Grown Man Rap: Richie Rich

It’s been a longtime since the West Coast reigned supreme in the rap world. While Snoop Dog, Ice Cube and others kept their names alive as the game moved to other areas, one name was left of the record books.

Bay Area legend Richie Rich had the chance to reach the upper echlon of West Coast emcees. An influence on many of the West Coast greats including Big Snoop Dog, Rich signed a solo deal with Def Jam in 1996. His major label debut “Seasoned Veteran” made noise on the billboard charts. As he prepared his 2nd disc, Def Jam would merge with Polygram leaving Richie Rich in limbo. His next disc would never drop.

Now the man who help start that West Coast gangster shit is back with a  new mixtape and a new attitude. Richie Rich talked to about his new music, the new Bay and why his daughter is so influential in his life. First question. Where have you been!

Richie Rich: Been in the streets. I’m infamous for taking a hiatus here and there. I fuck with the music, but I’ve always fucked with the streets too. This industry is so up and down. I’m quick to retreat  to the streets when the music goes slow. When I was ready to get back into the music, that’s when that hyphy thing was poppin and I wasn’t with that. You had a major deal back in the day with Def Jam. What happened wit that?

Richie Rich: I was signed to Def Jam back in 96-97. That’s also when my daughter was born. When she was a baby, I didn’t have a problem with talking that pimp shit. She’s gotten older now and she can understand what I’m saying and I didn’t want her to hear me talking about flipping keys and pimpin hoes. But she was the one who encouraged me to get back to the music. She told me one day, “Dad, there’s nothing you can do or say that would change how I feel about you” So with her approval, I’m back out here talking greasy . Talk to me about the new mixtape.

Richie Rich: It’s called “Town Bidness” Its the first in a three part installment. The Dough ft. B-Legit and Erk the Jerk. We just finished the video for that and it should be up on worldstar later this week. The mixtape is 12 songs deep. I got a song on there with Snoop called “I Fucks with Ya” Its traditional Rich shit. That hustle music. All game no fluff. Do you feel like you can come back and be relevant to the game?

Richie Rich: I don’t think I will have a problem. I was off the scene for a while, but I was still in the streets. All the up and coming artists know of me. A lot of the young dudes were the ones who were telling me to get back into the game. I also run a studio out here so a lot of the young cats would come there to get their stuff up and going. I’m a fixture around here. I could see if I was here and gone and came back, but no! I’ve been in these streets. Speaking of the new Bay area. How did you feel about the hyphy movement?

Richie Rich: That wasn’t no movement, the Blac k Panthers was a movement. I wasn’t feeling that hyphy shit. I had invitations to be on some hyphy records and I passed. I didn’t feel that. I don’t knock it, I just don’t do it. I stay true to what I do. Why does the game need Richie Rich?

Richie Rich: Rick Ross, Jeezy, T.I., we don’t have that on the West Coast. We got Big Snoop, but he already put his game down. When it comes to that streets shit, that’s me. I’m that hands on dude and everybody knows that. Musically I can bring something the West Coast hasn’t seen yet. They had a glimpse when I first signed but that was cut short. There’s a lot to still be said about how the game is played and they need to know who we really get it in out here.

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About Mehka
music editor,, ed., all around hip-hop head

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