me around. Come out to the street dreams tour!
Rich Boy had a slow southern drawl, and a laid-back style. But don’t be fooled by his casual sensibility, as his drive is strong and his wits quick, which have served him well on his climb to the top of the rap game. Go out on iTunes and if you’re a fan of southern rap, go grab his CD. You won’t be disappointed.