If you think that being one of the rap game’s brightest young stars is all Rich Homie Quan has to brag about then you haven’t got a clue.
Before Rich Homie Quan, born Dequantes Lamar, was rocketing up the charts and feeling “some type of way” on his songs, he was turning heads on the diamond at McNair High School (Atlanta).
“Yeah man I know a lot of people say they were pretty good in high school,” Rich Homie Quan said. “But I’m actually telling the truth.”
I caught up with the Atlanta-based rapper to chat about everything from his glory days as a centerfielder to his love for books to what recent developments in the sports world have been making him “feel some type of way.”
Jason Jordan: Rumor has it that you were an elite high school baseball player?
Rich Homie Quan: Yeah man I played centerfield at McNair High School. That’s the same high school that Gucci Mane went to.
JJ: Were you a power hitter?
RHQ: I wouldn’t say I was a power hitter; I was a leadoff hitter. I was a smart hitter.
JJ: Did you play any other sports?
RHQ: Well, I played football for a while, but I had to stop that. Those boys were starting to get too big out there. I was a quarterback then they moved me to defense; I wasn’t feelin’ that.
JJ: What was your shining baseball moment there at McNair?
RHQ: Probably when they called me up to play varsity when I was in the ninth grade. I was voted Mr. Baseball at the school during that year. I would have to say that was definitely my shining moment.
JJ: That’s big; so you were legit good.
RHQ: Ya feel me!
JJ: I hear you had a scholarship offer in baseball too?
RHQ: Yes, I had an offer from Fort Valley.
JJ: Let’s say every major college baseball program had offered you a scholarship when you were in high school, where would you have signed?
RHQ: Georgia Tech. They’ve got one of the best college baseball teams in the country. Plus, it being home would’ve played into my decision for sure. I would’ve been trying to take my skills to the next level.
JJ: So you still play now?
RHQ: Nah, I mean I’ve gone to the batting cage a few times, but I haven’t really taken it serious since high school.
JJ: Which major league player resembles your skills on the diamond the best?
RHQ: I’d have to say Andrew Jones in his prime, but I hit it like Rafael Furcal.
JJ: What was your best high school memory?
RHQ: Oh man I had so many of ’em… I’d had to say winning best dressed at the prom. It’s like with high school, the times you experienced were so priceless. You could go through them again now, but it would never be the same because your whole mentality was just different. You’re getting ready for the real world in high school. If I’d known then what I know now it probably wouldn’t have been as fun. High school was a lot of fun.
JJ: Michael Jordan recently said, in his prime, he was sure he could beat every current NBA star, but he wasn’t sure about Kobe Bryant. Who would you take in that matchup?
RHQ: Oh I’ve gotta go with Michael Jordan; even though Kobe is my favorite player of all time. But he hasn’t done what Jordan’s done. Mike’s still the best to me, and to be the best you’ve gotta beat the best.
JJ: First, congrats on the huge success of your single “Type of Way” – now tell me what recent happenings in the sports world have made you feel some “type of way”.
RHQ: (Laughs) Well, thanks I really appreciate that. Okay, first I’ve gotta say A-Rod with the steroid scandal has definitely made me feel some type of way. Floyd Mayweather still being undefeated has made me feel some type of way, in a good way. The Atlanta Falcons are definitely making me feel some type of way about this record they have man! Ya know what I’m sayin’! Also, the Atlanta Hawks are making me feel some type of way. We need some better coaching, we need some superstars, we need to spend some money or something!
JJ: Both in their prime, who wins a heavyweight bout between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson?
RHQ: Mike Tyson. I say that because you’ve gotta remember Tyson in his prime. I mean before the tattoo on his face and all the craziness, he was it! He was so powerful.
JJ: What’s the most random song that you know every word to?
RHQ: Lil Wayne’s song “The Block it Hot.” He was a big influence in my life growing up. Just the Hot Boys in general.
JJ: What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
RHQ: Um, probably one of the Chris Brown songs on his first album. That’s for when I’m in my slow mode. Or maybe a Boyz II Men song for when I’m in my feelings or feelin’ some type of way about them women, ya know.
JJ: What’s your favorite pastime?
RHQ: I love to read.
JJ: What are you reading right now?
RHQ: Well, I jump back and forth. I like to read James Patterson books. He’s one of my favorite authors. Then I like Sandra Brown too. She has some great love stories. It’s really got me up on my game for the women.
JJ: That comes in handy I’m sure. How would you use a rewind button in life?
RHQ: To be honest, I wouldn’t even push it. If I didn’t go through all of the things I’ve gone through I just wouldn’t have the story that I have now. And all the listeners wouldn’t be listening. I wouldn’t take anything back.
JJ: Finish this sentence: I can’t function without…
JJ: I saw that coming.
RHQ: (Laughs) OK, well music and Sportscenter.
JJ: Blindfolded can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
RHQ: Yes, Pepsi is sweeter and Coke gives you more of that burning sensation.
JJ: What’s your favorite gadget?
RHQ: My phone. I use it more than anything.
JJ: Talk or text?
RHQ: Text. Only because my number gets passed out so much I don’t even answer that phone. I’d rather text. The situation will go a lot smoother texting.
JJ: What song makes Rich Homie Quan get his two-step on?
RHQ: (Laughs) Migos song Hannah Montana.
JJ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
RHQ: Keep your circle small. That keeps people out of my business and it’s gonna keep my successful.
JJ: Twitter or Instagram?
JJ: What would people be shocked to know about you?
RHQ: Probably that I’m really smart. Most people wouldn’t believe that about a street rapper, but I had a 3.2 GPA in high school. I’ve always been really smart. I just like to learn.
JJ: Who would you not want to meet in a dark alley?
RHQ: Let’s go back to Mike Tyson for that one!
JJ: I’ll cosign that one. What’s next music-wise for you?
RHQ: I have a new mixtape coming out in November. It’s untitled at the moment, but look for that. Also, I’ll have my debut album coming out next year. That’s also currently untitled. Check for those soon!
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY