Student Media: I know you grew up in Atlanta, I just wanted to find out, growing up in Atlanta, how did that influence your music?
Rich Homie Quan: Growing up in Atlanta influenced my music- It gave me a story to tell. In Atlanta, music’s really big, it’s bigger than television. Music runs through our veins. There’s some nice parts of Atlanta, some hard parts, all I can really do is tell my story. There’s no story like mine, all I can do is stick to the script.
sm: What makes your story different?
rhq: Because, no one will ever live a life like mine. Even if it’s just waking up and walking to the mailbox, it’s still different, you know what I’m saying? It’s something different every day. In Atlanta, everyone wants to rap, so to separate yourself, you’ve got to tell your own story. Everybody’s story is different.
sm: Do you have challenges in presenting that story?
rhq: Sometimes. Only because my music it’s like my story, and sometimes, to different people, that story can get misconstrued. People look at it different ways. It depends on how you look at it, what you want to tell about your story- some parts I want to tell of my story, I can’t tell.
sm: What about your story gets misconstrued the most? Is there a part that you feel like people don’t really understand?
rhq: It comes with the territory. And also like sometimes gettin music misconstrued can be good because it keeps people wonderin, and it draws attention. You know what I’m sayin, a lot of times it’s bad, though.
Most of the time it’s bad [laughs].
sm: Would you say that when you go to the studio, you try to change things up a lot? What do you have in your head when you go to record?
rhq: I never go to the studio with something in my head. It was a hobby at first, I do it for fun. Whenever I go to the studio, I’m not trying to make a hit, I’m just trying to make good music- trying to make my next song better than my last song. It’s kinda hard now. I try to find new hobbies that excite me, and then I’ll have new things to talk about. I just go in, try to have fun. I never go in the studio like “I know for a fact, I’m going to make a song about this.”
sm: Do you feel like, now that rapping has become your job, that’s changed your creative process?
rhq: I wouldn’t say it’s changed my creative process, but when I first started rapping, I’d seen half the stuff I’ve seen now. At the studio now, I definitely put more time in, I’ve stopped trying to rush songs. I’ll start with like, a twenty minute song. We start stacking more, doing ad-libs more. It’ll take the fun out of it, though. Just music in general.
sm: How has the rap industry moved since you’ve started rapping?
rhq: Music has moved. More music is being dropped because people have to keep dropping music to stay relevant. It’s more dancing now, more feeling it. You’ve got to stay in tune with the people. People don’t even buy CD’s anymore, you’re not buying hard copies. Everything’s on telephones these days. When I dropped my first mix tape, it was just CD’s. Now, your promoting is all on the internet. There was no snapchatting and I wasn’t even on Instagram, yet. You can have so many songs, but it’s still about how you drop the song, you have to make sure you drop them all differently. You want to do it your way, but your way might not be the way people want it to go, you know?
sm: Have these new elements in the industry, like social media, taken away from what people should focus on?
rhq: It’s kind of fifty-fifty percent. The good part is that anyone can do it and promote themselves. The bad part about it is it takes away from a lot of good artists who have talent. Not to say that some of these guys aren’t talented, but you have some one-hit-wonders, and you have some people who really love music and have lots of talent that get overshadowed by people who might not have that much talent.