Los Angeles, CA

Trap is a genre that was arguably created by Tip, the King of the South, and has since become the bridge between EDM and Hip Hop. From the hard-hitting beats to the gritty, drug-laced lyrics, this isn’t just music, it’s a lifestyle.

Los Angeles is the city artists come to do work and enjoy the palm trees, killing two birds with one stone. Shooting scenes for his new music video in the couple days he was in town, Atlanta rapper Hoodrich Pablo Juan unexpectedly found himself in studio sessions with Young Thug and Chief Keef.

On Sunday (June 4), HipHopDX had the pleasure of catching up with the Designer Drugz rapper at the Park La Brea apartments to discuss why he is the smartest trap rapper of his time.

The interview begins with this rebuttal.

“Hold up, we gotta elaborate on you putting me in the box with trap rappers,” he says.

Agreeing to disagree, 27-year-old Hoodrich Pablo Juan elaborates on graduating high school earlier than expected.

He explains, “I graduated ‘cause… I don’t know. I’ve always been a little… if you ask me, common sense plus street smarts, is all you need. Book smart cool, too. But I always had good common sense. If something ain’t work for me, then I did something else. I did it a different way for it to work.”

Sharing more insight, Hoodrich explains where he gets his knowledge besides having his eyes and ears to the streets at all times.

“I read a little bit,” he says. “I think I get my wisdom from everyday life and situations. I barely watch TV. Just being outside and being able to touch everybody. You might have a rich person right here, a broke person, a rapper, a DJ… me being able to see everybody angle. The thing I do most, is I know how to pick people. I’m gonna pick the good from you, and leave the bad. I might have seen a hundred rappers before me and seen what they did wrong. That’s why I came in.”

Being from Atlanta means having to stand out among some of the greats, including Gucci Mane, T.I. and Jeezy, to name a few. Hoodrich Pablo makes sure his approach is different.

“I got a different background, for sure,” he says. “I think I got a different moral set in me, as far as just where I’m trying to go with it, what I want to accomplish, and who I’m taking with me. Ain’t nothing wrong where other people go — I just think they different. Some people just want different things for different reasons.”

"the world is mine. i ain't gon never stop" ? #hoodrichpablojuan @hoodrich_pablojuan

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Hoodrich also has the reputation of being every rapper’s favorite rapper.

“It’s a blessing,” he comments. “I’m a Hip Hop fan myself, so I used to listen to people. When I first started rapping, that’s the angle I hit it as. Let me try to rap and be somebody that I would listen to when I was a fan. So it’s cool. I think I can get better. I don’t got all my stuff to the tee yet, I think I can only get better.”

And it’s not just rap. Hoodrich recently linked with EDM producer/DJ Brodinski, the godfather of trance and electro in France. The two reportedly have an album in the works.

“I think he reached out to me,” he explains of the collab. “It might have been through the management, through the number I put in my bio. And just called. The person said, ‘Brodinski want to link with you’ and he was explaining who he was. And I was telling him that’s the lane I’m trying to hit. That’s what I need to be with. I need to go with somebody from France, who got different kind of beats. Ever since made our first record, just had a little vibe.”

Hoodrich is here for the challenge of a new sound.

“He got more challenging beats,” he reveals. “I say they’re more challenging because when it come on, it goes so many different ways. You got to figure out which way you want to catch it at.”

With all things in consideration, Hoodrich Pablo Juan has his vision set high.

“I want to be able to have everything of my own,” he says. “I want to have my own clothing label, my own shoes I put on, my own socks. I want to have my own toothpaste, my own toothbrushes. I want to have my own TVs. I want to make my own water. I want to make my own food, meals at night, breakfast. I want to have my own restaurants. I want to have everything. I feel like the world is mine. I ain’t gon never stop.”

While the world is his, music comes first and is the key to unlocking the rest of his ventures.

“Music is real life like the gateway drug,” he shares. “It’s going to open the door for the rest of the arenas to be there. You can preach, or you can rap. But either way, you’re getting to somebody’s head. You patting into their brain, the way they think, and they also get a chance to know who you is. I think music is a good route for opening up.”

When asked about his record “Pool Party,” he instantly starts rapping, “All these goddamn jewels like I’m having a pool party.” The lyrics on this record is full of “lean, slab, Percocet prescriptions.”

“Rockstar lifestyle,” Hoodrich explains. “Trap star. We just be having fun though. When I talk about drugs, it’s not to be like a junkie who just sitting there, junkie-ed out. But you know, have fun. You might be at a party… don’t nobody want to be at a party and just be chill. Can’t have fun like that. Gotta get loose sometimes.”

Dressed in Gucci shoes and a Louis Vuitton belt, Hoodrich Pablo fucks with “only designer drugs. Top notch. Gelato, Cookies…”

When asked if the drugs affected his work ethic, he immediately said yes. In a good way.

“Yes. It helps like a motherfucker. Sorry, parents. We get high and we do this shit,” he shares.

With Hoodrich’s grind mode in place, it’s only up from here.

“I’m working when I’m playing,” he says of his hustle. “Smoke weed and get money. I think the most relaxing thing in the world is working.”