He played the lovable younger brother on one of my favorite television shows, "Everybody Hates Chris" and has worked along side some of the greats in music and acting. Tequan Richmond is all grown up now and at 18 years old his career has not let up steam. Tequan took a break from filming an episode of "Memphis Beat" in New Orleans to talk with Baller Alert.com and school his seniors on the entertainment industry, investing money and appreciating the groupies.
Baller Alert: How old were you when you started acting?
Tequan: I first started acting at 9. I got my first big role at 9, I think my first big role was ER with George Clooney.
Baller Alert: So for everyone that doesn't know, your first role was NOT 'Everybody Hates Chris'
Tequan: Not at all! Actually, I probably did about 15 shows and 10 commercials before I even got to 'Chris'.
Baller Alert: When you started working on Everybody Hates Chris did you ever think it would be as successful as it is today?
Tequan: Not at all! Really, in the beginning stages of the show they weren't sure what direction they wanted to go with it. A lot of people don't know, I didn't even have a role on that show [at first], you know what I'm sayin? The role was created for me. After the character Chris didn't work out for me, they created another role, Drew for me. That's how it came about, everything kind of played its course as the show went along and everyone was messing with it. We're really lucky, actually.
Baller Alert: Are you afraid you will get type casted like other child stars, like example Raven Symone for example?
Tequan: Honestly, that's not even my [worry] right now. Only because, even after the show I booked 4 or 5 guest stars and spots that have been all different types of roles. They've all been edgy roles and I think I've kind of surpassed that stage. I mean, I don't know how I feel about type casting. I hate when they do that to people and I'm very fortunate I'm not in that category myself.
Baller Alert: So you're working on a new show, 'Memphis Beat", can you give our readers a little insight on your character?
Tequan: Well, I'm playing a reformed kid who was once in the streets and now he's not. I'm trying to help out with a murder case. I don't want to give too much of it away but we're shooting in New Orleans right now, the show is called Memphis Beat and will be on TNT. Ya'll check it out, SWAG! [laughs]
Our interview took a slight detour when we started to talk about Tequan's music career. Known by many in LA as T-Rich, I was interested to know how his venture into music began.
Baller Alert: Other than the young actor Tequan, there is the rapper T-Rich. Can you tell us a little about T-Rich?
Tequan: Basically T-Rich, comes from my name Tequan Richmond. I was producing for Sony at the time and I came across some beats. I started rapping to them and said to myself "Hmm, instead of producing I think I could start rapping". I tried it and a lot of my fans online were feeling it and I went with it. Since then I dropped two mixtapes. They were the hottest on the net at one time. I'm coming out with my third hopefully next month.It gained me 27,000 followers on Twitter so I'm just trying to work with it, ya know?
Baller Alert: Now that you're 18, you are very recognizable face and your rapping and producing is doing well, are you seeing a rise in groupies coming at you?
Tequan: [laughs] Groupies...Uhh, groupies are going to always be groupies. I think, even in the hood with all the hood boys getting money, groupies are everywhere! Groupies are just going to be groupies, man. I just have to take them for what they are and appreciate them for what they are. [laughs]
Baller Alert: Do you have any funny groupie stories you'd like to share?
Tequan: Funny stories? Aww man...[pauses for a second]..I don't think I can tell them on here! Ya'll trippin! I can't tell ya'll too much [laughs] we've had some memories, I'll put it like that. Me and groupies have had our memories. Already! I'm looking forward to some new ones too! [laughs]
Baller Alert: You may or may not remember, but we've met before. Back in November in LA, at a mutual friend's house. The one thing that we talked about that stood out to me was about you being financially responsible and how it wasn't important to be flashy. At 18, do you find theres a lot of pressure to splurge on material things?
Tequan: Yeah, there definitely is a lot of pressure because everyone wants to keep up with there peers and what not but honestly for me I feel like I'm the type of person who likes to live. You only live once and I'm going to do it how I want to do it. Now with that being said, that just means I have to grind 10x as hard to make back money that I spend. That's how I look at it. Money is just paper.
Baller Alert: Do you have any advice for young people wanting to get into acting or rapping, and not wanting to fall into the "child star" curse?
Tequan: Yes, one thing that is very important in the entertainment industry is to BE YOURSELF! Just be yourself. If you're not the coolest person, you're just not the coolest person. Just be who you are because in this industry, if you're not sure who you are, they'll make you into who they want you to be. And then you're stuck with that. Make sure you make your own mark.
Baller Alert: So, what other projects are you working on?
Tequan: I just wrapped up 'Private Practice' which aired a few weeks ago. After that I did the finale of 'Love That Girl' with Martin Lawrence and Tatiana Ali which aired a week ago. Currently I'm in New Orleans working on 'Memphis Beat'. I also wrapped up an episode of 'Detroit 1-8-7'. Between all of that I'm currently working on my mixtape with Asher Roth, DJ WreckinEyez. I'm definitely staying busy.
Baller Alert: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Tequan: Hopefully owning some business somewhere. I want to buy a Mc Donalds. That is my main goal in life, I want to own a Mc Donalds!
Baller Alert: For yourself or to make money off of it?
Tequan: You know, since I own it I'm going to eat free but when I own it I definitely want to make that one of my big investments, just to own a Mc Donalds. They say you should invest in what you love and I do love Mc Donalds.
Wanna check out some of T-Rich's music? Download and listen to "Beautiful Girl". Don't forget to follow Tequan on Twitter @TDashRich