Get familiar with Roddy Ricch.
As hip-hop continues to dominate the popular culture, it’s easy for mindless trap bangers to garner the attention of the masses. The market for street rap has died down significantly since the 2000s, but there’s a handful of kids in the new generation who are keeping it alive. Over the past few months, you may have heard of one such kid: Roddy Ricch. His song “Die Young,” produced by London On Da Track, is at 34M views and counting on YouTube while the follow-up single, "Every Season” sits at 52M.
His music will do little to help you figure out either his age or his location. At 20-years-old, the Compton rapper has the insight of a grown man, one who’s gone through hell-and-back and still managed to tell the tale. The only thing that might distinguish his age is his admiration for the late-Speaker Knockerz, whose influence is apparent.
He isn’t a typical West Coast rapper, instead, he cites artists from the South, Midwest and the East coast as some of his biggest influences. Ricch carries similarities to Meek in a lot of ways. Ricch has the hunger and the urgency of a young Meek Mill -- one that not only aspires to get to the bag but also to inspire others from his community. Ahead of the release of his second mixtape, Feed The Streets II, Meek gifted Roddy Ricch a Dreamchasers chain, sparking speculation that the “Project Dreams” rapper signed a deal with Meek’s label.
Roddy Ricch is one of the most promising rappers out right now, period. Feed The Streets II was a brief introduction to what he has in store. With the recognition and resources surrounding him, he’s bound for big things.
Peep everything you need to know about Roddy Ricch.
Rumored Dreamchasers affiliation
Meek Mill is one of the first mainstream rappers to really embrace Roddy Ricch. The two connected after they bumped into each other in the same studio. However, Dreamchasers signee Omelly was already familiar with Ricch’s music.
In late August, Meek and Roddy Ricch previewed a new collaboration on Instagram. Meek made their affiliation public during Made in America festival when he popped out on stage randomly during Ricch’s set. Meek also brought Roddy out during his set at Powerhouse Philly.
Ahead of the release of Feed The Streets II, Meek gave a massive co-sign to Roddy Ricch, calling him the “next big thing out the west” and gifting him a Dreamchasers chain. Many speculated that Roddy Ricch was the latest Dreamchasers signee, although that hasn’t been confirmed by either party. However, Wayno Clark of Everyday Struggle said that Roddy Ricch signed a management deal rather than a record deal.
When you think of Compton, N.W.A., Kendrick Lamar, YG, and The Game might be the first names to pop in your mind, but Roddy Ricch also hails from Hub City. He doesn’t share similar sounds to those that came before him. In an interview with The Fader, he explained how even though artists like YG and Kendrick Lamar became successful off of rap, the only people he saw get money when he was younger were his uncles who hustled. His upbringing in Compton, however, did play a factor when he decided to take music seriously.
“A lot more death in the streets. Growing up, getting older, friends getting lost to prison. You tend to want to do something that’ll help you make it out of that,” he explained to The Fader about really focusing on music.
Although he could be confused for an Atlanta artist, he does carry some of the West Coast traditions. He doesn’t necessarily broadcast his gang affiliation as blatantly as other rappers, but he’s previously revealed that he’s a member of the Crips. During an interview with Say Cheese TV, he revealed that he joined the Crips when he was young, but his ties to the gang are deep in his family roots.
“I was running around with all the Crips. All my cousins -- all my family like Crips. Then I got older, I jumped out the porch -- I got kicked out my momma house when I was like 15-16. Then I started getting in the streets for real,” he said.
His gang ties is something he attributes to his maturity which is clearly heard in his music.
“People said I lived before, type shit. N***a just be -- I just think ahead,” he said. “I ain’t the life of the party type n***a. I just be in my mode.”
“Die Young” isn’t your cliche hit, but it’s a hit nonetheless. The rapper pours his soul out over London On Da Beat’s hypnotic production like a bottle of Old English. The song was made the night XXXTENTACION died and was meant to pay homage to other rappers that died at a young age such as Lil Snupe and one of Ricch’s biggest influences, Speaker Knockerz.
“X had died that day. It was the night he passed away, I was just in a mode where, it was like, a lot of young people dying, they like legends,” he told Genius. “Speaker Knockerz, Lil Snupe, you know. There were a lot of people that were great that died at a young age so I wanted to make something in remembrance of them, but at the same time, making people well aware of what’s been goin’ on. It’s like a trend or something.”
Despite coming from a city that produced some of hip-hop’s biggest and most influential names, Roddy Ricch isn’t a product of Westcoast hip-hop. Instead, his age is more telling of who helped him mould his sound. Speaker Knockerz’s influence on him is evident in his melodies, and equally evident, the impact that Chief Keef and Lil Durk had on him during his days in middle school. The rapper also lists Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Future, and Meek Mill as major influences.
He explained that traveling a lot as a child is why he feels like he isn’t confined to traditional regional sounds.
"I wasn’t just influenced by the West Coast, even though that’s where I’m from and that’s where I’m at. I was also traveling a lot when I grew up. My first trip somewhere out the state was Chicago and it just went on from there," he told The Fader. "My great-grandma is still alive; she’s from Louisiana so I spent time there. I got family in Atlanta, Mississippi, New York, all over the place. Sometimes I’d be out there trying to make something happen."
Have you heard Roddy Ricch's music yet? What do you think of the burgeoning artist? Peep his brand new feature on Post Malone's "Wow" remix.