Rich Hil may be the son of famous fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, but he’s making a name for himself in hip-hop. The rising rapper has inked a deal with Warner Bros. and XXLMag.com has learned that his forthcoming album on the label will be produced entirely by producer Lex Luger.
News of the 21-year-old upstart’s major label deal went public on Monday (July 18) via a YouTube video, but Hil said he actually signed with the label months ago. “I’ve been signed for a few months, but this is the first time it’s really real, because I couldn’t tell anybody I was signed until Warner was ready to put the press release out,” Hil told XXLMag.com. “It’s so surreal. I worked so hard for this shit.”
Hil, who was previously signed to Swizz Beatz’s Full Surface Records for three years, has independently released a steady stream of freestyles, songs and mixtapes, including the Lonely Limo series. He said Warner Bros. first became interested in him through R&B artist The Weeknd. “Warner was talking to the singer The Weeknd and they asked him, ‘Who do you want to work with; Who’s your favorite artist; We can probably make it happen;’ And he said ‘Rich Hil,’” he recalled, “so automatically they called me to the offices in LA and started talking about a deal, and we did it and everything worked out.”
While Hil’s indie status has changed, his style hasn’t, so listeners can expect more of the dystopian, drug-fueled tales he’s known for. This fall, he plans to drop the EP, Support Your Local Drug Dealer, followed by an as-yet untitled album and possible mixtape with Lex Luger. “We’ll probably do a whole Lex Luger mixtape before the album to give you an idea of what you’re gonna get,” Hil said. “’Cause I got a lot of records with Lex Luger, like more than an album right now, so we’re gonna split them up and do some shit.”
Though Luger is one of the most sought-after producers in the current hip-hop scene, Hil said Luger actually approached him about working together. “Usually I just get beats from my friends or people who hit me up online and send me shit, but he hit me up online like ‘Yo, I gotta work with you’ and I was like ‘Alright,’ ” Hil said. “The joints that he sent me are like, they sound like Rich Hil beats, like dark, grimey shit.”
Hil’s success and news of his official deal have naturally drawn praise from family and friends, including his father – who not only supports Hil’s career in music, but apparently envies it. “My dad couldn’t be more proud,” Hil says. “He kinda tells me sometimes like he’s jealous, he’s like ‘Man, if I knew how to make music, I would have made [records] instead of clothes.’ He tells me that all the time, kinda like he lives vicariously me through me, you know?” —Lauren Carter