Denver is not widely known for churning out famous rap stars, but Trev Rich has made giant steps to change that. The Denver native has made it to the big leagues, having just recently been signed to Cash Money Records. The rapper is ready to set sails on the horizon of his future and is doing so one vision at a time.

Rich took time from his Summer Jam rehearsal to chat with 303 Magazine about his newest album BalanceBefore we could get to talking, the artist had to nail down the details of his his performance of “Questions,” “Baillin'” and “Flex Sumn” that following Friday. We sat inside RocketSpace, where Rich, DJ Squizzy Taylor and local Denver promoter Francois Baptiste argued the five song setlist back and forth. They perfected transitions, discussed stage theatrics and ate takeout from Meadowlark. Once the set had been locked down, the group could take a break and Trev Rich let it out.

Trev Rich

303 Magazine: Thank you for making time for us today. We know you are very busy with your upcoming performances and latest project. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Trev Rich: Balance. It’s just pretty much Squizzy and I putting our minds together and just coming up with different projects. We live together, that’s my brother. So, whenever it’s time for the project to come out, we just sit and bounce ideas back and forth. It’s always better with two minds.

303: How long have you two known each other?

TR: Since the third grade. We went to [Stephen] Knight Academy.

303: Where have you two found inspiration for this project?

TR: I have like, three unreleased projects ready to go. Everything happens in a time, in a moment. I take what I’m experiencing in my life and I put it into music. We figure out how to put them together in a list, then it goes to get mastered. We play with it, we listen to it for a while, and once we are finished we don’t touch it. Once it’s done it’s done.

303: Being from Denver, how did the Mile High City influence your new album?

TR: I feel like in Denver there are a lot of people who have a lot of similarities. I stand out when I go other places. People will ask, ‘Where are you from? Denver? What’s going on in Denver?’ Now, though, with the weed and everything, more people are being like, ‘Oh, Denver!’

DJ Squizzy

DJ Squizzy Taylor

303: You are, of course, one of the most successful musicians to come from Denver. When did you know you were going to make it being from such a rare starting place?

TR: I believe in manifestation. Everything I am now, I’ve seen it before it even happened. Once you create your universe and create your mind, you can make it happen.

303: Do you feel that Denver represents and supports you as we should?

TR: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I see all the lists of top five, and all of that stuff. I get a lot of love. I don’t ever want people to think I would downplay where I’m from. Who I am is because of Denver. Your dreams always have to be bigger than where you’re from, though. Now that Denver sees me, how do I make the world see Denver?

303: What do you think is on the horizon for Denver rap?

TR: I think there’s a select few who actually get the blueprint and actually get what it takes to get out of here. There are certain small things you see people do and it’s like, they know. There is not rule book to getting out of Denver. But, I don’t know who’s ever made it out of the Denver music scene on that international, icon start. So anyone can create these footprints ourselves. I feel like there is a lot of talent coming out of Denver right now.

303: What are some other Denver names of artists that your listeners should be bumping?

TR: I don’t like to compare sounds. I don’t want to say, ‘Oh if you like Trev Rich, you’ll automatically like this.’ People who can listen to all different kinds of music and all different genres, that’s dope to me.

DJ Squizzy Taylor and Trev Rich

303: Do you collaborate with other Denver artists often? Why or why not?

TR: My dawg, AP. Lyrically one of the best rappers to ever come out of Denver. We have worked together on some things for his project. I was able to get out of my element and get back on my hip-hop bag, so I can’t wait for that song to come out too.

303: Where do you see your music headed, and what can your hometown fans do to prepare?

TR: See, that comes from that manifestation. The end of that journey is of course — I want to be in the Grammy family. That’s what I’m seeing, I see it. I don’t have anyone writing my music, that’s just me. Just me, staying focus and getting more and more creative with this pen. When I get more creative, then I become more relatable to the people. Obviously, I want that Grammy. That’s what I’m searching for.

303: Anything else you can tell us about the new album?

TR: It’s my best project to date. [Laughs] I always say that. I’m going to reveal a lot of things in this project that I didn’t get to share before. I feel like I am so free with my music now. I have a lot of things that I’m going to say now and people will be like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that.’ I just want people to listen. Once I get them to listen, I feel like they’ll understand who Trev is more.

All photography by Danielle Webster