Your new mixtape Bigga Than the Mayor is dropping soon. What can you tell us about the mixtape?
I can tell you, for one thing, man, I did the project for the mixtape fans and the street fans because it’s a new generation, man. You got this crowd that buys people’s mixtapes. Some people get mixtapes and they don’t even get the album. I am definitely going for that fanbase.
How important is it to stay in touch with the mixtape audience?
Very. I feel like they help you keep that underground fanbase, man. That’s exactly what it is – it’s that underground fanbase that’s not into the pop music. I feel that it’s real important. They all help you create your buzz when your album’s coming up. That’s why Lil’ Wayne’s buzz is so crazy because of all the mixtapes he’s dropped.
Lil’ Wayne is rumored to record three songs a day. Can you record at that pace?
Nah, man. I have to grow into that. I’ll get there. The most songs I can probably do a day is two, but I can do one song every day.
How important is it to constantly record to stay sharp as an MC?
It’s important. It’s like extra practice before the game. It’s like all those shots you shoot and all those times you run. It’s just all part of practice, man, before the game. The mixtapes are like practice.
Are you happy with the feedback you’ve gotten to the leaked songs so far?
Yeah, I’m real happy with that. I’m real happy with all of that. It’s doing exactly what I wanted it to do. But there’s a difference between my mixtape and my album. The mixtape is about where I live and a representation of where I’m coming from. With my album, it’s about the changes I would like to see in the world. It’s a different story. The mixtape is the cover of the book.
What inspired you to put together “Ms. Pac Man”?
Oh, man, I was in the studio and I was in the room doing another song and Gucci Mane came in with this crazy hook and he was telling me that he thought I should do it. I was like, ‘For real?’ He laid it down and it was a great idea. It was something for the females.
What’s your favorite arcade game?
It’s gotta be either Pac Man or Mario Brothers.
How is your new album coming?
Oh, man, my album is coming great, man. I think I found a new sound for hip-hop and you can hear it in my album, man. It’s going to be crazy, man. All of it is real emotional. The beats hit you before you even hear the lyrics and the lyrics just take it to another level. I’m rapping about real life shit every day and talking about my life. I’m talking about what I’ve been through. It’s going to be a real touching album but at the same time you’re going to be able to play it in the club.
Do you feel like you earned fans’ respect as a lyricist off of your first album?
I don’t think I gained as many fans as I could have for being a lyricist. I was just learning how to rap. Now that I’m coming up more with my style, I’m able to do more of what I’m supposed to do on this album. I won over a lot of fans with songs like “Let’s Get This Paper” and “Ghetto Rich”. I feel like I did exactly what I was supposed to do, but I just want to take it to another level, man.
Do you find that because you’re relatively new at rapping that you’re still learning new things every day?
Yeah. I learn every day. I grow every day, man, and I’m working harder at becoming great. I live in the studio, man. I just want to be so much greater than what I am. That’s the motivation. When I get on YouTube and the internet and see the negative comments, it fuels me to the point where I want to prove any person that says anything negative about me wrong. That’s the motivation for me.
How much do the negative comments affect your music?
It just pushes me, man. I don’t get mad or anything. I just tell myself that I have to prove that person wrong and win them over as a fan.
You shot the video for “Let’s Get This Paper” out of your own pocket. How important was that song to you to pay for the video yourself?
I felt like that was one of the few songs on my album that really represented me and I felt like why not? I had to roll with that one. It was just something inside of me telling me that I should shoot a video to it.
Even though you’re signed to a major label in Interscope, how important is it to your survival as an artist that you don’t get comfortable and let them handle your business for you?
If you rely on them it’s automatically over for you. It’s just not going to happen for you the way you want it to happen. If you’re really trying to take control over your situation, you have to always think for yourself.
Have you been working with Polow Da Don on the new album?
Yeah. So far, that’s the only person I have been working with.
What kind of songs are you guys coming up with?
We’re coming out with these crazy songs. I can’t explain it, man. It’s one of those feelings you get and it’s one of those moments in life where you’ll know exactly where you was when you first heard it. It’s all me and it’s all real. This whole record is crazy.
Since you’ve gotten popular, has it gotten better for artists trying to come out of Alabama?
Yeah. I feel like people are getting a chance that are coming out of Atlanta now. At least they’ll listen to their demo or they’ll listen to a verse now.
What artists do you want to put on?
I’m working with my homeboy. I’m working with Big Gada and Supavillain. I think they’re real talented. I’m working with another cat named T-Bo. I’m working with all those kids.
You were recently on the cover of XXL as one of the next up-and-comers. What did that mean to you?
Oh, man, that put the pressure on me for what XXL labeled me as. That just made me go harder. I have a lot to prove.
What’s the next move for Rich Boy?
I’m going to be dropping my first single off of my album this summer and I’m going to have the mixtape Bigga Than the Mayor dropping and you’re just going to see it, man.