Rich Homie Quan is feeding the streets this holiday season.
On Monday evening (Nov. 24), the rapper returned to South DeKalb Mall on Atlanta’s east side for the next leg of Think It’s a Game Entertainment’s Feed the Streets campaign. “Basically we’re here to give back. The Feed the Streets campaign has been going throughout the month of November,” he tells The Boombox. “It’s all about giving back.”
As the line filed into sneaker store DTLR, there was a sense of purpose and militant organization from the T.I.G. staff. Everyone and everything was in position, including Quan. The ‘Walk Thru’ creator sat in front of a step-and-repeat for about two hours, signing posters, smiling for pictures and even taking dance instruction from three adorable little girls who call themselves D’Squared.
Later, the team briefs Quan on actual numbers. “Today we gave away 100 turkeys,” the rapper shares, smiling. “It felt good. It really showed me that my music touches more than just the kids.”
As it should. Quan’s reach these days, especially with certain affiliations, has netted him an entirely new pocket of fans from a number of demographics. He’s still getting used to it all. “Yeah, I got old fans,” he says with a chuckle. “One older lady today asked me for a kiss. Couldn’t do it.”
Last year, during this same week, Rich Homie was at South DeKalb Mall, handing out turkeys but his positioning in hip-hop wasn’t nearly as heavy as it is today. In addition to his music career, he has a clothing line, RICH, which debuted in stores shortly after getting off tour with Jeezy and Wiz Khalifa this summer.
The remix to his latest street single, ‘Blah Blah Blah,’ has a solid verse from one fab rapper from Brooklyn and as one-third of Rich Gang, Quan is relishing in the luxury of, well, winning. His friend Young Thug, another third of the Rich Gang group, has been racking up hit after hit for about a year now. And Birdman, the mastermind behind the trio, is always a mere phone call away.
Still, as quickly as Quan found himself sitting at the very top of the music charts with Birdman and Thug with ‘Lifestyle,’ he’s already on to the next project. “As we speak, I’m working on my debut album. The next music you hear from me, no mixtapes, no nothing. Album. You’ll hear it all – the real Rich Homie Quan.”
“I would say that I got three albums already done but right now I’m tryna perfect my sound,” he adds, with a little hoarseness present in that signature lilt. “I’ve been in the studio everyday and that’s why my voice has been sounding like this, I’m just trying to take it to a whole other level.”
Watch Rich Gang’s ‘Lifestyle’ Video
Indeed, later in the evening, just beyond the glow of the Atlanta skyline, Quan is at work in the T.I.G. studio. There’s smoke wafting in thick potent puffs and countless young men running around in hoodies branded with the imprint’s logo. A shirtless Quan moves between the booth and the boards repeatedly, furrowing his brow. “I’m starting to take music a little more seriously now because I know it’s my job,” he admits. “If you don’t provide and work, you don’t get paid. I know the more effort I put into it, the more money I get. So I’m just trying to take advantage of that.”
So, from night to night, what exactly is happening in that booth? “It’s not so much changing my sound but…” he says, trailing off for a moment. “A lot of people are starting to get the Rich Homie Quan flow, I’m always gonna be Rich Homie Quan though. So when I say I’ma change my sound, it’s like, I’ma step it up on ‘em. You wanna try and be Rich Homie Quan? I’ma make it where you can’t duplicate it.”
The irony lies in the fact that less than two years ago, it was Quan who was confronted with the accusation of style-stealing from 2013 chart-topper Future. “I take no offense to [my imitators] though,” he says with a shrug.
“It can be a good or bad thing but the thing about it is that I work too hard and I’ve come too far…,” he pauses thoughtfully. “Listen, when I say I’m going back to the drawing board it’s to let y’all know that the sound y’all want, I ain’t even on that sound no more. It’s time for them to catch up, no mustard.”
In the meantime, the 25-year-old remains cognizant of the many differences a year can make and remains thankful for it all — right in time for Turkey Day. “First and foremost, I’m thankful that when I bust my face at the ‘Walk Thru’ video shoot, it could’ve been way worse than that. I’m thankful that I survived. I’m thankful to still be here from that situation.”
“Secondly, you know my dad just got shot, I’m thankful that he made it this year. Also, me and YG had a song ['My N----'] with Jeezy this year that went platinum and I got my first platinum plaque. But the last thing is that I’m thankful to see another year. God had blessed me and put me in these situations where I can help others and provide for my family. I’m just thankful for life.”
That’s a lifestyle worth living.
Watch Rich Homie Quan’s ‘Walk Thru’ Video Feat. Problem