Rich Boy: The Reinvention

With The South dominating rap sales and radio play the last three years, many could argue that it needs no reinvention. But all one has to do is open a copy of Ozone magazine, and you can see the endless pictures of new blood trying to get in on the fame, the fortune, and even if they wouldn’t admit it – the females.

As the climate for Johnny-Come-Lately artists reaches its thermostat, each fresh face walking through the door gets inspected for their verses being non-fiction, their dues being paid, and their respect for those before him. With a lot of help from former Jim Crow member Polow da Don, Rich Boy seems to pass all checkpoints. The Mobile, Alabama rapper, who also feels pressure to represent Mississippi is one of the few artists in early 2007 to secure a recognizable hit, in “Throw Some D’s.” With the biggest rim-inspired hit since the Hot Boys glory years on Cash Money, Rich Boy’s self-titled album features a lot more substance than his single may lead skeptics to believe.

Proving in early press appearances that he’s not terribly talkative, Rich Boy told in his second feature with the site that he’s “reinventing the South.” Said before his album even drops, the seemingly harmless statement says a lot about the pressures and roles of a breaking artist today. One thing is for sure, with the success of his two singles to date, the Southern map is already changing, as Alabama gets its first national star, and the Atlanta-Memphis-New Orleans-Houston sector needs to make room for a fresh face with a new sound. In his first week, is Rich Boy worth throwing some d’s down for? The numbers will show. Why was “Throw Some D’s” the first single released off Rich Boy?

Rich Boy: I wanna say the word connecting. First, [I wanted] to bring Alabama and Mississippi to the table. I wanted to shoot a video that showed my hood. [I wanted to] drop a song that spoke to our hearts…one that’s relative to what’s goin’ on down here…you know…a real down home feel. So you just decided to go with “Throw Some D’s” as a sort of “here we are” type of record?

Rich Boy: Yeah…kinda. I wanted something different. We tested it and people liked it in the clubs and when they heard it. Why did they like it?

Rich Boy: It was something different. The sound was so different than what was on the radio. People could identify with the energy. The energy is what did it. You’re relatively new to the game, so how would you complete this sentence: “When I get on, I wanna work with…?” Who would you want to work with that you haven’t?

Rich Boy: Anybody who wants to make classic music. What’s classic music?

Rich Boy: Something that’s from the heart and people can feel. I’m lucky because a lot of people already wanna work with me - like the “Throw Some D’s” remix. OutKast asked me to be on the remix. They knew me from working with Polow [Polow da Don—Executive Producer of Rich Boy and featured on “Throw Some D’s”] and wanted to do something. That was big. The next single is “Boy Looka Here.” What should people expect from that one in contrast to your introduction?

Rich Boy: Yeah, “Boy Looka Here’s” comin next. It reps where I’m from. A lot of people thought that I was from Atlanta or Texas, so I wanted to drop something that told ‘em about Alabama, and how we get down. Mannie Fresh did the production, right? How’d you hook up with him?

Rich Boy: Yeah, that’s Mannie. This is the new sound of the South. [It’s] something new and refreshing…the reinvention of the South. How does that joint “reinvent the South”?

Rich Boy: I’m the reinvention [of the South]. I’m the new cat from the South. I’m here. I’ll be here for a long time, and I hope y’all like what I do. In the previous interview, you mentioned acting, a possible clothing line and more music as future endeavors. It’s a few months later; have any of these goals come to fruition?

Rich Boy: I’m just trying to stay grounded and get this music right. I’m still interested in the acting thing and I’ve been into real estate in Alabama. for some time now. I’m trying to get that going because that’s something that can feed a lot of people. I can give people jobs and really help them. That’s my biggest future plan. So from mechanical engineering student to producer to MC to real estate mogul. You talked about deciding to pursue music instead of a college degree in the last interview. How or why did you decide to rock the mic instead of the mixing board?

Rich Boy: Well, Polow had a lot to do with that. He heard Get It Poppin’ [Independent release in early 2005] and we met in Atlanta. He was the one to push me to focus on rapping instead of producing. Since he was a producer, I went with it. He produced [a bulk of] the new album and told me that I could become a full-blown MC. So, I decided to just go hard with MCing. It appears that you’re well on your way. How does it feel?

Rich Boy: It’s a crazy feelin…something different. [I feel] a real sense of accomplishment. I knew that something was gonna hit big. I’m just excited, man. Well, listeners are excited too. Thanks for your time. Anything else you want to say?

Rich Boy: Yeah. Just thanks for the love. I try to talk to my people everyday. That helps me stay grounded. [The people] keep me grounded. Thanks.