Yesterday we had lunch with Rich Homie Quan, Atlanta’s newest rising star, at Bareburger, at one of New York City’s favorite organic/ all natural burger joints. We talked about his new single, literature, jail time, and of course, food.
HHW: Tell us what what you’re doing in New York City right now and how long are you here?
QUAN: I’m here until Wednesday. We came for a press run. This is my first time in NYC. There’s so much traffic around here man. Felt like it took 2 hours just to get here. But it’s cool.
HHW: Being from Texas, my first New York experience wasn’t culture shock, it was speed shock! Everything is happening FAST! Do you feel the same way, coming from down south in Atlanta?
QUAN: Yeah man, this place just keeps going…it never sleeps! In Atlanta at midnight we gotta lay down and start over again in the morning (laughs). Here it never stops.
HHW: So tell us about the press run…You have a new single out right?
QUAN: It’s called “Some Type of Way.” It’s more like that hater feel good type song…like when someone makes that face (at you) and you’re like “I know you feel some type of way.” It’s something people been saying forever. It’s a feel good song with that club vibe – like turn the whole club up – it’s not like a crunk song, but I get a crunk response.
HHW: Tour life is intense and you don’t get a lot of time to yourself. Whenever you do get a chance to catch your breath and just relax, what do you do for fun?
QUAN: I love video games. Like clubbin’ has never been a part of my life really. I’m a fan of sports, like NBA Live, Madden, any kind of sports game. I’m a game freak…but I like to read books also. Music used to be my hobby, but now it’s become my life so I bought a 4 wheeler. I’m trying to find new fun, new adventures.
HHW: What made you love books?
QUAN: I read my first book when I was in jail. It’s the creativity of a book…you get more details than a movie. Like the movie Precious, I saw the movie but I read the book too and it gave so much more gruesome details. The movie doesn’t really give you details like that. That’s really an attribute I picked up in jail; I had never read a book before I went to jail.
HHW: How old were you then?
QUAN: I was 20 years old. I still graduated, but you know there’s a difference between reading and reading with understanding. You can fly through words all day, but if you’re not painting a picture, ain’t no point. I love reading…literature is my favorite subject. Everybody raps about the same thing, but it’s the way you tell your story. That’s what makes you stand out.
HHW: It looks like it’s time to order, what type of burger you having?
QUAN: I think I’m trying this new SUPREME burger. I don’t really know, it’s my first time here but I think I’m having the Supreme. I think it comes with bacon, but it’s my first time…I’m trying to ask them for advice. I’ve never heard of – where we at – Bareburger? It took me like 20 minutes to look at the menu, like this ain’t nothing like I’ve ever seen. You gotta think, like Atlanta, it’s Double Cheeseburger with BACON, that’s really how it be. NO Supreme, nothing.
HHW: What’s happening in the summer? I know it’s hot as f**k, but are you traveling, you touring?
QUAN: I have a new mixtape coming out. And I’m on the road basically the rest of the year. I’m booked up. This weekend I have North Carolina, Ohio, Florida.
HHW: You have any insane tour experiences? A certain city that gave you the craziest energy?
QUAN: Milwaukee. Club 618, I believe it’s called. It was my first time ever going up there. The love they showed, I still haven’t found the words to describe the feeling. It’s one thing to sing along with me, but these people were screaming (lyrics) like it was their songs. Like it’s not your song anymore, it’s my song. But that comes from feelings. Whenever you can make someone feel your song is their song, you know it’s a good song.
HHW: When was the moment that you changed, became this person? The person who wanted to make music and inspire other people.
QUAN: In jail. It came from me wanting to surround myself with better people. In jail, ain’t nothing but time on your hands. So I’m sitting there thinking, What did I do to get myself in this situation? And I’m thinking about the people I surround myself with. So I get home and I now I have felony. So I starting thinking, what was I good at? And I remembered that in high school that I liked Literature. And I thought, What could I see myself doing that I would enjoy? I was like – Music! But I’m telling myself, I can’t be no rapper – I’m shot. But Idk, maybe if I tell my story a little different, maybe I have a shot. That was 2011.
HHW: I’ve asked this question on a couple interviews and it’s been surprisingly difficult to answer. Nas said “All I need is one Mic.” But if ALL YOU HAVE IS ONE TWEET and the whole world, 7 billion people, could see it, what would you say?
QUAN: 4 Words. Keep Your Circle Small.
Interview by John Wesley Sargent