It took a few years, a jail sentence and turning down a scholarship to figure out what he was put on earth to do, but hey, Rich Homie Quan is here. Future, Migos and Trinidad James now have a new rapper to contend with for the “Fastest Thing Rising Out Of ATL,” title. The kid’s paid his dues, already made an appearance on a Jeezy mixtape and he’s already popped up in your city while on tour with Trinidad James. Now he’s creeping up the Billboard Hot 100 with Summer sleeper “Type Of Way,” which is currently at #57.
His lyrics won’t be mistaken for anything off Liquid Swords and his voice cracks a bit when he sings, but he still comes up strong. It’s not like he hasn’t had a good amount of practice, having been active in the rap world since 2008 (that’s three years longer than Trinidad, who is two years his senior). Aside from the time he’s clocked in the booth, Quan insists he’s got a knack for music and considers himself a musical being … and baseball player, apparently.
So you got those hooks down. Kind of Future-ish, but with your own twist.
Yeah man. I had music in me always. Even as a child. I was just born into it. I was in a band in elementary school so early on I was learning about music. Then I was really into it in high school, like going hard but I wasn’t focused on just music. Had too much other things going on.
When did you really, really start taking it seriously?
When I came home from jail. I promised myself I was going to focus harder so I can tell my story and be a success. That’s all I want to do–tell my story and the story of kids who grew up like me. Because I’m sure a lot of people can relate.
I’m sure a lot of people can. You must’ve gotten locked up pretty young. What was the charge?
Burglary. Breaking into houses. At the time I wasn’t [mature]. Nobody’s perfect and I’m no different. I messed up, but I’m on the right track now.
What makes you feel like you’re on the right track?
My mind has grown tremendously. It’s not always where you come from, but were your going.
Word. Rakim said, “It ain’t where you’re from its where you’re at.”
Exactly, exactly. Man that’s what I’m talking about. Like I said, no one is perfect. I made mistakes. It takes a real man to admit that and be a better person.
How do you want to be better?
Just be smarter, more intelligent. I make much better decisions now, even though I’m still learning.
Well, you seem like you’re on the right track.
Yeah, I feel like I am too. Right before I got locked up I had a lil’ buzz going. So when I came home I took [rapping] more serious because I saw that it could happen for me. The whole time in jail I had raps going on in my head. When I came into the studio I just started spitting. And I’m not finna stop now.
You were also into sports too, right?
I was played baseball in high school. I graduated with a 3.2 GPA. I got a full scholarship, but I was too deep into the streets. Long story short–cut could’ve been even worse then what I ended up in jail for and that’s another reason why I learned to stick with my talents instead of the street.
Why do you think so many kids find it hard to leave the streets?
Me personally, its hard to say. Outside looking in is only talk. But my personal situation, we come from nothing so it wasn’t hard to leave streets alone. Now, I’ll never forget where I come from but…
It’s the people, not the hood.
Yeah it’s my family. I can’t individualize one person. But everyone’s been supportive not just on music when I was into baseball too. They’ve always been supportive.
So you’re still independent, right?
At this moment still indie. So we’re in the streets, working. Everything is beautiful right now, whole lotta grinding. I’m feeling no pressure though. Whole lot of grinding though.
I like that ATL is birthing some hustlers. Who inspires you?
Webbie, Boosie, The Hot Boys…
Before you go, how’d you get your name?
I was always rich in spirit. And I’m the homie. And Quan, as in me. That’s my name.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 30, 2013