By Dave Herrera | Sept. 20, 2016 | 10:30 a.m.
Update: Trev Rich did a great interview with DJ KTone, a Denver legend he's been working with since the beginning, and DJ A Rich on Flo 107.1's Up All Night Show. Listen here.
It’s now confirmed: Trev Rich has indeed signed with Cash Money Records.
After speculation spurred by a post on his Instagram a few weeks ago, it was widely reported yesterday—first in the Source by longtime Denver hip-hop beat writer Ontoneyo (aka Antonio Valenzuela) and subsequently by a pair of prominent local publications—and ultimately confirmed by Bryan “Birdman” Williams himself, who called in to KS-107.5 last night and talked about Rich joining his label’s roster.
“I just was intrigued by, you know, his essence and how he do music,” said Cash Money's co-founder last night on the air, noting that he's 100 percent behind Rich. “He brought music to me, so he showed me he can do music, and to last in this game, you’ve got to be able to do music. And I think he do music and know how to do music. And he a young man, and I think he’s got a vision, and I want to help him back his vision up.”
Rich certainly knows music and he has a distinctive vision—one that he’s had and been cultivating since he was eight years old and first started writing rhymes. Since dropping his first projects in high school, a tune called “Paper or Plastic” and a release called The Takeoff, Rich simply hasn’t stopped working. He’s been steady grinding and his hard work has paid off. What's more, his words have proven to be prophetic.
On the track “Barcode (Gone)” from one of his early mixtapes, Rich rapped the lines, “Nobody made it out my state/Now let me break the ice,” with a notable amount of conviction, and here he is a half dozen years later and those words have come to fruition, thanks to diligence and dedication. Rich’s success thus far has been hard earned and is very well deserved.
While the Colorado rapper is poised to be on everybody’s radar soon with the impending release of “Flex On It,” which is slated to be his first Cash Money single, according to Birdman, Rich is far from an overnight success. He’s issued a massive amount of music with a slew of Denver greats, before making headlines for his current high profile association.
Early on, he dropped the Barcode with DJ KTone and that series was followed by releases like Rockies Road, Censored, and Gold Dreams, which he issued as Rockie, his original moniker. He continued on after those projects with a succession of releases under his given name, Trev Rich, including the Heights mixtape series, King Kong and Godzilla, his platter with Innerstate Ike, the Way We Love EP, and Rain in the Summer.
If anyone is ready to take things to the next level, it’s most definitely Rich. And with the help of Cash Money—the imprint founded by Bryan “Birdman” Williams and his brother Ronald Williams (aka Slim) in 1991 and once home to Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga and others—he’s has all the potential to break out nationally.
And Rich has already built up a substantial buzz in the past several years, working with Joe Budden, whose 2012 mixtape, A Loose Quarter, he appeared on, DJ Green Lantern, with whom he collaborated with on the track “Wait a Minute,” and Mike Zombie, whose track, “Millions In Cash,” Rich is featured on (and who name checked Rich during a Hot 97 interview this past summer).
Over the weekend, Rich delivered news to friends and family at Supreme Styles Barbershop on East Colfax. A few videos of the monumental event were shared on social media after, the most moving of which featured his mom, who flew out from Texas for the occasion, surprising him as he was getting hair trimmed. It was a special, heartrending moment for Rich, who has poured out his heart about his mother on tracks like “Dear Ma.” The shared joy is unmistakable.
“My mamma told me if I ever reach the stars/She don’t want a damn thing from me, just send her some postcards, and for that, I go hard,” raps Rich on “Dear Ma” from the Heights. “All those flashbacks, leaving that oven door open with it on just to fucking heat the room, ma/And honestly, you telling me if I make a mill and not spend a dollar on you, you think that’s fair to me/When, in my eyes, you’re the celebrity/Everybody disappeared on me, but you was there for me.”
Heights, the release that particular tune appeared on, was when Rich really started to hit his stride. Although his music is likely to be added to rotation on radio stations across the country very soon, truth is, he’s been making music worthy of that distinction for a while now. The song “Young Forever,” which features Duncan (aka Adam Duncan), was radio-ready all day—and it’s another tune that’s a little more poignant in retrospect, particularly these lines:
"Been dreaming about this shit since sitting back in mom's kitchen/Watching me drying dishes, mentally fight the vision/My family ain't take it lightly, me dropping out on a mission/Swinging at life's pitches/Struck out so many times, but I never hesitated to walk right back to that plate."
And then the hook: "Trying to reach the sky before the cemetery/Let my legend write my obituary/Baby, it's time, ’cause we wasn't born rich, but we gonna die that way/To dream in the U.S.A./All they could say is we were young forever."
Judging from Rich’s Facebook timeline and his Twitter feed, the city’s proud of Rich and happy for him—and for good reason. He’s an inspiration, someone to show us all that hard work actually does pay off when you don’t give up chasing your dreams. It took a hell of a lot of determination on his part to reach this milestone.
And Rich is handling this life changing news with admirable humility. He sounded equally as gracious last night when he appeared on KS-107.5 as he was on Sunday afternoon when we reached out to him with congratulations and he responded with a simple thank you, acknowledging that it's been a long time coming and this is just the beginning.
Indeed. With his Squizzy squad and the entire community behind him, dude can't lose.