Published on July 18th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


R-Mean: Triumphant


Now let’s hop right into this single / video, “Yessir,” feat. Quavo — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

I was introduced to all 3 of the Migos by my friend and business partner, Alex. Unfortunately, I never got to work with Takeoff [RIP!]. First I worked with Offset, then Quavo pulled up to the studio one day at Scott Storch’s house. I had the vision for what kinda joint I wanted to do with him, and Scott Storch is a genius in cooking up exactly the type of beat you want right on the spot. Quavo came through and stepped to the mic and did that incredible hook and verse in like 15 minutes. We did the whole song on the spot, and we knew we had something special with this one. It took a few months to get him to pull up for the video, but Huncho looked out and made it happen. We shot the whole video on a one day notice!

“Yessir” comes courtesy of your latest solo LP, Mean — For it you teamed up with producer, Scott Storch, how did this connection even come about?

The first time I worked with Scott Storch was back in 2017 through his manager Steve Lobel, who I’ve known for many years. We just went and basically booked one session with him and did a record. It all came full circle when a couple years after that I was re-introduced to him through my business partners that are very close with him. They told him that not only should we work together but I’m really that guy in our community, so let’s make a mark. One thing led to another and next thing you know we did a full project together.

How then does Mean either differ and / or compare to previous R-Mean entries?

Everything is elevated. Even though I had some great music before this project, I don’t think anything is even comparable to this from the production to the songwriting to the mixing…this is my first body of work that can easily compete at the highest level. And as of now I can confidently say it’s the best Hip Hop album of 2023 in my humble opinion. The album also contains other high profile appearances from Nas, Offset, YG, Method Man, French Montana and Jeremih.

How did you manage to make these collabs happen?

Relationships, relationships, relationships! I’ve been grinding for a long time so I’ve built strong relationships over the years, but even more than that my team is really tapped in and as an artist, I was ready for every opportunity when it presented itself. I wasn’t presenting any mediocre records to these big name artists. Every time I pressed play it was undeniable.

As a lyricist, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?

That’s a complicated question because it can come from anywhere. Of course the music will inspire it, but really I draw from life experience, as well as things people that’s close to me go through. Every bar is a reflection of real life experience.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for R-Mean?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music and specifically I gravitated towards rap as a little kid. In my teenage years, I became a full-fledged Hip Hop head, and in my later high school years I started writing down rhymes just for fun. I was born in L.A., but I grew up in Amsterdam for the first 18 years of my life. After graduating high school, I moved back to L.A. and that’s when I started taking music serious. I used to pass out CDs at local high schools and colleges, hit up every open mic night and do as many shows as I could. Being of Armenian descent, I got a buzz in my community pretty quick and being that there is a large Armenian community in L.A. the name started spreading around the city, and I’ve been at it ever since. It took me a while to be acknowledged and recognized by the Hip Hop industry and by these legendary names in Hip Hop, but when you love something so passionately you just keep doing it and staying consistent will open doors eventually.

Now you’re a native of Los Angeles, CA, correct? And growing up in the ‘City of Angels,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

So as I mentioned in the previous question, I was born in L.A. but I actually was not raised in Los Angeles and that’s the reason why a lot of people tell me I don’t sound like a typical West Coast artist, even though I definitely consider myself a L.A. artist. But my earlier influences were more East Coast, because the whole vibe in Amsterdam and Europe in general was very New York. People like Nas, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, Big Pun…as well as Eminem, 50 and 2Pac are some of my biggest influences.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I feel like my music is all about inspiration, and it always has a message. Today I would say I’m a mix of J.Cole, Nipsey and Eminem.

Where does your moniker, R-Mean, originally derive from?

My real name is Armin. Which is pronounced as R-Mean. I just started spelling it like that at a young age just because it looked cool. Years before I started rapping, so then I just kept that as my artist name.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

Inspiration. Hip Hop was almost like a father figure in my life. I learned a lot from Hip Hop; it literally raised me, so I always keep that in mind when I make my music

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

To be honest, my number one dream collaboration was Nas and that one became a reality. Dead or Alive is a tricky question, but today I would say Nipsey just because he was supposed to be on this album and we were supposed to get in the studio literally the week that he got killed. Such a tragic situation.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Red Rocks in Colorado, Hollywood Bowl in L.A. and Paradiso in Amsterdam, because growing up that was always the legendary venue that all the dopest Hip Hop artists would perform at.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

I think Hip Hop has become such a big genre of music that there are different types of Hip Hop and a lot of it is not for me. The good thing is that there is a lane for any style, and there’s a way to find your own audience, but there’s also a lot of garbage and clout chasing going on and some of the violent messaging is out of control.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

I’m the type that’s always focused on my craft and staying true to myself and what I’m about, instead of looking at what’s going on in the genre or in the industry. I feel like as long as you do that, coupled with staying consistent, you can do this for as long as you wish. I never been after clout or a quick come up. I’ve learned that anything that gets you a quick look or a quick bag usually fades away just as quick and doesn’t last.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Music is my number one passion, so it will always be at the forefront and a lot of the other aspirations or businesses I have around it usually are connected to it such as my clothing line or cannabis company. It’s all connected at the end of the day. I would like to get into movies / TV shows in the future. But I can’t say I have been actively pursuing that yet.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

My entire career has been a marathon. A slow and steady rise. There have been a lot of moments along the way such as my first big collaboration, which was with the Game on a song called “Lost Angels”…the first time I freestyled on Sway, which led to a decade long friendship we have till today., The Open Wounds movement we started to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide, and I’ve had countless epic shows and tour moments. Performing in Armenia for the first time last summer was def a highlight because I opened for 50 Cent for like 20k people. And just this passed May I sold out The Roxy in L.A. for my album release concert…but getting a FaceTime call from Nas after he heard the tribute song I had done for him 3 years prior must be the number one moment that stands out. He told me that that song really did something to him as he was pointing at his chest, and three days later he came to the studio and we created a masterpiece of this song all on the spot together. That must be the happiest day of my life and career thus far.

What’s an average day like for you?

It kind of depends on what cycle I am in, for example, now that I just dropped an album I’m not as much in the studio, but I’m more in promo mode. I also work on side businesses, like my pharmacies and clothing / sneaker store in between the music, so every day is very different. But I like to wake up early, by 7 AM usually, and start the grind. Right now, I would say my day consists of working out, content creation, doing interviews and press, and in between that, working on either one of the side-businesses, or in the studio creating music for the future releases. Unless I hit up an event at night, I watch some TV around midnight and call it a night.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I’m very active on my social media, especially Instagram, so I always interact with people both in the DM’s and in the comments. I think it’s very important to build a personal relationship with the fans, especially as you are on the come up and growing.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part is by far creating the music. The feeling of recording a song and hearing the final product is the most rewarding thing to me. My least favorite thing is probably everything that has to do with getting the music out. The promotion part, and the networking part. I’m naturally introverted even though for the last few years, I have learned to adapt to any environment, pretty well, but just ‘cause I do it that doesn’t mean that I actually enjoy talking to strangers! Lol.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My only advice to people is always to make sure to figure out exactly what your passion is and understand that the key to everything is consistency over time. The only thing that almost always guarantees a certain level of success is doing something well consistently over a long period of time. You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to commit to that.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

As a household name in Hip Hop, respected as one of the nicest in the game, and filthy rich! 😁

As for the immediate, what’s next for R-Mean?

For the rest of the year, I’m trying to do as many shows and live performances as possible. I’m also preparing the next release, which will most probably be a deluxe version of the album MEAN. I’mma keep hitting them with greatness!

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

Think we covered it!

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Appreciate Y’all having me, and appreciate everyone that’s been supporting the wave. Go press play on that MEAN album; it’s really no joke! And follow me on socials to stay connected: @RMEAN.

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