Despite what it alludes to, Zone 4/Interscope Records rap signee Rich Boy insists his moniker is just a neighborhood nickname ("It doesn't stand for being rich or anything like that."), not a glimpse into his finances. Maybe so, but with the multifaceted talents that 23-year-old Marece Richards possesses, his nom de plume will be even more fitting shortly with the release of his debut album, Rich Boy.
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Rich Boy grew up in a typical hood upbringing with both positive and negative influences. His father owns a liquor store in the middle of the hood and it's where Rich Boy witnessed dope fiends, drive bys and all types of mischief first hand. This balance in his life allowed him to enroll at Tuskegee University as a mechanical engineering major. His first semester there is when his career commenced, but not as a rapper.
From there he started making beats everyday. Having played drums in church as a youth, production came naturally and he became so enriched in his newfound craft that school became secondary. Within in a year Roy Jones Jr. had come upon one of his beat CDs and ended up purchasing tracks. "That was my first real step in the door as far as professional music is concerned," says Rich Boy. The first check was small but enough to make him start thinking he had a future in the rap business. After his freshman year he decided to step out on faith and leave school to pursue his dreams of becoming a full-time producer.
As a youngster, Rich Boy was influenced by Southern rap legends like UGK, 8-Ball & MJG, Crime Boss, ESG & Too Short. The rap scene in Mobile always thrived but he admits that getting on the radio is no easy task, keeping local artists just that, local. Undaunted, he would finagle his way into the local radio station, WBLX, by claiming to have an appointment with a station DJ in order to get by reception. "I decided to rap over one of my own beats and [try] to put in on the radio" explains Rich Boy. He eventually got his music into the hands of evening personality Nick at Nite, The Krunkmonster, who started playing Rich Boy's "Cold as Ice".
"After really listening to the song, he went crazy and started playing it every night," remembers Rich Boy.
Soon after, Atlanta based rap outfit Jim Crow came through the station promoting their latest album and Rich Boy made it his business to hand a copy of his CD to group member Polow Da Don. "Polow just so happened to call me back one day and said, 'I think you ought to rap." Polow then flew Rich Boy out to Atlanta to get him into the studio recording, coincidently enough this was around the same time Jazze Pha also heard Rich Boy’s music and coordinated to fly him down to see Cash Money's Mannie Fresh, and he started building relationships with both camps.
While in Atlanta, Rich Boy signed with Polow’s own Zone 4 Entertainment, which eventually partnered with Interscope Records.
"They made a lot of legends at Interscope," rationalizes Rich Boy. "I don't feel they've broke an act out of the South, and I figure I can be one of the first." He has the goods to do just that. His thick Southern drawl permeates throughout his insightful lyricism, making it hit home that much harder. But the beauty of Rich Boy's flow is his ability to keep listeners guessing. "I got a lot of different characters and different flows. I don't rap the same way every time," he says.
Interscope now has their first Southern uprising thanks to Rich Boy and his red-hot lead single, “Throw Some D’s.” The track, which features Polow Da Don, is a trunk-rattling street anthem that has heads from Mobile to Manhattan nodding. “I had actually just bought a new Cadillac and I took it to my momma’s house,” Rich Boy says, explaining the origins of the song’s infectious hook. “I showed it to her and she said, ‘It looks pretty nice but you need to do something to it… Paint it a different color or throw some D’s on it.’ And that’s where the hook came from. It came from my momma. They say your momma knows best.”
Momma did indeed know best. “Throw Some D’s” has quickly become a runaway smash, earning Rich Boy his first Top 10 hit. And while the song has already made him a fan favorite on MTV and BET as well as on the road, Rich Boy says his self-titled debut is going to take him to the next level.
The album is bloaoffer a glimpse into all the experiences of making him who he is, while making sure your neck snaps to the beats.



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