Norristown rapper Richard Williams, better known as Rich Flow, has headlined two annual hip hop concerts to date at the Centre Theater located at 208 DeKalb Street. Both concerts have been was held on the day before Thanksgiving. The event allowed local performers to showcase their talents in front of a crowded audience on a stage with an abundance of different colored laser lights. The acts included everything from comedy to singing. Rich Flow took out sometime for a quick interview as he prepared for the show.
What made you want to host a concert in little ole’ Norristown? Why the day before Thanksgiving?
Rich Flow: Well this is not the first concert, this is the second annual and we plan to do a decade of more. The year before last I came up with the idea because I just felt like I wasn’t getting the recognition that I deserved. I also wasn’t getting the help and support that I definitely needed. So I took matters into my own hands and the 610 group took matters into their own hands with me. We decided to host concerts. My slogan back then was, “Promoters blowing my phone/I’m in my zone ’til I’m known/ Nobody book me for a show so now I’m throwing my own.” Ever since then I just took that and ran with it. I just want to host my own shows, so that way I will not be able to make any complaints. I took matters into my own hands. I can do this [the concert] the way I want to do it, how I want to do it, and when I want to do it. I feel like it’s all about the experience, it’s all about that self-confidence and building it. There was a void in Norristown and I was wanted the youth to look forward to something. My parents and all of my friends grew up similar to how I grew up. I didn’t grow up too good, everything wasn’t always glamorous, and I wasn’t the most fortunate kid on the block. I just wanted to have that community support and I knew with wanting that community support I would have to give something in return. I throw this concert annually and I love how it is turning out.
Why does Norristown mean so much to you?
Rich Flow: First and foremost its my birthplace. I was born here. So I’m automatically going to have that natural interest about where I come from. Number two, growing up in a place that kind of mirrors back how you feel in some aspects on an emotional level, you just kind of want better for the future of that place. That’s where I think it stems from. Someday, I am going to have kids and I’m hoping that if they do live here that this place will be a lot better than it is today. I have little cousins, little nieces, and little nephews I want it [Norristown] to be a better place. As far as the Arts and Entertainment department, I think I can tackle that as best as I can. I do not think Norristown has a market. Our industrial market has dropped years ago, so there is no money here, no real money. I think that Arts and Entertainment has a chance at changing things a little bit. That’s why it is so important to rep Norristown. My heart will always be here.
What is the significance of #Antennazup? What inspired you to create the hashtag?
Rich Flow: The basic antenna is used to give a signal. What I wanted to do was take that aspect of an antenna and tie it into my own creative lifestyle. What I did was, use it as a logo that you could create with your hand. I put my two fingers up. It stands for peace but it also stands for two antennas and the fist would count as a T.V. and I also made a logo out of it. My logo is two antennas up and a T.V. It’s basically just something to live by, like #antennazup, signal your significance. It goes hand and hand with my logo and what I do. I am here to promote awareness, like that’s my biggest thing, to be aware you have to be conscious. End all be all, you just have to be a conscious person, conscious hearted and conscious minded. That is what #antennazup signifies; finding out the true meaning of your purpose in life.
What rap albums did you grow up listening to?
Rich Flow: I do remember growing up on a lot of Nas. He is an New York MC that I love. I grew up on a lot of Lauryn Hill. For a more recent artist, I love Lupe Fiasco. I am a Wale fan. It is just a number of different artist, conscious hearted artists, that I really like. It’s not just hip-hop music, but speaking of hip-hop it pulls me the tightest. I took so much knowledge and influence from Nas. I looked at him as a third parent through music. I had my mom and my dad, but listening to his music taught me the ins and outs of certain things. It prepared me for certain circumstances in life. I honestly can’t describe or explain. I just honestly felt like he could have been a parent of mine, Lauryn Hill as well. The music is so genuine. It tackles me like nothing else.
Where will Rich be in 5 years?
Rich Flow: In 5 years, I do see myself doing exactly what I am doing today. Definitely preforming songs and keeping busy with music. Whether I am working on albums, projects, mentoring, producing, anything! I just want to enhance anything that I am doing right now to another level. I basically say that for the love and passion I have for music. I notice my capabilities and I kind of fell in love with it [music] at a young age.
Do you see yourself becoming famous?
Rich Flow: Yes! I don’t mean famous like famous out the ass type of level. If that happens that would be fortunate for me. If it doesn’t that is fine as well. I just know that one day I will come across a lot more fans than what I have at this point in time. I feel this way, because my drive have been monumental. It’s not just me that is noticing it, it’s people around me, people around the country, people around the city, and people around my hometown. It’s kind of plain to see. I know I have to continue to work my ass off, tackle my workload, and stay on the same path that I am on right now.
How do you deal with the pressure to succeed?
Rich Flow: I try not to think about it. People get caught up in what someone else’s success means to them. You shouldn’t let someone else’s success define what your own success should be. There are independent artists out here who are far more financially stable than some artists who are in the industry. They are not as famous as the person in the industry, but on the backend its less fame more money or less fame and more creative control over your music.
Do you have any hidden talents? Are you secretly an amazing cook? Do you like to work on cars? Are you an amazing painter?
Rich Flow: I make a hell of a bowl of cereal, I can tell you that much! No, seriously a lot of people think I am this quiet, shy, and arrogant creature. That is so not me! If you get to know me I open up just like anyone else would. I am actually a funny guy! People tell me I am super sarcastic and hilarious. You just have to get to know me! That’s basically me in a nutshell. I am funny, warm-hearted, and I have dreams to go far. Dreams to go farther than this country can take me.
What is most important: love or money? Why?
Rich Flow: The love of money is most important and I shouldn’t have to say why! hahahahaha
This is the first time I ever constructed an article in a question-and-answer format. I chose to write the article in this manner, because Flow’s answers blew me away. By providing the exact questions-and-answers I wanted to ignite in you the same emotions I experienced while interviewing Flow. His energy and spirit are unmatched. I hope you enjoyed!
Rich Flow’s music can be found here.