For the last few years, Rick Gonzalez has been strategically using placements from featured artists on his projects. In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX, Gonzalez said his strategy was two-fold as it concerned collaborating with other popular Rap artists.

“The strategy for that mixtape was to get a hold of as many people I felt would challenge me and show other people that I was able to hang with them,” Gonzalez says. “I just wanted to show and prove that I’m lyrically able to swim with them. That was the whole purpose.”

Gonzalez’s guests included Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, as well as Joell Ortiz, Fred The Godson and Blu. But an upcoming project finds the emcee formerly known as Realm Reality taking a more paired-down approach.

In anticipation of his latest single “Never Left,” Gonzalez shared some information about reconnecting with someone responsible for one of his higher-profile offerings.

“I got a new project coming out called Between The Stars, and it’s entirely produced by a new producer named Dan Freeman,” Gonzalez said. “He actually produced a single I did with Prodigy called ‘The Realness.’ We put out a whole project together with not many features…just two features, including The Kid Daytona.”

There’s no formal release date for Between The Stars.

Stream “Never Left” exclusively below.

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