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Cover Story- PAUSE Meets: Rich the Kid

PAUSE MEETS:

Rich The Kid

Chats “Carnival”, new album, & coming back from a loss.

Photographer: Ollie Ali // @mrollieali
Stylist: Taija Leorelle // @Taija_Leorelle
Producer: Johnson Gold // @Johnson_Gold
Words | Interview: Amal AlTauqi // @altxuqi
Artist: Rich the Kid //@richthekid
Videographer: Kobe Boateng // @kobeboateng
Location: Los Angeles, California

Rich the Kid is not just making waves – he’s making history.

Imagine a world where dreams manifest into reality and success knows no bounds. In this world, we cope with highs, lows, and unwavering determination as we navigate through the peaks and valleys of daily life. Atop the world, Rich the Kid sits comfortably, right where he belongs and deservedly so.

For those unaware, it takes a deeper look at Rich the Kid’s journey to realise that he is far from just another rap sensation, but rather a name that carries the ring of ambition and hard-earned achievement. Born Dimitri Rogers in New York and raised later in Atlanta, Rich is a byproduct of the two cities that made him. As two geographical states where legends are made and dreams are formed, there was only ever one way up.

Emerging onto the commercial scene with his debut album, The World is Yours (2018), Rich revealed a raw, unbridled passion for music – which soon became the catalyst for a series of collaborative projects, mixtapes, and singles to follow. Extending far beyond the confines of the studio and mic, Rich continued to build an empire by creating his own record label, named Rich Forever Music, which showcased both his talent and support of emerging artists.

After years of tireless dedication, Rich has finally reached the pinnacle of success. His collaborative ¥$ single “Carnival” is a global hit, a Rich Forever 5 return is on the cards, and he is preparing to release his new album, Life is a Gamble (2024).

Rich the Kid’s story so far epitomises the modern dream – an unyielding drive for success while embracing the fluctuations inherent to the journey. Check out the exclusive interview for PAUSE Magazine below.

Cardigan – Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, Belt – BB Simon, Trousers – Cannnone, Bag – Louis Vuitton by Tyler, the Creator, Shoes – Louis Vuitton by Tyler, the Creator.

Number one track in the world. Your life must literally feel like a Carnival…

Yeah, it’s pretty amazing right now. 

It’s been a long time coming – anyone that has listened to you since your ascension knows it’s been a journey. It’s so funny how music can take you back to such a distinguished time. If I listen to ‘Did It Again’ from Rich Forever 3, I’m back in my university room. 

It feels like a blessing to be accomplishing my goals and doing the things I want to do in my life. I’m very happy.

I was watching this interview you had super early in your career, saying you wanted your own cover – now you’re on the cover of PAUSE. The recognition for your hard work must be rewarding. 

It really is. Like I said, it’s a blessing. I have worked so hard for these moments, even for this, to be on the cover of this magazine. I have spent so many hours in the studio, going to shows, writing on the tour bus, in the taxi, in the van. Everywhere. I’ve been making it happen.

You were born in New York but moved to Atlanta as a teenager, which exposed you to both musical subcultures. How do the two influence what you produce artistically?

It’s been a lot of years, but those [two] places influenced me heavily. Just being from New York, the first thing I was introduced to was music. [Growing up] listening to Nas and Jay-Z, there has always been a heavy hip-hop background. 

Hip-hop is so heavily reliant on both of those areas. I can see how they have infiltrated the sounds you make now. Even down to the name of your album The World Is Yours (2018) – there are so many connotations to great hip-hop.

Yeah, for sure. Nas was such an inspiration for me, especially with that name and title. “The World Is Yours”.

You adopted that term quite literally?

The world is mine. Literally. 

Speaking of the world, tell me about your experience recording in Saudi Arabia.

It was AMAZING. I woke up in the morning, I was outside in the middle of the desert. It was so beautiful.

How did that environment influence your creativity?

Being somewhere different, [particularly] somewhere that I’ve never been, it was great to experience that and working with Ty [Dolla Sign] and Ye. It was a moment in time that is historical for me. We were just there… in the middle of the freaking desert? We did two songs that day – one of them being Carnival. I just knew the vibe, the beat and the sound, it was crazy. Ever since the producer sent that beat to my phone, when I played it, I instantly thought “this is a new sound right here.” I’m glad it came out the way it did. 

I’m originally from that side of the world, and damn it gets hot.

Oh yeah, it’s hot out there. 

Collaboration seems to be a cornerstone of your career, with notable features from artists like Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne. What do you look for in a collaborator?

I like to work with people that I connect with, you know what I’m saying? On a personal level. I like to work with people I look up to and those that inspire me. 

Co-ord – Raxxy, Sunglasses – Balenciaga, Shoes – MSCHF.

 Mask – Artist’s own, Hoodie – Artist’s own, Trousers – Joshua Mohammed, Shoes – Timberland x Veneda Carter.

We’re getting into that, is ‘Rich Forever 5’ on the way?

Rich Forever 5 is coming soon. We’ve been working on so many projects at one time, it’s exciting. We’ve got Rich Forever 5 coming, as well as my album Life is a Gamble (2024). We’ve been out in the studio, cooking up for so long. It’s been a process. It hasn’t been an overnight type of thing.

In my opinion, each of your albums has showcased your growth and development as an artist, particularly from Rich Forever 3 (2017) and The World is Yours. Have there been particular things that have influenced your approach to music and your career aspirations? Perhaps fatherhood, or…

Definitely. Being inspired and motivated to work harder for your children and legacy, it’s something I work hard for… for that reason. In other ways, my family and friends also inspire me to be that person. I’m not really a big person on the outside, I do my own thing and stick to myself really…

What motivated you to start your own label? And what was your approach to nurturing and supporting the artists under your wing? 

I wanted to give other artists an opportunity, you know? Giving someone an opportunity that I didn’t have, particularly when I started. I didn’t have anyone to help me out, so [it’s important] to use those relationships to help them further their career and success. 

With a keen eye for fashion and desire for pushing boundaries, we’ve featured you a few times on the magazine spotlighting your head-turning outfits. The blonde era where you rocked Dior x Jordan – clean.  You and Jay [Critch] matching in Celine.

Yeah, that was dope.

What brands do you lean towards more? Is there a standout?

Courrèges. I really like Courrèges, they really stand out to me as an amazing brand.

You’ve attended your fair share of Fashion Week front rows too. How was that as an experience?

That was so dope. Just being there to experience every line and being able to connect with people who have a common understanding of goals and aspirations, just like me. It’s always exciting to be with people who love fashion as much as me. 

When you say ‘Life is A Gamble’, what do you wish to get across?

‘Life is a Gamble’ means you have to take chances in life – sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, but you have got to keep on going, keep on gambling, keep on pushing; you can’t stop. Another way that I look at it is that I once lost, and now I’m winning. 

Is this album a true reflection of where you are at right now?

I’m at the top of the world. 

I’m excited to watch you flourish.

I’m excited and it’s been so good to talk you guys, it’s been nice. 

Follow Rich the kid on Instagram

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