From the streets of the “Queen City” aka Charlotte, North Carolina, Sonny Rich has emerged as one of the hottest artists to step on the scene in a long time. When you think of an Independent artist making his own moves, creating his own buzz, standing on his own 2 feet to become a household name Sonny leads the pack of unsigned hype in the Carolinas.
With a resume that speaks in volume Sonny has released countless mixtapes with Dj Kayslay, Dj Barry Bee, Dj Chuck T and A-towns own Dj Scream, a well received underground album “The Virus”, and has recorded records with some of the hottest artists in the game like: Nicki Minaj, Jadakiss, E-40, Vado and Jim Jones. Sonny also made an impressive appearance on Digital Dynasty R&B Volume 2 (Hosted by Q Parker of 112) as well. Even Juicy J shouted Sonny Rich out of the B.o.B Track – We Still In This Bitch ft. T.I. & Juicy J. Sonny’s numerous videos all over the internet have proven to be a force when it comes to dropping hot music or as he would say “Supa Hott 704Musik”. We had a chance to connect with the Queen City Trap man, Mr. Sonny Rich himself, and it went a little something like this…
Hip Hop Lead – For starts where did the name come from?
Sonny Rich- When I was a kid this old head that use to hang out by the corner store started calling me “aye SUNNY” when he wanted me to grab some loose cigs out the store for him. I was the only one that use to look out for him like that and he used to say one day you go be rich because you got a good heart you respect ya elders…it kind of stuck so I just put it all together. Sonny Rich!
Hip Hop Lead – It’s been a while since we heard someone bubbling out of the North Carolina area. Since Petey Pablo it has kind of been quiet on the mainstream level. Why do you think that is?
Sonny Rich- The market is a come through get money market. The industry isn’t set up down here like in ATL, NY, LA, MIA….another reason I think is we not willing to go the extra mile to make the world notice what we got going on! In other words we don’t grind hard enough!
Hip Hop Lead – Is it harder to get on not being from NYC or LA?
Sonny Rich- Yes and No! I say yes because those are 2 markets where the check writers are located…..I say no because they have these things called trains, planes, and automobiles to get artist where they need to be, ya dig.
Hip Hop Lead – It’s almost like your content is something of a gangster rapper on some of your trap sounding records but then we hear your double time flow on “Black Belt Jones” and your conscience/real life raps on “Hard Living” (with Jadakiss). It’s not often that emcees focus on the aspects of a universal sound anymore. Do you think showing multiple sides are missing in the game?
Sonny Rich- I can’t say that it is but for me I grew up listening to music from all over so it’s only fitting that the music I create can touch people from all over.
Hip Hop Lead – Do you feel like Hip Hop artists should do that more?
Sonny Rich- Focus on making good music consistently….I’m a firm believer that good music trumps gimmicks fam.
Hip Hop Lead – Speaking of your track with Jadakiss… how exactly did that collabo come about?
Sonny Rich- I was in New York with the Ant Live and Big 9 outta Harlem doing promo they had a relationship with Jada so we went to the studio you know just vibing running through joints he heard the “Hard Living” record and was like “that’s crazy let me get on that”….the rest is history.
Hip Hop Lead – How did it feel seeing one of the greatest lyricists of all time almost breaking his neck when hearing your verse?
Sonny Rich- It was a dream come true. I told my brother back in 2007 when I first jumped in the game Jadakiss was one of the artist I wanted to collab with and to see my words manifest like that was confirmation I was destined to do this music for a living.
Hip Hop Lead – Why is it you think the south continues to make a heavy noise, and a lot of West and East artists don’t go on a mainstream level anymore?
Sonny Rich- It’s just time New York and the West Coast had their runs and it’s just the South’s turn now. It will change up again, nothing stays the same forever.
Hip Hop Lead – You seem to have a sound that can appeal to a lot of west coast listeners as well as East. We can tell that you go in when it’s time to write your bars. How do you feel when you hear artists who “just started rapping” getting on or artists with no real lyrics making redundant songs?
Sonny Rich- To each his own is my view on that. Somebody out there rocking to it or they wouldn’t be making it I guess. I just try to do me and not be too concerned with what everybody else do.
Hip Hop Lead – So what obstacles and real life experiences made you come up with “In Tha Hood”?
Sonny Rich- Everyday shit growing like putting your trust in the wrong people and having to learn the hard way everybody heart isn’t the same.
Check it out here — http://www.reverbnation.com/sonnyrich/song/634881-in-tha-hood
Hip Hop Lead – Not for nothing you sounded super aggressive like you were almost getting at someone subliminally? Correct us if we are wrong…
Sonny Rich- I was but he doesn’t rap so it’s pointless to even mention the clown!
Hip Hop Lead – What is coming from you next as far as mixtapes or albums?
Sonny Rich- I’m actually working on 2 projects…….one street album which I haven’t titled yet and my first international album which is complete titled: “No Sleep, Girls and Liquor”.
Hip Hop Lead – What is your favorite record off the project so far?
Sonny Rich- On the street album I got a record called “Mama Lil Boy” that touches on the hurdles in the street that can destroy your life and how getting money has programmed us to think…On the No Sleep album I have a record called “Panamera Sunrize” and it’s basically about just living life to the fullest enjoying every day every moment!
Hip Hop Lead – Who were your influences to get into music?
Sonny Rich- I can’t really say because I listen to everybody, but Pac was my favorite!
Hip Hop Lead – So how does an aspiring artist like yourself get to lock Jim Jones and Nicki Minaj into a track together?
Sonny Rich- Relationships with the right people! (Laughs)
Hip Hop Lead – Did you get to actually hit the studio with them?
Sonny Rich- With Jim, yes, we did it in his studio in Manhattan, but I wasn’t in the studio with Nicki, I’m still regretting that. At the time I had other obligations and our schedules were all over the place.
Hip Hop Lead – One of the dopest songs we heard from you was on DDRnB2 (Hosted by Q Parker). It was the song “Drop It.” At first were you hesitant to flip the Sisqo “Thong Song” beat?
Sonny Rich- My producer “Trouble Style”, outta St. Louis, is a beast that was his idea. I just went in! Glad you like the track.
Hip Hop Lead – Do you think taking risks like you did on “Drop It” will help your artistry or potentially isolate you from your core fan base?
Sonny Rich- I believe in the music I make so I’m not worried about that at all.
Hip Hop Lead – If by some chance music doesn’t pan out for you what will you be doing 5 years from now?
Sonny Rich- I thought about that in 2007 when I started and decided to go back to school for that just in case scenario and today I have 2 degrees in Computer Science…not bad for a street cat huh? (laughs)
Hip Hop Lead – That’s great man! We had a chance to vibe out to a few of your mixtapes. How do you think you have evolved since the days of “Loud Pack” into the “85 Wit Da Hart Pt. 2″ era?
Sonny Rich- I’m more in tune with the people especially the women. Before, I never really made music for the women just for the cats in the street.
Hip Hop Lead – It seems like artists are flooding the game with mixtape after mixtape. Is it important for Sonny Rich to drop an official album? If so, what’s the title and scheduled release date?
Sonny Rich- My street album is untitled at the moment, but it will drop in the summer, and about 70% done. As far as the International album “No Sleep, Girls and Liquor”, look for a late spring release.
Here at HipHopLead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm. We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you. So let’s get it cracking….
Hip Hop Lead – What is the dopest city you ever been too?
Sonny Rich- Los Angeles. The vibe out there is the best.
Hip Hop Lead – If you had a chance to go back and rewind time to fix one thing would you do it?
Sonny Rich- Yep….dropping out of high school.
Hip Hop Lead – Where is the best late night food spot in Charlotte?
Sonny Rich- Over this chick name Kema house. Oops!
Hip Hop Lead – Let’s narrow it down to who’s Sonny Rich’s Top 5 favorite rappers of all time??
Hip Hop Lead – If you could abolish any rapper from the game who would it be?
Sonny Rich- Myself after I make 100 mill! CYA!
Hip Hop Lead – Baddest chick in the game?
Sonny Rich- Mrs. Beyoncé Carter
Hip Hop Lead – NY or LA?
Sonny Rich- LA! NO QUESTION!
Hip Hop Lead – Esther Baxter or Melissa Ford?
Sonny Rich- EB all-day.
Back To The Norm…….
Hip Hop Lead – Your video “Stunners” had us laughing at the start. It was a comical way to kick the video off. How often do you see a lot of people faking their lifestyle around the way?
Sonny Rich- Almost everyone. Everybody is trying to keep up with the Jones nowadays!
Hip Hop Lead – Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHopLead.com viewers hooked!?
Sonny Rich- A song called “Marinate”, it’s about….Nah I not even go tell ya, just look out for it.
Hip Hop Lead – Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shout outs….links to your sites….F.U.’S or whatever’s clever..
Sonny Rich- Shout out to you guys for interviewing me (HipHopLead.com), everyone that supports my music, music labels, Sonny Rich(@Sonny_Rich), Tokyo Regiment, Tha Advocate, Ballerstatus.com, my management (@MENTGROUP), @DatPiff, D.B.C, http://www.certifiedentmedia.com/SONNY-RICH.html SIGNING OFF! Puurrrrnnnn!