UTG INTERVIEW: FKi’s Sauce Lord Rich Gears Up For A Dominant 2016

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After interviewing Fki’s 1st in late 2015, we had the chance to speak with the production duo’s more opulent half, Sauce Lord Rich. Hailing from Harlem but raised in Atlanta, Rich’s ear for sound transcends not only boundaries established by region, but genre as well; an obvious notion when glancing at his production credits for a wide range of chart-dominating artists including Iggy Azalea, Travis Scott, and Ty Dolla Sign.

Much like 1st, though, Rich is finally prepared to step beyond the realm of production and display his talents as an all-around artist – but as he made clear multiple times during our conversation, he’s not looking for flash-in-the-pan, single-genre success. Rather, his eyes are set solely on the top of the music scene, and with the ultra-confidence exuding from his voice during our conversation, it’s difficult to doubt him.

Fresh out of the booth after spending yet another day in the studio, Rich was obviously in good spirits as we spoke on the phone about his plans for musical domination via a handful of forthcoming solo projects (including the much-anticipated King Wolf), the melting pot of ideas that is Atlanta, and much, much more.

UTG: I know you have quite a few projects recorded and ready for release. Any details you can share about those just yet?

Sauce Lord Rich: I got three tapes lined up and a whole production tape of stuff that people probably missed, songs that didn’t come out, from crazy rappers to me producing it. In total it’s gonna be four projects, and by that time I should be good [laughs].

The grind never stops, man. Are there any exciting collabs from those records that you can share?

At the end of the day, it’s really just me. I’m here to prove my full-blown talents, know what I mean? I had a few outside things like the song with Iggy [Azalea], song with Trey Songz, got a song with Post. Everything’s on my team, though; Zuse, Runway Richy, all my engineers, all my producers…there’s really no outside nothing. My art person did the cover [laughs].

Going back to the sheer amount of tapes you have lined up, what keeps your work ethic at such a high level?

I’m just at a point in my life where I feel like a lotta mediocrity is being praised, so I’m tryna show people and get it back to being a real artist. Being able to, you know, jump in different genres and do what you gotta do. Not being held to one thing, being a trap rapper or a pop artist. All the people I grew up looking to were able to do everything; now they make it seem like you’re stuck in this box, so I’m going to dwell everywhere. The sauce, the wolf, will be everywhere. You will see me everywhere. I’m not getting stuck in anything. I’m gonna prove that you can do it. Everyone’s like, “Oh, you don’t have to have hard verses if your hook is hard!” Fuck that. I’m doing all that shit. My hook gon’ be hard, my verse gon’ be hard, my beat gon’ be hard, and I’ma mix it myself [laughs]! That’s what’s making me work so hard.

Are you still planning to work with 1st as FKi in 2016, or are you looking to focus on your solo releases? 

You know, we’re still gonna have Transformers N The Hood 3, but we just gotta let everybody know our other talents. They only see us as, like…even when we were rapping, it was, “Oh, there’s the producer kids!” I don’t wanna just be that guy anymore. I want them to know I tear it up, be everywhere.

Right, I feel you. And it seems like a lot of producers are doing the same thing. You know, Southside is now rapping as Young Sizzle, Sonny Digital has been dropping some stuff, too…

Everybody got that from us [laughs]. You can just look it up. Everybody got that rapper, wanna be a rapper now, from us. Everybody, I don’t care what nobody say [laughs]. We been rapping. They like, “y’all rapping, too?” I remember when that wasn’t cool! Now everybody’s a goddamn rapper, that’s what I’m talking about. And they’re gonna blow up cause people got names, but it’s like, what? I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old: rapping and making beats.

So I asked 1st this question, but I wanted to hear your thoughts too: how does it feel to see Atlanta running hip-hop right now? 

I mean, it’s good. I watched a whole bunch of people who was around us make it, so it’s always good to see people make it and we’re influenced by everything that’s around, but Atlanta’s a melting pot. Not everyone’s from here, so it just seems like Atlanta has the sound, but it’s a multitude of people that be from different places, you know what I mean? Like, at the end of the day, I was from Harlem, then I moved here and lived here half my life, so that’s kind like the story of everybody. You’ll get a multitude of things here, that’s why I like it. You may not just bump into somebody from Atlanta…so it’s always gonna be the place that creates the new sound. Wherever is fun, it’s gonna create the new sound. When L.A. was fun, they had it. New York, they had it, now Atlanta’s fun. It’s baby L.A. now.

Anything else you want to throw out there for the readers and fans?

King Wolf is on the way, @saucelordrich – follow me on Instagram. Music about to be crazy. Shoutout FKi, Post Malone. Shoutout Runway Richy, shoutout Mills, shoutout 1st…I did it already [laughs]. Shoutout my DJ, DJ Ra the Sun God. Shoutout Atlanta, shoutout New York, shoutout LA. Shoutout my manager, KD. Shoutout to my mother, make sure you put her name up. [Rich’s mom in the background: “Don’t you put my name up!”]

Mike Giegerich

Mike Giegerich is a freelance journalist with an affinity for the hip-hop scene. His top-five favorite records of all time are Future's last five releases. Feel free to blow up his mentions on Twitter.
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