featured interview

Rich Quick being himself: 'My art is my entire life.' It's funny how people think of rap like an emotionless art form where a rapper's besoignes are inferior to his or her ego tripping, blings and guns. Emotions always played their part in rap. Whether it was the complexity of relationships on Ed O.G.'s 'Love Comes And Goes', Biggie's 'Suicidal Thoughts', or Eminem's psychological auto-analyses. The last decade, rappers are revealing even more and set the doors of their soul open and wide. Think Atmosphere, Cage or Aesop Rock. Someone that could be added to that list in the future is Rich Quick. The 25-year old lyricist deals with complex emotions on his upcoming EP 'Sad Songz'. Quick, who dealt with a depression during the writing process, gets as real and honoust as it gets. 'It's about being courageous in delivering a message. And I feel more courageous every day.'

The EP has been delayed a few times. Gettin nervous already?

Nervous? Naw! Never that. My competition might be nervous! This thing seems to pick up more steam every day. I'm excited. It's being pushed back because of good things and I'm just patiently waiting on the August 20th release.

The buzz about the EP has indeed been growing. I see a lot of articles about you on the net. How much work do you put in promotion?

Promotion is pretty much the most important aspect of the game currently. I was fortunate enough to come up under DJ NoPhrillz. Aside from being an awesome DJ, his promo grind really inspired me to take mine to the next level, earlier in my career. I promoted the little content that I had until it made everyone sick. As my career started to grow, I launched the 'SHAREcampaign.' in a successful effort to engage my fans in promotion. And that, I feel, was the key. Now all I do is pass off the content. I have a great promo team working diligently everyday to deliver to the people. It's really a blessing how far it all has come, now that I look back.

You made a Butthole Surfers' tribute, did songs with Tim Armstrong from Rancid. How big of a role does punk play in your life?

I've always liked and appreciated all forms of music. Punk never played a huge role, but I always appreciated it. Acts like The Ramones, Sex Pistols and later groups like Rancid and New Found Glory. But to say I was a punk fan is a stretch. I'm more of a punk enthusiast. I wouldn't classify the Butthole Surfers' cover I did as a punk record, just a good record that inspired me. I did a few records with Tim, one of which we've already released called 'Stay True'. The man is a legend, a really nice guy. He exposed me to a whole new fan base I've never heard from before. Very grateful for that.

Lonely

There's a track on the EP, 'Lonely', that was recorded earlier on. Why revamp it?

STRESS and Chuck had worked on the song with singer Will Geiss. He has an awesome voice and really put his all into the chorus of the record. By the time it got to me, the hook was already completed. The song spoke to me. It was something I could absolutely relate to. I am lonely! There's reasons for that. This song epitomized the entire project to STRESS and I. We named the EP 'Sad Songz' during the recording process of 'Lonely'.

Vinnie Paz said about you: 'A kid that's dope on the strength of being himself'. Paz is not the man to shout out people often...

I think if you are considered by so many people to be the King of Underground Hip-Hop, you will keep your co-signs to a minimum. It's about dudes in the street that's eatin' food on the strength that Paz said they were dope, and that's known fact. It's a blessing to even know him. He's a huge inspiration to all of us. He like...built this...on his own, you know? STRESS had introduced me to him and Ill Bill at a show in Albany. He was very welcoming, respectful and polite. I thought that was so thorough. So many times we meet our idols, we are disappointed. Not with Vinnie Paz. After meeting him I was inspired to keep going, even more so than before. His co-sign means so much to me.

'The strength of being himself': so there's no real difference between you, the person, and you, the artist?

There used to be. It seems in the past year and a half, Rich Quick the artist has finally swallowed up the actual person. I dedicate most of my life to my career. So to me, especially now, my art is very much my entire life. It makes for some great songs. Even still, sometimes it hurts to look back and realize that the person I used to be is gone forever. But the person I am now is better, stronger, and more prepared for anything.

You are 25 years old. Do you predict that your lyrics are gonna become deeper with growing older?

I wrote my first 'real' song with my best friend Moe Psalms when I was a freshman in high school. It was called 'Change The World', deep stuff for a 14-year-old. Not what people were into in the early 2000's, but we were courageous enough to put it out. I think the real question is not how deep I can get at a certain age, but how courageous I can be in delivering a message. And I feel more courageous every day.

In what way is Atmosphere's Slug an influence for your writing?

I was rhyming for a while before I discovered artists like Slug. The discovery came with the Internet. All of the sudden, I could find hip-hop that kids were listening to all across the country. Slug is special. He's the voice of an entire generation, I feel. You can hear his direct influence on myself and several of my peers, now chart-topping pop stars. It's something to be proud of and Atmosphere deserves all props. Their album 'Seven's Travels' is my favourite, but all of their albums play straight through seamlessly. Flawless production, brilliant song writing, amazing storytelling, and sincere messages. What more could we have asked for?

Cry

You were a part of Kick Teen Depression?

I met a kid named Tre Jackson through a mutual friend. He had been depressed himself and started the Kick Teen Depression movement all on his own. I was so inspired to see his entire family and community supporting him at the event. Nobody knew it, but at the time I was writing my 'Sad Songz EP' I was terribly depressed. Performing that event helped me more than any of those kids will understand. Depression is a real thing, and is worse when it's brushed off as negativity or complaints or even being ungrateful. Tre has a great cause that he's riding for and he'll always have my support.

What's the saddest rap song?

'Starin' At The World Through my Rear View' by 2Pac and the Outlawz. Such a prolific song. As far as I'm concerned 2Pac narrates his own death on this song. It gets me every time. In many ways 2Pac was amazing at writing sad songs. He made you feel his pain in every verse.

Let's go back in time a bit: you spent hours penning rhymes to the instrumental 'Gangsta's Paradise'. Do you remember the lyrics?

I wrote several songs to that instrumental. I was fascinated by it because it sampled a Stevie Wonder song my mom had introduced to me when I was very young. I was only 7 when I wrote to that beat. My rhymes were very much nursery rhymes. I'm honestly too embarrassed to share the content. But having that early practice definitely shaped me into a more polished emcee over these past 18 years.

You recorded songs with Miilkbone, were you familiar with his earlier work such as 'Da Miilkrate'?

Absolutely. Sometimes I feel Miilk is much more respected across the world than he really knows. He's amazingly humble, and a great OG for me to have in this game. I had actually discussed my dream of working with him to my manager Ccelli Ccell several years ago. The fact that it happened is just proof that dreams do come true. All love to Miilkbone, he's back in the game and stronger than ever. I respect that brother's grind.

Nice guy

It's funny how many 'how to get rich quick'-books there are, and how popular they are. Have you read one yourself?

Anyone who tells you to try and get rich quick is a fool! I believe whole-heartedly in hard work and dedication. It's the only way to get anywhere in life. You absolutely can get rich quick, but at what cost, if no lesson is learned?

What's the strangest tip to 'get rich quick' you ever heard?

Drug trade! Anyone who tries to convince you that selling drugs is a fast way to make some money is a fool and a weirdo. Don't trust 'em, they are lying to you.

What's the fastest way to get rich in your opinion?

It certainly isn't hip-hop! And people dig my ish! Ya hear me wack emcee's!? Hang it up. No real money here. (laughs)

You made the cover of 'Philadelphia Weekly'. What's next for you?

Crazy right!? I have no idea what's next or where I'm headed but I sure am excited to get there. These are the most amazing things that I'm experiencing right now, stressful, but amazing none the less. I'm very blessed to be here and don't plan on leaving no time soon!

 

POSTED 07|26|2013
conducted by cpf

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