Photo (above): Rich The Factor, by Storm Fritz Photography. For information on how you can be a part of Demencha’s next print issue featuring Rich The Factor’s cover story, contact Chris@Demencha.com. CLICK HERE for information on Rich The Factor’s brand new album, Rose Out The Concrete.
Rich The Factor is, and has been, a name that rings bells from the center of the Midwest to outer-KC regions for decades. With over 120 albums and mixtapes available on hard copy CD and digital formats over the course of 20+ years, Rich The Factor is a name often heard, but generally speaking, he’s been a man rarely seen…in the past, at least. His newest underwater movements in the greater worldwide underground rap scene recently aligned themselves in a photograph which surfaced on social media recently, with fellow Kansas City rap stars, Tech N9ne (of Strange Music) and The Popper (who I like to think of as “The Glue” of Kansas City’s rap collective). Rich The Factor recently sat down with us at Union Station for an absolutely golden interview. Among everything the two of us talked about over the course of about an hour and twenty minutes, and about 7,000 transcribed words later, it seemed appropriate to snip off part of his full interview and paste it here on Demencha.com. In the paragraphs below, you’ll read about Rich The Factor’s thoughts on inter-city competition, the streets and the suburbs. He also discusses his brand new mission to prove that the biggest rap icons in the city can put aside old issues and move forward for a better, brighter Kansas City. He’s uniting the biggest names in Kansas City rap, and under the table, he’s educating young people about the risks of getting involved in activities that have been sending a lot of people to prison, and worse, for a long time.
Rich The Factor is on a new level.
Demencha exclusive interview snippet:
Chris Mills: Through my instagram and facebook feeds, I saw a photo that recently surfaced of you, Tech N9ne and The Popper. Is there any story behind that, or were you guys just hanging out at someone’s house?
Rich The Factor: “They’ve been some buddies of mine through the game. The thing about Kansas City is that there’s a lot of competition. The reason you see me around that type of stuff is to bring it together. The only two cities I see sticking together are Atlanta and Miami. That’s why they’re big on the music scene, because they know how to share the check. They know how to stick together. All the others cities are fighting against each other.
I didn’t want to be a part of that fight. Even though I know I can win a battle, I’d rather bring things together for the future. People get the wrong outlook on things. They’ve got the whole city in a competition and I’d rather bring the city together. I won the competition as far as living like that. I did this 20 years. I rode Lexus, Porsches.
I shine like that, you know what I mean. I’m humble enough to say that this thing needs to come together for the future. It’s not for us, we already did ours. We didn’t do ours right. Where we’re at right now is, it’s coming together but if we would’ve done it back when the Rogue Dogs and all that was…see, I’m a Crip. I’m from the North Side of Kansas City. That’s the blue side.
Tech was from the 50’s, 57th. That’s the red side. I’ve been fighting for my turf all my life, so I didn’t really care about them. I’d come through, we’d meet up at the park, I’d show them what I’m about, I showed them we’re getting money. I didn’t care. I never cared. But I thought about the next generations so I said, “This thing needs to come together.”
That’s how you ended up seeing us three in pictures and you’ve been seeing me represent Tech, and Tech representing me, because that’s what’s got to happen for the future. This is my motto: I’m a grenade, right? But I’m only one. It doesn’t tear down the target. It takes 30, 40 or 50 grenades to tear down a target, and that’s what I’m trying to teach to these people. I’m good. I know I’m at the top, but who’s coming with me? That’s the mission I’m on.”
Chris Mills: Is it almost like the three of you guys decided that you’ve all been doing your thing, the three of you separately for years, but you’re trying to set an example for younger people coming up in the city? At the same time you’re instilling those things that you’re talking about, like why it’s not cool to do those things in the streets if you don’t know what’s going to happen as a result?
Rich The Factor: “If Tech called me, I don’t have to show up. It’s up to me to show up. If I call Tech, he don’t have to show up. It’s up to him to show up. That’s the difference between togetherness and the separation of the city. When they see us together, the scream is louder, it gets sunnier, they can see it’s a bright future when they see this. That’s what I represent. We gotta put it together in order for our city to be something.
We can fight it separate, but I got the streets. Tech’s the other side of the coin. I’m in the streets, he got the suburbs. I got the gutter, where you gotta bounce out your car and make sure you don’t get slapped in the back of your head with a pistol. I bounce out and get love. The Popper, he got his section. He’s doing his thing.
This concrete shit, they know that’s where I’m at. Without it all being put together, we won’t get the results that we need. It’s best that we put it all together, to get the results that we want. The last few years, we’ve been doing what it takes. Everything is good. I got Tech on call whenever I need him. He’s got me on call whenever he needs me and that’s how we’re rocking. To answer that question, we got a song or two coming out. We got mouths to feed, and we’re gonna do our job.”