Rich the Kid is one of the marquee names of Atlanta’s most recent graduating class. And if we’re handing out superlatives, he’s definitely in the running for hardest working. Since May of 2015, the former Atlanta resident has released six mixtapes. This output includes solo efforts like Trap Talk, plus the collaborative projects Still on Lock with Migos and Whip It with ILoveMakonnen. His next tape, Rich Than Famous 2 is scheduled for release on June 24, and he just released a new song featuring Young Thug.
In a sense this workaholic approach is just the Atlanta way. Rich’s labelmates like Migos and Lil Yachty are known for their prolific release schedule, and the bar continues to be set by trap icons like Gucci Mane and Future. But Rich the Kid’s work ethic also comes from his roots as a skater, a passion he still pursues today. He says that he started skating around the age of 14 when a friend gave him his first board. “I was killing shit,” he says. “I was mad young, going crazy on a skateboard.”
Rich was skating with a crew called Stick Everything Club, or SEC. They made a few skate tapes, but we couldn’t track them down. According to Rich, some of the kids he used to skate with from SEC died of overdoses, others are now in jail.
When asked what the hardest trick he ever mastered was, he replies, “I can do a 360 flip down the stairs. A lot of people can’t do that.” He still tries to skate while on tour, but when you’re releasing new music at such a frenzied pace, it can be hard to find the time.
Rich sees some parallels between skating and rapping. Besides being preternaturally talented at both, he says that both pursuits require “focusing on whatever it is and staying consistent.” He hasn’t broken bones from skating yet (“knock on wood”) and despite not having released a solo official album, he has just as much music out in the world as other artists who’ve been around for a decade or longer. He also promises that he’s got a song with the reclusive Frank Ocean on the way. When asked how someone so early in his career is able to accomplish so much in the studio, he replies, “ I just go in there, and I just rap.”