In the ever so competitive landscape of New York City comes a young emcee out of North Queens named Richie Richer. This emcee is on the radar of the new generation of New York’s up and coming class. We caught up with Richie Richer out in the borough of Queens to talk Hip-Hop and the music business for an independent artist. Hip-Hop in New York has changed on many levels and Rich is here to walk you through it.
So Richie Rich where are you from?
I’m from North Side Queens, New York and I’m representing my crew BankLine. That’s the team. Shouts out to YungBless, Chubby Blanco, Fendi Don, LV Da Logo, Marv Milly the whole BankLine you feel me.
How would you describe the Hip-Hop scene in Queens right now for people who aren’t there to see it in action?
The Queens Hip-Hop scene is… the thing about Queens is everybody is so competitive and everybody is mastering their own lane so it’s not as if everybody is together. There’s a lot of people that are coming out in New York that are doin their thing. We got Lougotcash, various individuals. YTB, there’s a lot of shit low-key goin’ on.
Do you see New York coming together like The South has on a collaborative effort or do you think there is going to continue to be that fight for The King Of New York?
Be honest with you, I feel like it’s always going to be that fight for The Crown. But Brooklyn does a good job of coming together. I just think Queens itself is more about everybody being on their own. I don’t see Queens coming together like that but if it does then Queens would takeover! Queens got a lot of talent, so if we came together Queens would make CRAZY noise. It’s unfortunate.
Who were some of the people that you were listening to growing up?
Growing up I was a huge 50 Cent fan. Everywhere I would go as a young buck I would always hear “50 this, 50 that” so that was somebody I naturally gravitated to. So that’s one person I always listened to. I’m also a huge Lil Wayne and Gucci fan. Those are a few select artist that I came up on.
How did a rapper from Queens, New York become such a huge Gucci Mane fan?
When Gucci first came out with “Back To The Trap House” he had a strong New York campaign goin’ on. A lot of the stores were giving out his CDs. He had the vans wrapped up with his mixtape cover driving around the city, you feel me. One day I just picked up the CD and I just went home and listened to it. I was like this shit is FIRE! And I used to tell everybody around my way like, Yo! This dude Gucci hot! People used to look at me crazy. Years down the line he ended up blowin up. People askin me how I knew Gucci was gonna blow up? I was one of the ones up top that found out about Gucci early on.
The days of campaigning music have changed so much with the internet in play. Do you think that hand to hand connect with the artist and the fans is missing?
It is something missing. People don’t come around with CDs no more because people don’t even use CDs anymore. Everything is on the digital wave. You just go online and everything is right there for you. Music is like an all you can buffet now. You just go online and take what you want. As an artist you have to adjust to the way people consume music but you can still mix in some of the old school ways to make sure that connection with the fans is there.
With music being a bit of a buffet now how much material do you plan to put on your mixtape?
I feel like quality over quantity. Your first impression has to be your best impression. With that being said I’m trying to make sure each time out I put my best foot forward because each time out you have people that are hearing you for the first time. I’m gonna put the best 10 tracks I got out on that mixtape so people can get a taste of where I’m coming from and understand the type of music that I’m on. So later on when I start doing albums I can start putting out a quantity of music because at that point the fans know what I’m capable of.
Tell people about the mixtape.
I have a project that I’m about to release called “Pardon My Rich Behavior” and I also got a project with the squad coming later on in the year called “Year Of The Bank”. Looking to drop “Year Of The Bank” before the end of the Summer.
Tell us about the singles and the videos you have out.
Out now I got a single called “Spin The Block” featuring Chubby Blanco that is buzzin crazy. Also released a single called “Fuck Shit”, and I also have a single with Yungbless called “Bruce Lee”. Those are the three joints I’m pushin right now. That “Bruce Lee” music video is gonna be a movie. All the videos were shot in Queens, New York. “Spin The Block” & “Fuck Shit” will be on my upcoming mixtape “Pardon My Rich Behavior”.
What platforms will “Pardon My Rich Behavior” be available on?
We’re gonna flood it. It’s going to be available on all platforms. Spotify, iTunes, Datpiff, you name. Big campaign for this one.
Who do you think are the top lyricist to come out of Queens?
50, Nas, LL, N.O.R.E, Prodigy, and I gotta throw Nicki in there for the females.
When did you start to hear the sound of traditional New York Hip-Hop change into all these different sounds that other regions were known for?
Around the Brick Squad Era, really. When Gucci and them came out, everybody wanted to be from Atlanta. Everybody start rappin on Atlanta beats. Everything started shifting to that sound. The more music evolved we started being more exposed to more types of music. With that being said the music that we make now is a mixture of everything that we’ve been listening to. Back when it was just radio all we had so was New York music. We didn’t have social media we didn’t have the internet.
Is “Pardon My Rich Behavior” more of a conceptual piece or more about just having straight up bangers?
Straight up bangers. A mixtape itself don’t need an actual storyline. It’s just a mixture of great music. But when I get to the point of making my album it will make more sense to have the storyline. Because you have more time to think of it. It’s on a different level.
A lot of fans feel like the mixtapes from their favorite artist are better than the actual albums. What do you think that is?
Because, it’s not as much pressure. You just go in there and talk your shit and let the music happen itself, happen organically. As far as albums that’s where you’re trying to reach a different demographic, trying to please everybody. The mixtapes is more for the streets. With an album being targeted to so many different types of people everybody isn’t gonna like everything on the album.
Major record deal or independent grind?
I’m with the independent grind, I don’t even think I wanna sign a deal. Probably, 5 maybe 10 years down the line. Because right now, what can the record label do that I can’t do? As far as me getting the material out. The only thing they’ve got, is a bigger outlet/machine. At the end of the day, the same amount they are putting in I can make that money on the independent grind. I’m gonna ride the independent grind out until there is no more room for me to grow. But even when it gets to that point we can do a deal together where we both can benefit from it as oppose to just them benefiting off or me. Some people come straight out the gate looking for a record deal just to be hot.
Anybody in your crew you wanna give a shoutout to?
I wanna give a shoutout to Yungbless. He’s got a mixtape coming out called “blessed2flex”. No actual release date on it yet but it is coming real soon. He got a single comin out called “BAG”. Straight up heat. Also shoutout to Chubby Blanco that is featured in my “Spin The Block” single. Blanco also got some solo material droppin. Also shoutout to Fendi, he workin on a lot of shit too. The whole gang workin! That’s why “The Year Of The Bank” is the most appropriate title for our crew mixtape. Because it just feels like organically it’s the year of the bank. Right now we tryin to keep everything with the squad. Keep everything under the same tree. The way we look at it is we all tryin to help each other. That’s how we rockin.
Who do you think is at the top of the game right now in Hip-Hop?
As of right now the two people that got it is Drake and the other one isn’t even an artist it’s a group. It’s Migos, just due to consistently being able to provide bangers. I have to say that they’re the hottest in the game. The rap game is like the drug game. It’s like if you my plug I’m gonna come to you whenever I need it. If you don’t have it then I’m gonna have to find another plug, another dealer. Whenever I want hot music if you not supplying it, what you think I’m gonna do? I’m about to listen to the next artist. Pretty soon I’m not gonna want to even listen to that artist anymore.
How often do you plan on releasing material?
I’m gonna drop as much material as possible. I’m gonna keep supplying the streets. Music is not there to just keep to yourself and listen to all day. It’s for the public so why keep it stashed in your computer when you can share it, you feel me.