Nicole Richie’s Rap Career As Nikki Fre$h Was Inspired by Oprah
The wellness revolution has had many celebrity ambassadors, from the Duchess of Goop to a Kardashian sister. The latest is Nikki Fre$h, who you might know better as Nicole Richie. Fre$h is Nicole Richie’s alter ego and the subject of Nikki Fre$h, the new Quibi comedy series which follows the rap star’s quest to bring her message of wellness to the world. The idea for the show came to Richie after she was inspired by Oprah to start an edible garden. “I started hashtagging my harvest on Instagram because Oprah was doing it,” she says. “People were really into my harvest and I thought, ‘I’ve got a cult following now. Great.'” In between side conversations, ranging from Cindy Crawford to gay tribes, with her extremely layered and hilarious sidekick (Jared Goldstein), Fre$h never deviates from her OG message: eat your veggies, recycle, and love the earth. On top of the series, Fre$h is also releasing Unearthed, a nine-track album which Richie helped co-write with the help of her husband Joel Madden. And in a demonstration of her considerable skills, Nikki Fre$h recently went live from her chicken coop exclusively for Interview to drop some bars about bees, Amazon Prime, and Jane Fonda.
ERNEST MACIAS: I just want to get a little background on Nikki Fre$h. Where did the idea come from?
NICOLE RICHIE: I started working on an edible garden about seven years ago and I started hashtagging my harvest on Instagram because Oprah was doing it. People were really into my harvest and I thought, “I’ve got a cult following now. Great.” So I decided to have a stage name in the garden, Nikki Fre$h, and then I decided that it needed to double as a rap name like 2 Chainz, just because it sounds like a good rap name. I got the name before the music came but that’s okay.
MACIAS: What do you grow in your garden?
RICHIE: Let’s see. It’s seasonal, so right now I’ve got some mustard greens. I’ve got some thyme. I have fava beans coming in, snap peas coming in. I think we started on tomatoes. I won’t get those until summer. I’ve got rosemary, kale, and some broccoli.
MACIAS: I thought it was really funny that Nikki Fre$h describes her music as “conscious trap but mostly for gays and moms.” How did she land on that very specific genre of trap?
RICHIE: Well, that’s just my world. I live in L.A., so that’s the majority of people around me. I wanted to write music for them.
MACIAS: Love that. In the video that you did for Interview, where you’re rapping about bees and Jane Fonda, you’re surrounded by a bunch of chickens. Can you tell me about the chickens?
RICHIE: That’s at my house. That’s my coop. I had told my chickens that I was going to do this and they were like, “We want to be in it, too.” I let them be in it. So it’s just like a fun girls’ video.
MACIAS: Do they have any names and do you have any favorites in your coop?
RICHIE: I do have favorites. So Queen Latifah is the leader. Sunny and Daisy are twins. I have Popsicles who’s a white silky. She’s white and fluffy looking. Then Dixie Chick. She’s my favorite because she’s the smallest and just the cutest.
ERNEST MACIAS: Oh my god. These names are everything.
NICOLE RICHIE: She just has a cute little face. Actually, Ivy’s my favorite and Ivy’s the biggest, but she lets me pet her the most. So I’m going to ditch Dixie Chick and I’m going to go with Ivy.
MACIAS: Too bad, Dixie Chick. Does Nikki Fre$h have any dream collaborations?
NICOLE RICHIE: Doing a collaboration with Bill Nye would be an absolute dream of mine. Martha Stewart, Wendell Berry, Jay Z or Snoop Dogg.
MACIAS: What song does Nikki Fre$h sing while washing her hands for 20 seconds?
RICHIE: “Drip Drip.” Aren’t we lucky that we have access to clean water that we can do that? Everybody should be able to do that.
MACIAS: Totally. When people watch this new show with Nikki Fre$h, although the message is obvious, what do you hope that people get out of this super fun but important show that you’re putting out?
RICHIE: I hope to bring laughter and lightness. I hope that people love my music so much that they turn me into the female Jay Z. I hope that while dancing to my music, people get inspired to connect with nature. Whether that’s the idea of growing your own food, or being outside, or learning about what’s going on with our planet and understanding that we are a part of it, that we don’t rule it.