The  technicolor  world  of  ribald  swag-rap  would  certainly  be  much poorer without Rich The Kid (né Dimitri Leslie Roger). Since the release of his debut solo mixtape, Been About The Benjamins, in 2013, Rich, who once went  by  Flava  Boy  The  Kid,  has  been  instrumental  in recontextualizing Atlanta’s vibrant hip-hop landscape. Even  in  the  city  of  strip  clubs  and  trap beats, his charismatic lyrics and riotously upbeat delivery made early believers  of  platinum-selling  acts  like  Migos  and  Young  Thug,  both  of  whom  appeared  on  his  second  solo mixtape, Feels Good 2 Be Rich.

Born in Queens, New York on July 13, 1992, a young Rich, though always interested in music, found his place as  a  gregarious  jokester  who  was  often  at  the  center  of  trouble  both  in  and  out  of  school.  When  he  was 13-years-old,  his  parents  separated,  prompting  his  mother  to  move  the  family  to  Atlanta’s  College  Park neighborhood. Though the Southside previously played home to notables such as 2 Chainz, Yung Joc and Pastor Troy,  the  newly-transplanted  Rich  grew  disenchanted  with  rampant  poverty  surrounding him. Yet there, in a cramped  apartment  shared  with  an  uncle,  Rich  discovered  a  passion  for  skating  and  its  culture.  In  between religiously listening to rap luminaries like Nas, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G., he also devoured the music of bands such as Sublime, Green Day, The Clash and System of a Down, whom he still cites as influences today. After lengthy  stints  at  two  boarding  schools  for  troubled  teens  -  at  the  first  school  he  engineered  a  riot  that subsequently led to an escape opportunity. As his self-made career proves, Rich has never been one to play by the  rules;  once  he’d  left  boarding  school  he  didn’t  return  home  either.  Instead,  he  opted  to  couch  surf  with friends while “trapping” to secure the finances he needed to continue recording.

Ironically,  the  life  of  luxury  that  so  readily  appears  in  Rich’s  braggadocious  lyrics  was  hard-earned  by  the Haitian-American  dynamo,  whose  rap  career  started  as  joke  amongst  friends  rather  than a serious attempt at fame.  While  recording  his  early  mixtapes,  he  spent  many  nights  on  studio  floors,  even sharing a home with Migos,  and  at one point crashing on the couch of rap trio Travis Porter. These early connections with notable Atlanta alum were instrumental. Through Travis Porter, Rich learned the power of the digital landscape and met the  co-founder  of  Street  Executives,  Allen  Park,  who  was  an  early  supporter  of  his  talent.  Eventually,  his affiliation with Migos would also put him in the sights of veteran talent scout Coach K, who later signed him to Quality Control Music alongside Migos and Young Thug.

Even  with  his  profile  rising,  Rich  remained  fiercely  independent,  using  his  intuitive  understanding  of  the Internet  to  connect  with  other  buzzing  artists  such  as  Bobby  Shmurda  and  Rowdy  Rebel,  with  whom  he collaborated  on  the  single  “On  My  Way”  in  2014.  The  next  year,  he  released  his  first  solo  EP,  a  14-track magnus  opus  titled  Flexin  On Purpose. The project included heavyweight features from Fetty Wap, Ty Dolla$ign,  Young  Dolph  and  more.  Ever  the  pragmatist,  Rich  leveraged  his  familiarity  with  social  media  and longtime   friendships   with   breakthrough   Atlanta   acts   to   promote   the  EP,  further  expanding  his  already impressive online fan base until he could no longer be ignored.

By March 2016, Rich had single-handedly transformed himself into a wholly self-guided force. Not only had he secured  features  from  Kodak  Black,  21 Savage and PartyNextDoor for his Trap Talk mixtape (released April 2016),  he  launched  his own imprint, Rich Forever Music. Soon after, he signed his first artist: Chicago-based rapper  Famous  Dex.  As  fate  would  have  it,  the  next  year  everything  finally  came  full  circle  for  the hardest working  “kid”  in  the  game.  On  June 9, 2017, he signed with Interscope Records and Maverick Management, and is currently working on his first major label debut. “The album will be about my life but there will be a lot of songs you’ll want to dance to,” said Rich of the forthcoming project. And with the roller coaster course life has already laid out for him, the rapper certainly has much to share.