And I finally realized that these niggas just want to see me downWant to see me fall, want to see...
And I finally realized that these niggas just want to see me down-Rich Homie Quan on “Investments” (2012)
Want to see me fall, want to see me down and fucked up
Hope to God I’m dead and locked up, want to see me down
Want to see me fall, want to see me down and fucked up
Prayin’ to God I’m dead and locked up
On the intro track of his breakout mixtape, Rich Homie Quan delivered a classic hook that captured the rising star’s acceptance of the fact that there will always be people who would relish the opportunity to see him crash and burn. “Investments,” as well as the rest of Still Goin In, arrived on September 27, nearly six full months after the release of his seminal and criminally overlooked mixtape I Go In On Every Song. So, in hindsight, some could argue that Quan’s skepticism was a bit premature. The soon-to-be 2013 XXL Freshman was on an unstoppable upward trajectory, and over the next handful of years, he would go on to become an integral part of one of Atlanta’s most legendary Hip-Hop team-ups ever and release a slew of iconic songs, such as 2013’s “Type of Way,” 2014’s “Lifestyle” with Rich Gang and Young Thug, and 2015’s smash hit “Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh).”
Yet rest assured, the former Think It’s A Game artist’s lyrics on “Investments” would come into fruition in the years to come, as the mid-to-late 2010s saw Rich Homie Quan seemingly take a step back from the limelight that had showered him throughout the top of the decade. During that time period, it wasn’t uncommon to hear fans and critics count Quan out, but the melodic Atlanta pioneer stayed down and bounded back with a late-decade buzzer beater in the form of 2019’s Coma.
Despite the hype-worthy declaration that he had officially awoken from his coma and returned to rap for good, Rich Homie Quan never followed Coma up with another project — that is, until now. Today, the Atlanta veteran is back with his latest project, Family & Mula, arriving a week after Still Goin In’s 10-year anniversary and on the same day as his 33rd birthday.
In the leadup to his sold-out Still Goin In anniversary show at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the release of Family & Mula, Rich Homie Quan invited HotNewHipHop out to one of his anniversary show rehearsals, where we knocked out an interview that both honored his storied past and celebrated his long-awaited return. Humble and hungry as ever, the beloved Atlanta rapper — known for classic cuts like “Differences,” “Man of the Year,” “Walk Thru,” “Mamacita,” “Milk Marie,” and so much more — touched on a myriad of topics, from the potential revival of his iconic Still Goin In mixtape series and his evolution as an artist to the making of Family & Mula and his conscious shift away from deadly music.
Check out what everyone’s favorite Rich Homie had to say below.
The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
HNHH: How are you feeling, man?
Rich Homie Quan: I’m feeling great, bro. Spiritually, I’m feeling good. Emotionally, I’m feeling good. Physically, I’m feeling great. I’m excited — it is the 10-year anniversary. I mean, that’s unheard of. I never knew when we first started, we’d be here 10 years later. I want 10 more years, you know. It’s an accomplishment, for sure, especially coming from where I came from.
Your anniversary show is days away, and I think it’s dope that you’re selling the tickets for $10.
Yep, we’ve got $10 tickets, $10 everything. $10 to livestream it if you’re not from Atlanta. Just trying to incorporate that 10 ’cause this is big, especially with us being independent. It’s hard to do. Shit, spending my own and really just bossing all the way up.
What are you most excited about with the anniversary show?
I’m just excited about performing in Atlanta. It’s probably been like five or six years since I did my own show here. Of course, the Birthday Bash and stuff be cool, but it’s different when you gotta do your own event where it’s just strictly you headlining. I’m excited to perform in front of my family, in front of my friends, in front of the city that I grew up in. That’s just big, man. I feel like it’s gonna be monumental.
Alright, well let’s go back a bit to what this whole moment is focused on: Still Goin In. Days away from its 10th anniversary, what does that project mean to you?
Man. That project means so much to me because it changed my life. When I first started rapping, I was rapping just to rap — not knowing it would change my life and the people around me lives forever. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this. I’ve lost people. I’ve had people hurt beside me. And a lot done changed from 10 years, shit. I was putting CDs out when Still Goin In came out. Like it ain’t CDs no more — it’s streaming now. I’m tryna transition into the streaming world. I gotta get me a streaming plaque. I don’t know what those feel like, you know what I mean?
Still Goin In? That’s my motto. That’s my mentality. And not just music, but with everything. If I pick something up, I’m tryna keep going. I ain’t tryna put it down. I told my fans and made a promise that I was gonna keep going in. I would’ve named this new project I’m Still Goin In, but the Still Goin In saga isn’t dead — let’s just say that. Still Goin In the series is not dead. I don’t know when we’re gonna bring it back, but it ain’t over with. I’m still goin’ in for sure.
That’s really exciting to hear. Before we get into the new project, I want to piggyback off what you said about it being a different, pre-streaming era. Fortunately, they are available on streaming platforms, but I am curious — with the resurgence of vinyl in recent years, do you ever see yourself putting your classic mixtapes out on wax?
Man, I think that would be dope as hell. I would love to rerelease my classic mixtapes on vinyl. Being musically inclined and in tune with sound, I just know that shit would sound so dope on vinyl. Vinyl is one of the cleanest sounds you’ll get from a record, so I’d love to get my mixtapes on vinyl.
Yo really, the first three in one big package would be crazy.
All three in one?
That would be dope as hell, but like I said — I ain’t done.
Facts, facts. Well, let’s talk about where this mixtape series started for a second. Even though, you’re nearing the anniversary of Still Goin In, the first tape — I Go In On Every Song — already turned 10 earlier this year.
Yeah, Still Goin In was the one that everybody caught, but it started with I Go In On Every Song.
Although it might not be as big as the next two, I Go In On Every Song was still solid, so walk me through your journey from creating that one to finding that sweet spot on Still Goin In.
I did those bodies of work within the same year, but I Go In On Every Song really started something. I felt like any beat I pulled, I was going in on — whether it was a beat on YouTube at the time or a pack of instrumentals that a producer dropped off to me. I was just so hungry, man. From I Go In On Every Song to Still Goin In, the only thing that changed was probably my record habits. It went from recording in my room to real studios, so that transition was a little weary at first. I had to just gain my confidence in a studio because I was so used to recording myself at home. I thought that was the way I was supposed to sound.
I was doing it incorrectly, but the incorrect way sounded so good. Even most of the stuff on Still Goin In was recorded at my momma house. I engineered that myself, and we just mastered the tracks on it. Other than that, shit, I was recording every day. The only thing that changed was I stopped recording myself, and I was getting better production. I was just out there going to open mics, doing the footwork, and making a name for myself.
Now, I’m gonna ask you to do the impossible. Which of the Still Goin In projects — so far — is your favorite, and how would you rank them?
This is probably based off memories, but my favorite one is Still Goin In. I would say Still Goin In is number one, and my number two would be I Promise I Will Never Stop Goin In. My number three would be the first one. A lot of people would probably put the third tape first, but I say the second one is the best because it changed my life. I was doing shows off I Go In On Every Song, but the next one changed my way of thinking. Still Goin In made me an original. It made me a household name. It’ll always be my favorite ’cause it takes me back to that time. I was recording most of those songs on a mattress with no bedspread, setting the computer in a lil’ corner chair, and I had a blue microphone. I just remember how hungry I was.
So that Still Goin In will be my first. I Promise I Will Never Stop Goin In will be number two, and I Go In On Every Song will be number three. But it’s still “dot dot dot.”
Got you. Well, let’s jump into your new project, Family & Mula. Go ahead and break it down for me.
Alright. So I think a lot of my fans know that I don’t really do a lot of features, but on this one, I do have one feature from NoCap. I’m very excited about that track. I’m a big fan of his. He’s a lyricist in my eyes, and he makes dope music. I wanted to show the fans that I was out networking and not just being so focused on myself this time. I’m excited for these tracks to be out.
I want the fans to hear the production, to hear the stories, to witness me evolve on the microphone. Other than that, it’s dropping on my birthday on October 4, so I’m just excited about it all. I’ve got a whole new energy on me, man. I’ve been on my CEO shit, so I’ve been more in tune with the phone calls and with the business now than I was 10 years ago. Before, I was just in artist mode, but now I know how to differentiate the two.
That’s cool that you’re getting NoCap, especially since there’s a bit of a Wayne connection there. You’ve paid homage to Lil Wayne in the past on songs like “Mamacita,” and he just had the “Mr. Crarter”-inspired intro on his new album. Kindred Wayne fans, that’s dope.
It’s hard, too. Like I said, I’m a fan of his music. When I reach out to artists, I reach out to artists I’m a fan of. You may see me on features on artists’ songs, but that’s because the artist reached out to me. But if I reach out to an artist, I like them. And with NoCap, I like his music. I like his wordplay. I like his delivery. I like the beats he picks, so I just thought it would be a dope track — which it is. The name of the song is “Bigger Jeans,” and it’s one of my favorites off the project.
The last full-length project that we got from you was Coma in 2019. What happened between Coma and the lead-up to this project?
I would definitely say the production changed a lot. This time, we were working with more in-house production, as opposed to the emails. Coma was a lot of email work, and it was still a great body of work if you ask me. The difference with this one is that I was able to create with the producers being in the studio, so rather than having someone send 10 tracks and I only pick one, we might do eight for eight. We were able to vibe and create that energy.
Mentally, it was just more fun. It was more fun recording this project. I didn’t feel like the pressure was on me. I’m not gonna say that the pressure was on me with Coma, but I just feel like I had to drop something or put something together. This right here just organically came together, from me just dropping songs and being in a good space. It probably came from me having my last kid during quarantine. I think that’s what gave me that motivation. Like, “Damn, I got another baby? Well, I need a bigger house, and in order to get that, I gotta go to work.” That just sparked it, but it was fun. It didn’t feel like work. I wanted to give the new kid some new accolades to talk about. He don’t know nothing about none of them plaques on the wall, so I gotta get something for his generation to know about.
After the baby came, everything was just flowing. I had a different swagger on me. I had a different mojo. It was like whatever beat came on, I was rapping different. I was like, “Damn, where this Quan been?” My new kid brought something out of me, so I’m not saying this one’s dedicated to him, but I should definitely credit him as the executive producer or something. I know this one is gonna pay off big.
That’s beautiful, man. Is that what influenced the title of the tape?
Family & Mula. 10 years later, that’s really all that it’s about, man. My family and my business, and of course, my business is gonna make money. I really try to keep those at the forefront of my focus. God first, but other than that, family and money. Family and the business, business in the family. I’m making investments, and I’m growing. I’m not that same “Type Of Way” rapper no more. Yeah, that’s one of my staples, but I have grown. I’ve evolved, and I want my things to grow and evolve with me.
And that’s coming out on your 33rd birthday — October 4. Happy birthday in advance man!
Thank you, man. It’s a gift to the fans. All I want is an honest reaction from the fans. I’m not saying everybody gon’ like my music, but an honest reaction is all I want.
Okay. To pivot really quick, you recently said in an interview that you’re top three in Atlanta, and you’re not three.
Just curious, who are the other two in the top three Atlanta rappers, for you?
I don’t know who the other two are. I know Future up there. Baby up there. Thug up there. Savage up there. And this is just me being competitive, you know what I’m saying? We’ll save those for the fans to pick, but I know I’m top three. And I’m not three.
I ain’t shining on nobody light or nothing. I just know me. And it’s Hip-Hop.
Yeah, it’s gotta be competitive.
Hell yeah. I don’t think none of those guys are better than me. I’m looking at influence. I’m not just looking at numbers. I feel like I done influenced a sound. A whole different sound to Hip-Hop.
I mean, the work that you and some of the other people that you mentioned put in during the 2010s is still the prevailing sound of Hip-Hop to this day.
To this day. Atlanta different, man. We’re the innovators. Shoutout to all of the artists that I mentioned as well. Just friendly competition, man.
I like how you said that these debates are for the fans to decide. With that said, how important is it for you to get your flowers? I was just reading earlier today about how PNB Rock’s “Selfish” is up like 650%. It’s like unimaginable binge streaming now that he has passed. As an artist, how much weight do you put into that?
I think it’s very important for artists to get their flowers. As artists, sometimes we do be in a dark space, and we just need that confirmation. That confirmation helps with our creative ability. And just not getting them sometimes makes you feel like, “Damn, they forgot? Do they not know?”
That’s why if I’m a fan of anybody, I’mma tell ’em. I ain’t a hater, so I’ll tell ’em, “Boy, you hard” or “You inspired me.” I told Bow Wow that. Niggas ain’t telling Bow Wow that. Bow Wow was like Michael Jackson to me when I was little, bro. So I just had to tell him when I did a song with him. I ain’t afraid to tell a nigga that, but every artist ain’t gon’ do that though.
It happens all the time, they ain’t gonna give you no props, like “Quan, you the reason I rap.” That sounds lame to them. But I be knowing.
Well, I got one more question for you. When I first interviewed you after the release of Coma, I was fresh out of college and brand new to this shit, and we were at Pandora in a room full of music industry people. I get caught up, jumbling up the questions and stuff, and you tell me, “Don’t get lost in the sauce.” So to return that favor, here’s my question for you. How are you making sure you don’t get lost in the sauce in an era of Hip-Hop when rappers are getting hit with RICO cases and being hunted and killed for sport?
Mm. I would say that I’m not getting lost in the sauce because I’m so focused on bettering myself and my brand. I don’t even got time to go taste the sauce. I’m so tunnel-visioned and so focused that if I’m making the same mistakes that I was making 10 years ago that I wasted 10 years of my life.
I’m staying true to myself and keeping my circle and team around me tight, man. I know they believe in me more than I believe in myself sometimes. And everyone’s been able to be accountable. So it ain’t so much about getting lost in the sauce. The sauce is always gonna be there. But it can be prevented. That’s the way I prevent it — by staying focused, focusing on the brand, staying in the studio. I’m keeping the message relatable and motivational, but I’m also not being deadly with my words.
Have you listened to Family & Mula yet? If not, check Rich Homie Quan’s latest release out here, and keep it locked to HNHH for more exclusive interviews.
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