After releasing his debut mixtape, Been About the Benjamins, in 2013, Rich the Kid, 25, gradually climbed the ranks of the Atlanta scene, picking up co-signs from Gucci Mane and Young Thug. Now, thanks in part to Kendrick Lamar, he suddenly has two singles gaining on the Billboard Hot 100: viral dance hit “New Freezer” (featuring Lamar; No. 43) and its catchy, slow-rolling follow-up, “Plug Walk” (No. 25). Ahead of his major-label debut -- the trap-flavored The World Is Yours, out March 30 -- and on the heels of signing with Maverick’s management arm, Rich the Kid explains how he became ATL’s next big thing.
The Migos Plug, 2012
In 2007, the then-13-year-old (born Dimitri Rogers) moved from Queens to Atlanta following his parents’ divorce. Five years later, he ended up at the same club as local rap trio Migos. “They were in front of the club, so their DJ [a friend] brought me to meet them,” he recalls. They all hung out, which led to Rich’s first collaboration with the trio, the 2013 track “Jumpin Like Jordan.”
The Business Move, March 2016
“There aren’t a lot of artists my age that own their own label, especially an artist like me who’s still developing his own talent,” he says of his imprint, Rich Forever Music, which signed Chicago rapper Famous Dex -- known for his 2016 breakout “Drip From My Walk” and the recent A$AP Rocky-assisted single “Pick It Up,” which debuted at No. 54 on the Hot 100 -- as well as Brooklyn upstart Jay Critch.
The Record Deal, July 2017
On his 2016 song “Blessings,” Rich raps about helping his grandmother, who has “supported me from day one and with everything I do.” A father of three, he’s a family man, and saw Interscope as the best fit to both fulfill his personal career goals and allow him to provide for his family.
The Viral Moment, September 2017
Rich was introduced to his labelmate Lamar by Interscope senior vp artist relations Manny Smith. Soon afterward, Rich and Lamar recorded “New Freezer,” which quickly spawned a viral dance challenge and entered the Hot 100 at No. 75. It has since logged over 135 million on-demand audio and video streams through the week ending March 1, according to Nielsen Music.
The Breakthrough, February 2018
Rich looked to repeat the success of “New Freezer” with his latest single, “Plug Walk,” which took him only 15 minutes to create. “I recorded [the track] a week before I dropped it,” he says. He earned his second Hot 100-charting single when “Plug Walk” nabbed the No. 62 spot. “Having ‘Plug Walk’ hit the Hot 100 without any features at the same time as ‘New Freezer’ is crazy, outstanding, amazing, all that -- it’s just magic.”