After dropping his self-titled debut in 2007 and gracing the cover of XXL as part of the original ’08 Freshmen class, Rich Boy is finally back. With three years worth of material on deck, the Alabama rapper’s ready to prove he’s got more in store than a quick single. Still signed under Zone 4 and Interscope Records, Rich is making waves again with his latest single, “She Love Me, She Love Me Not,” which was mistakenly referred to as “Standing on the Couch” when it first leaked. XXLMag.com caught up with the country fried rapper to get the scoop on what he’s been up to the past three years and how he plans to throw some more D’s on the game.
XXLMag.com: People really haven’t heard much from you since you graced the cover of XXL’s original Freshmen issue. What have you been up to?
Rich Boy: I moved to Hollywood and I’ma be out here for at least five years and grind it out. I’m [still] with Zone 4 and Interscope; they was the ones that advised me to move to Hollywood so we could make more moves as far as like movies and just different things you can get into bein’ on the West Coast versus bein’ in Atlanta or Alabama. It’s just like if I was into Wall Street I would move to New York or somethin’, you know.
XXLMag.com: So can we expect an album soon since you’ve had some downtime?
Rich Boy: Yeah, I’m on the way to the second album of my career. I’ve just been up here workin’ with Polow, and workin’ with Dr. Dre… Been workin’ with all kinds of people, but those are the main two people that I’ve just been seein’ on a day-to-day note tryin’ to put it together. Polow’s the executive producer of the second [album].
XXLMag.com: Do you have a drop date for the album yet?
Rich Boy: I don’t have a date yet, but what I’m hoping for is, at the latest, first quarter of next year, but I’m shootin’ for fourth quarter [of this year]. I just wanna warm up in the fourth quarter and then come out in the first quarter [of next year].
XXLMag.com: Your single is picking steam, can we expect a video to accompany that anytime soon?
Rich Boy: Yeah, “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” is the official name of the record, but we’re gonna shoot the video to that like within two weeks or so… Some people call it, “Standing on the Couch,” but I don’t know how it got two different names—and I also got one comin’ with me Drake, and Lloyd.
XXLMag.com: Aside from moving to the West Coast, what’s been the hold up on the album?
Rich Boy: I just [been doing] my homework is the best way I can put it. I did a lot of studying on music and it took a couple years—like going through college—I put myself through music college for this album. Yeah, that’s the best way I can put it. I sat down with all kinds of producers… Jim Jonsin, I watched him, we did a couple records, you know, stayed in there with him for like a week; we got to go see Drumma Boy in Atlanta, stayed with him for a couple weeks to do a couple things.
XXLMag.com: Word has it you’re trying to start following in the footsteps of rap legends, how so?
Rich Boy: I feel like I study legends and I see how they do it. A lot a legends don’t even come out with that many albums, but when they come wit ‘em they be awesome, like Dr. Dre. They just really put the time into they music and they craft… This one it took me so long ‘cause I had to actually study like every culture of music like I get on… I do things like get on iTunes and I just run through different cultures of music, like it might be some Chinese music I don’t even know about but I’ll listen to it all day and just study it.
XXLMag.com: Chinese music? Did you pick up on any other type of music?
Rich Boy: I noticed like when I went to Germany and Italy is electronic music is gettin’ big worldwide. I tried to figure out a way to bring electronic music with like a Motown feel, like an electronic feeling with the Motown and rap on top of that… The best I can describe it, I tried to bring all cultures together on one album, but with my Alabama talk to it. I tried to bring the world together with my voice.
XXLMag.com: Is there a name for the album yet?
Rich Boy: It’s called Resurrected in Diamonds cause it’s like you know, Africans were rich in Africa. They had diamonds, gold, and all that shit, so we lost the ball when we were put into slavery. But now you see niggas gettin’ it back, like diamonds and shit rollin’ wit they crew.
XXLMag.com: So you’re trying to reach out into your heritage for this album?
Rich Boy: I named my album Resurrected in Diamonds because like in Alabama, niggas are the last ones to kinda get the ball. We just need to reawaken ourselves and you know, pick up and handle business as men and get some of this money out here. I need to see more Black billionaires. I’m not racist or anything; I just feel like a Black man just need to get a billion… That’s why I named it that and that’s why I talk about flashy shit ‘cause a nigga needs some nice shit… It’s just getting the ball back. You might lose it, but you’ll get it back you know.
XXLMag.com: Has exploring and studying different cultures helped you grow more as a person and an artist?
Rich Boy: I know for a fact ‘cause I’ve noticed that when I’m in the studio with some artists like they only know one general music and that’s rap… That’s a weakness, because you gotta travel this world when you’re dealing with this rap. You have to take time to live and have all these experiences… I know a little bit more about soccer and everything.
XXLMag.com: After the hiatus how do you keep motivated to do music?
Rich Boy: I realized that I’m supposed to use my talents to master whatever I can master…You need the example of a Puff Daddy or a Jay-Z to motivate a man to get off the couch and just stop bein’ on the corner and become something bigger. For some people money is the motivation, and for some people it’s just the passion. Well, both motivate me.
XXLMag.com: What else have you been working on besides music? Do you have any other projects going on outside of music?
Rich Boy: Just mastering becoming an entrepreneur, and what I mean by that is, it has nothing to do with rap as far as the money I make and what I’m investing it into you know. We was at a burger spot the other day; we thinkin’ about investing in burger spots… We might start our own coffee brand and franchise it with Starbucks or something. We thinkin’ out the box—that’s what I’ve been doing. —Amber McKynzie