Maybe you didn't hear it; Rich Boy's offering up more advice than just how to pimp your ride. The Zone 4 Alabama star vented on one of the final moments of his debut album, "Let's Get This Paper" Overtop careful, choral production from Polow da Don, the 23-year-old justifies his pursuit of wealth by highlighting the social woes he's facing.See Also:
With Pastor Ma$e narrating, the song transcends the image Rich Boy portrays with his bubble-gum, infectious-by-design singles. Rich tells AllHipHop.com why Paris Hilton's arrest, like 911, is a joke. Beyond pointing out what's wrong with Pop culture, Interscope's Southern talent reveals his triumph, his lost homies, and the social and religious pitfalls of Mobile, Alabama. Cream rises to the top, take a long listen to what this young man is saying, and what's holding his message back.
AllHipHop.com: I'm a Hip-Hop dude. I'll be real with you: "Throw Some D's" didn't move me. However, you've got this record "Let's Get This Paper" that's something else; I love this record...
Rich Boy: I'ma tell you...I tried to do my whole album like that, man, but the label is on that bulls**t. I had all real songs, and they were like, "We need this club record" and s**t. The record company just don't know, and the world don't know. ["Throw Some D's"] made me look like a gimmick coming out of the South.
AllHipHop.com: I'll play devil's advocate though. If not for the "Throw Some D's," would enough people care to ever check for the "Let's Get This Paper" records?
Rich Boy: I think nowadays, with how they messed the game up with so many club songs and rappers searching for so many hits instead of just being creative, I think yeah, I needed "Throw Some D's" to plant a seed like that. That was just a seed planted. Fans of Rich Boy know. "Is he gonna record more songs like this?" Eventually, by the time I get to my third album, the whole album will be like that. You'll just have all real music. People will buy it because they'll grow into what Rich Boy's talking about. Eventually, that's the way I'm going with my career. Everybody wants to be like Tupac and Biggie, but they don't realize that what made them so big was they just talked about relative stuff. I don't want to be Tupac or Biggie, I just want to be Rich Boy - an original person, but I notice what they brought to the table and the game.
AllHipHop.com: Is it possible to release a record like this as a single now?
Rich Boy: I'ma tell you something, man: I'm fighting for either "Let's Get This Paper" or "Ghetto Rich" with John Legend. They lead to the same area - police harassment and problems with Blacks. I know, without a doubt, that's why I'm in the rap game. God knows I'm not a perfect Christian, but I do have the power and the wisdom to kind of lead somebody. That's my purpose in life; it ain't to get rich or be a big rap star, my purpose in life is to be a leader for the South or whatever region or whoever will accept or listen to my music. That's how I try to come across in my records.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about this record and your mind-state coming into it...
Rich Boy: Polow [da Don] came with the beat; I was just rappin' over it, trying to give [the label] what they wanted. After a while, I just said, "F**k it, I'm just gonna talk about my life and what my people are going through and stuff." My little brother brought it to my attention. He said, "Man, you just gotta talk about your real life on this one." I was like, "Man, you're right! I need real records on my album." I've been trying to get them so long, ‘cause I recorded so many, but then they didn't feel ‘em, so it was disappointing.
AllHipHop.com: What was it about that day? Was it a bad day?
Rich Boy: I was in the studio in Atlanta. I was just sitting on the couch when it came into my head that my homie Pooh Bear ain't here to see my success; it was kinda like I was talking to him when I first started the song off, ‘cause I felt that way. I'm just mad. I was mad! Why aren't people talking about s**t like this? It's f**ked up! I was just mad for no reason. I didn't write what the label liked; I wrote what I felt.
AllHipHop.com: When did Pooh-Bear pass?
Rich Boy: He passed two Novembers ago. It was like right before I blew up.
AllHipHop.com: In the record you say, "People underestimate me ‘cause I'm coming from Alabama." Who's underestimating you and why?
Rich Boy: I felt like from the beginning of the whole situation, me coming from Alabama...I was gonna have to overcome; that's why Alabama never blew up to begin with, ‘cause people just thought, "So and so rapper is from Alabama. That's ‘Bama, that's bulls**t!" I felt underestimated from the day I got signed. It was always on my chest, I just needed to express it. Even with that song, I feel like people underestimate me, like somebody else wrote it for me or something. I just felt angry, and I was just expressing myself. I was saying it for my whole state, ‘cause my whole state is underestimated.
AllHipHop.com: The narration on the record is so interesting. It's similar to what Jay-Z had on "P.S.A." Was that added later?
Rich Boy: After I did the verses, Ma$e [the narrator] heard it, and he was like, "The song just makes me want to say something on it." Everybody just went in and expressed how they felt at the time of the song. It was not written down, it was not rehearsed, it was one take.
AllHipHop.com: You say "preachers in the pulpit talking all that bulls**t," are you referring to ethics in the church, or the criticism against rap?
Rich Boy: I feel like the church isn't what it should be anymore; it's more about money. There's so many preachers who just preach about the offering throughout the whole service, giving money. Every 15 minutes, they're gonna emphasize giving money. I feel like they just lost focus.
AllHipHop.com: Was there any backlash from the family when you said that?
Rich Boy: No, my mama feels the same way.
AllHipHop.com: Did they tear down the projects in your town?
Rich Boy: Yeah, they tore down the projects. They still tearin' ‘em down; they just got one or two more to go. It's just a matter of time till people have to get a new place to move to. The ones that's already lost their homes, they're staying with relatives and a whole bunch o crazy s**t. They cuttin' all the government health; that s**t's real.
AllHipHop.com: Is this a record for Black people, for poor people? Who is the record speaking for?
Rich Boy: I feel that it's for people going through a struggle on an everyday basis...people who tryin' to get over the hump. Realize, there's real situations in this world besides Paris Hilton going to jail, you know what I'm saying? I don't even pay attention. That's so foolish to me. I get mad. I got homeboys down in the hood that go through that s**t, but it's less foolish. Little White girls getting locked up over whatever-the-f**k...s**t.
MTS Centre, Winnipeg - May 26, 2008
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