ATLien Rapper RCIH HOMIE QUAN covers the new issue of ROLLING OUT!!!
Here are some interview highlights:
You are a native Atlantan. Talk about your formative years.
I am from East Atlanta. I went to McNair High School and graduated with a 3.2 grade point average. So, I am not dumb; I do have common sense.
Well, at first rapping was something I really stayed away from. It was nothing I was into. Like when I was 8, I asked for a karaoke machine but I was always shy. I would stay in my room, you know what I’m saying, turn the music down real low. I couldn’t cuss — I was living with my mama, so I would rap over little tapes. I would even beat on my hand, rap over tapes and cassettes, and go back to school and listen to it. People [would] ask me what I was listening to and I [would] lie, say Lil Wayne — knowing I was listening to myself. At the same time, I was in love with baseball growing up. I played baseball from [age] 4 until 18, so baseball, I was thinking was really my ticket, but God just kept throwing the music in me. I had never been in a real studio.
I graduated from high school and I ended up getting into some trouble. I went to jail, did 15 months and I would say during those 15 months, I rehabilitated my mind. Before I got locked up I knew who I was, well I thought I knew who I was, but I got locked up for burglary … I was breaking into houses.
How did you end up going down that path?
My mother and father are both still living. They’re not together, but I grew up in a great household. When I started growing up, you know how us men get, we get to smelling ourselves, you know, that’s when I started doing bad things, but when I was in jail, I came home with a rehabilitated mind. I came home stronger.
You say you came home stronger. How so?
I could read perfectly, but like I would read a whole page but I didn’t know what I was reading about. When I got to jail and once I learned how powerful reading was, man, I fell in love with it, so that made me start writing poems in jail. I think that’s why my music is so descriptive. My favorite author I fell in love with by being in jail is James Patterson. He’s the best author to me.
When you were incarcerated, what did you spend your time doing that brought about this artist that we recognize now?
I think chess had a lot to do with it. Before I went there I never played chess, but I noticed all the old men would play chess. Why [are] all the old men playing chess? Why [are] all the young boys playing cards? So I sat at the chess table one day and I noticed chess wasn’t a game like checkers. Chess is a game [where] you gotta look at four steps ahead of your next move. I learned so much from the old people in there, man. Plus old people had nothing but knowledge for me. But the game of chess helped me to realize how to make my moves strategically.