It’s been about three years since Rich Boy released his self-titled debut full of hard-knocking Southern fried tunes. The Alabama rapper is back in the studio working on new material, which he says will have a deeper message.
The as-yet-untitled disc will see the light of day this year, according to Rich Boy. “We’ve been doing a lot of recording. Just trying to create a new lane in the game. So when I come back it’s all trend setting,” Rich Boy tells VIBE of his sophomore project. “I been studying everything so my visuals when I come, it’s gon’ be totally different. The message [is] deeper than the last album… It’s more intelligent, more mature.”
Atlanta hitmaker Polow Da Don handled the bulk of production on the first disc, including the soulful street banger, “Throw Some Ds,” and the Keri Hilson-assisted single, “Good Things.”
Believe it or not, Rich Boy has had his head in the books this time around, soaking up knowledge to educate his fans, in addition to listening to music from all over the world. “I studied a lot of country leaders. I studied every music from whatever they play in Asia to what they play in Germany,” he says. “I really sat there for weeks and just listened to every country’s music and taught myself how to love it instead of just saying, ‘This sound crazy to me, put that Boosie back on.’ Or whatever I grew up on. I had used CDs I was listening to and just put myself on a whole ’nother platform so my ear would be different this time.”
He’s even tapped into different religions. “Whatever religion you name, I studied it,” he says. “Buddhism, I studied that this morning. It’s deep, man.”
Rich Boy hasn’t gone completely Namaste on us just yet. All the learning is just to open up the minds of his listeners. “I want that person to feel like I’ve traveled around the world once they listen to the album. Feel like, Okay, he know about the hood and he know about traveling around the world,” he says. “I want people to see that I learned something. Blowing up instead of me just blowing up and being the same person. I actually got out there and saw each state in the United States and had these experiences, from Philadelphia to Germany.”
In the meantime, he’s placated fans with a few free mixtapes, including Bigger Than The Mayor and Kool-Aid, Kush & Convertibles. Look out for more street music dropping late spring to early summer.
“When my album drops, the hip-hop game is gonna have to go in a whole other direction. I really did my homework on this one,” says Rich Boy. “The first time, they expected me to come out of Alabama and not do nothing at all. Everybody’s underestimated at some point in their life. It’s up to them to make people believe.” —Clover Hope