“You can’t forget your fruit snacks,” says Rich Homie Quan, detailing the perfect studio atmosphere. “My buddies, Hennessy, weed, engineer, fruit snacks. Ain’t no telling what we’ll come up with.” The rising rapper gives Rolling Stone an inside look at his creative process in the latest installment of our behind-the-scenes video series, Levels.
The emcee highlights his “feel-good” mindset and spur-of-the-moment flow on “Changed,” the lead single from his upcoming debut LP, Rich As in Spirit, out March 16th. At one point, another rapper ended up with the song’s beat, but Quan was adamant he and producer Cassius Jay stick with the original instead of chasing a “clone” track.
“The feeling comes from whatever I hear in the beat,” he says. “So if you revise the beat, that’s gotta be a whole different song. It’s not the same feeling I had when I first heard the beat.”
Lyrically, the single – like others on the album – came about through studio spontaneity. “When I’m in the booth and the mic is on – the first way I say it, I’ll never say it like that again,” he says. “If I write it, it’s not gonna come out the way I wrote it. When I record from a paper, you can hear it in the energy. That’s just a part of my creative process … My music makes more sense when I write, but it desert have that energy when I just come up with it off the top of my brain.
“Every song has a message,” he says.