Photos by Nine5Four Photography
South Florida has always been known as a tourist attraction where families from all over the world come to spend their vacation. From the warm weather, beautiful beaches, rich history, club scene and cultural melting pot population, FLA is definitely the place to be. But there is a movement going on in a place you probably wouldn’t expect. And that place is Palm Beach County. Known more for its ultra rich residents, PBC has become a hot bed for talented artist trying to break through in the rap game.And one of those cats leading the way is Rob Rich. Born in Cleveland, Ohio but firmly planted in PBC, this dude is definitely the next to blow and maybe the one that puts the 561 on the hip hop map. Known as the reason ya favorite rapper ain’t ya favorite, “It’s Rob Rich America, time to get acquainted!”
What’s good Rob Rich?
RR - Same thing different date….just grinding and trying to out hustle the next man.
Tell me about the name and how you got it?
RR - No real big story behind it…it’s a spin-off of my gov’t name some of my dogs gave to me in high school. It wasn’t my first name I went by at first but as I got older I just was like if you gone be real can’t get much more real then using the name my people gave me.
How did you get involved with creating rap music?
RR - Well I started freestyling and battling when I was in like the 6th grade. My dog Jarvis used to get on the beat box and I just would go off the top of the dome and people couldn’t understand how I was doing it but to me it was nothing spectacular. No lie, I used to battle cats a lot older then me and hold my own, but it was just fun to me and I didn’t really take it too seriously. I didn’t write my first 16 until 10th grade and I started recording with a friend of mind at like 16 or 17. But I didn’t step into my first major studio until I came up to Tallahassee and started recording at Blu Colla.
I know that you are putting it down for the 561 but tell me about your time spent growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.
RR - It was a lot different from Florida in many ways. Like Florida has more culture and the scenery is different. In Cleveland, I didn’t go to school with a white person until like 4th or 5th grade, and when I came down to Florida not knowing what Haitians are and different cultures like that was. But I got love for both places man, shouts out to all of E.C. and Warrensville Heights. They both are apart of me and like I always say, “Cleveland raised me and Palm Beach made me.”
Why is it important for you to put 561 (Palm Beach County) on the hip-hop map?
RR - Simple. We one of the realest counties nobody knows about. It’s a lot of talent down here but its still up for grabs for who gone be that first cat to put Palm Beach on the map. We got homeboy’s like Triple J and 21 Reese, them type cats who been holding Palm Beach down for a minute. But like I love being apart of Florida underground scene cuz its so talented but its hard as hell to get on. But I feel I got a lot more grind then cats ain’t cut from the same cloth I am. My pops instilled in me early the advantage of having a serious grind so we out here to take something straight like that. Rob Rich definitely is a force to be dealt with.
How do you describe your music?
RR - We got a policy at UnderWorld Records that we refuse to cater to just one type of audience. We want everybody to come and vibe with us no matter what type of person you are. Of course I’m gone rap about day to day experiences, things that I’ve done or seen that have effected my life positively or negatively. But we just don’t cater to the streets or the radio. We want everybody to know who Rob Rich is and we want to make UnderWorld Records a household name. Because the bottom line is, I love the streets and the streets motivate you to keep grinding and appreciate you at the end of the day. But the streets ain’t going to Sam Goody and buying ya cd.
How have the streets responded to it?
RR - Love. Love. So much love, man the feedback is crazy. But you looking at a dude who been getting told he raw for a minute now. I didn’t just start rapping yesterday, I been doing this for a minute. So I don’t get the big head when somebody show love and express how much they feeling my songs cuz I expect that.
Have you performed before a live crowd? If so, where?
RR - A couple shows in Tally but nothing in front of like thousands of people. But no matter if its ten people or ten thousand people I’m gone rock it regardless.
What should fans expect when they attend a Rob Rich performance?
RR - Be ready to vibe and have a good time. Regardless if you a dope boy or a paper boy or if you got a 9 to 5 or you just got done serving 5 to 9, you gone hear something you like. Cuz if you can’t respect the music, you gotta respect the hustle.
Talk to me about the record label you are with?
RR - Well me and a partner of mine, T-Roll, decided that nobody gonna push my music with our best interest in hand like we would. So I came with the name and the concept of UnderWorld Records and he came with the logo and the visual affects. But we still independent and we’re turning into a movement. We got a couple hungry cats who down with the label. My dog Young Scoot out of Decatur is just a problem. And then my dog G $taks from the Chi is a true beast in the booth. Then we got the young guns like Zeaky Fresh and my lil cuz A Million. Ya’ll watch out for that Rob Rich & A Million mixtape “Like Big Cuz, Like Lil Cuz”. And definitely watch out for the UnderWorld cuz like my dog T-Roll say, “hate us now cuz you gone love us later…U.W. MAFIA 4 LIFE!!!!”
And I understand that one of your longtime childhood friends head’s up your management team, right?
RR - Yeah, I got real bad trust issues. I don’t really trust a lot of people but I needed someone to handle the business side of my career. So, Nino already got his own management company Xcel Entertainment. And plus that’s what he going to school for so it only make sense that his first client be his ace. But we go way beyond a business relationship cuz I been with Nino since diapers and bottles, so as long as you got the love, respect, and trust for one another you good.
Have any major labels shown any interest?
RR - Yes and No, but nobody started talking money yet so I say no.
Give me your Top 5 Hot M.C.’s in the game right now.
RR - It’s hard to name 5 HOT M.C.’s cuz the game ain’t the same as it was back in the day. The format of success is different, but let me say I respect everybody hustle in the industry. I could never knock a playa’s hustle but as far as talent, that’s another story. But I bump Weezy, T.I. and I’m a huge UGK fan. Andre 3000 gets off and when you ready to go get that money you gotta have Jeezy on. And I show love to the local scenes and underground artists. But I bump a lot of old classic rap like N.W.A, Jay-Z, Biggie, Pac, TRU, Hot Boys a lot stuff from back in the day.
Who, if anyone, would you say your flow resembles most?
RR - I’m influenced by a lot of different types of music so I can’t just state one type of music. I just love all GOOD music.
Your latest mix tape has been in heavy rotation in my whip (good look’n out). How did the blaz’n cut “Gunshine State” come about?
RR - It’s a simple story. My dog Young Scoot had a roommate who had heard my tracks and was really feeling them. And he from Pompano so he was like, “Yo Rich, I need a song to let dudes know where I’m from and I need a song to rep my state.” So, I felt Florida needed a anthem and we known as the Gunshine State so it was only right. And when Mastermind played the track from the first time I heard it I knew regardless of what he did with it, it was gone be a hit. So I would like to thank my dog Brian for the inspiration and Mastermind for the track.
I think that’s the Hottest cut on the mix tape. What is your favorite cut from the CD?
RR - All the tracks are hot but Gunshine State is the one everybody says is special and I agree.
Who lays down the tracks for UnderWorld Records?
RR - The majority of my tracks are produced by Mastermind but I got a few tracks from Rick Rock’em. He’s a producer out of St. Pete. And I got a track from K.B. Crook who’s reppin’ Palm Beach also. But I still got a lot of producers still trying to get with me.
And who are the other artist featured on the mix tape?
RR - I got tracks with of course Young Scoot and G $tacks that’s the squad, but as far as outside features we got 1 Hott, Diddy Boo, K.B. Crook and Playboi. But I got plans to work with cats like Street, my dog D-Smoove, my homie A.C. and a lot of other cats I’m still looking forward to working with.
What hobbies are you into?
RR - Right now this music is my main priority and between that and dealing with these females I don’t really have too much free time. But I’m a regular dude and I kick it like any other cat.
What is a day in the life of Rob Rich like?
RR - Aww man, ya never know dealing with me dog. I’m just gone say this, I do some things that my mama would be proud of and a lot of things she probably wouldn’t too much condone.
Who are your influences outside of music?
RR - My life and my family. My life in general is interesting enough for me to make like ten albums. But I’m a big family person and I’m from a generation of hustlers so that lifestyle is in my bloodline. My pops was a hustler and his pops was a hustler so it’s only natural that me and my brother are the way we are.
What are your goals for the rest of 2007 and into the future?
RR - GET MONEY, GET MONEY, GET MONEY!!!
Finally, where do the fans and readers go to cop your music or just to get at you?
RR – Www.Myspace.com/underworldrecords We keep new tracks up there for our fans, so go check us out and let us know if you feeling it.
Thank you for taking the time and 954 definitely shows much love to the 561. Good luck with your career.
RR - No problem man we appreciate the opportunity and taking the time to holla at me.
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Good luck to you and we wish you much success in your career.
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