By David Becerra
If you’re a fan of any type of music, you’re probably well aware and have seen many artists in the music industry come and go. Some are able to make great careers for themselves and last for what seems forever. On the other hand there are some artists that instantly climb to the top and fall even faster than when they came up especially, in the rap game. It always sucks and is unfortunate when this happens because some of their music is actually a great listen and it leaves us as an audience wanting more from them. In some cases when an artist ascends to the top it is rare that they achieve so much success in a short amount of time. This is exactly what we are witnessing with So Cal’s hottest young rapper Roddy Richh. In less than two years in the game, Richh has ascended to the top of the charts and looks to take over more than just the rap game.
As of now it’s all looking up hill for the young rapper, but his life hasn’t always been this way. Born and raised in Compton, California, and having spent time living in Atlanta, not everything has been rainbows and smooth sailing for the 21 year old. Richh started rapping and making music at just 8 years old but didn’t see it as much of a real hustle and reality at the time. It was when he was 15 where he actually started to do live performances but even then, Richh saw music as nothing more than a side gig. This was until his run in with the law that led to him being put behind bars due to his affiliation with the streets. Spending a couple of weeks in prison seemed to change the young rappers look on life and after his release, he decided to finally pursue and take his music career as a serious matter.
“I been through a lot,” he says. “Going through sh-t like bullets flying, it’ll f-ck you up a little bit. It triggers something else in you. This fame shit is new to me. Being in rooms where you don’t have to worry about sh-t, I don’t get that side of life yet. I’ll be in the room with millionaires and billionaires and still be like, ‘What’s going on? Who’s that at the door?’”
Richh admits he suffers from PTSD because of all of the upsetting experiences he has faced in the murder-plagued city he grew up. The experiences he faced in the streets are painted loud and clear in his music. His first hit single, 2018’s London on da Track produced “Die Young” was exactly this, a chilling street tale that speaks to his fear of being shot, killed, and arrested by the police, or by anyone really. It could happen to anyone. Even Richh’s closest friends including late rapper’s XXXentacion and Nipsey Hussle were both fatally shot and killed in their respective hometowns. Since its release “Die Young” has garnered more than 120 million streams on Spotify, and accumulated more than 96 million views on YouTube. “Die Young” which can be seen as a partial dedicated to the both (Nipsey Hussle being killed the following year of 2019) is what eventually blew up the rapper’s career and launched him into the mainstream.
“Just explaining having to go through PTSD with being in the streets. I done had to walk through Compton in the middle of the night at 1:00 in the morning and walk through six hoods, just because I left where I was from and where I was staying at. I was roaming the streets, and I felt like I was going to die, or police was going to pull up on me and I was going to get f–ked with. I seen cars circling multiple times, and I felt like I was going to die. If you know how dangerous Compton is at the middle of the night, you wouldn’t come outside.”
Just after a year of the release of his second project “Feed tha Streets II” and “Die Young” a year later, Roddy was collaborated with Marshmello (on “Project Dreams”) and earned two of his three Grammy nominations for his song in collaboration with Nipsey Hussle “Racks In The Middle” for best rap song and best rap performance. Along with that he also earned a nomination for best rap/sung performance for his collaboration on Mustards “Ballin” off of Mustards studio album “Perfect Ten”. For Richh winning a Grammy was a bittersweet moment due to the passing of Nipsey Hussle.
Richh has one of those unique musical sounds that he credits came from the rappers that he grew up listening to. When you listen to Roddy, you’ll almost immediately notice that he doesn’t sound like any of his other peers in the game. His musical style sounds like a mix of different styles from different genres and eras of rap. He doesn’t get too hard and street as older rappers but doesn’t get carried away with the “mumble rap” like many new artists. He does a great job at mixing in his rap abilities with his singing abilities. This is in part what separates him from the pack and eventually turned him into a grammy nominated artist and winner at just 21 years old.
Because of his versatility on tracks and previous collaborations such as “Project Dreams” with Marshmello, this gives Richh the ability to be exposed to more fans beyond those just interested in rap. The release of his debut studio album “Please Excuse Me For Being Anti Social” in December of 2019 marked another milestone in his musical career. All of the success he had prior to even releasing a studio album is one that all artists only could dream of. One of the first singles to be released from the album is one that everyone and their grandmothers has probably heard by now. This was the “The Box”.
What made this song so catchy was the quirky and danceable beat/hook which was able to get stuck in everybody’s head. The intro of the song made the song meam-able which could be because the sound we are fist met with resembles a door hinge in need of a little WD-40. Because of all of these traits the track immediately took off and blew up on social media. It can be seen as one of the first songs to completely take over TikTok and brought back the trend of dancing on video which was previously popular on Vine. “The Box” had people dancing on TikTok who most likely had no idea who Roddy Rich was but just added to the success of the young rapper. With more songs taking off and gaining popularity on Tik-Tik such as Richh’s, it seems that now the app could be seen as a new way to possibly discover new music.
Despite all of the hardships the Richh has faced, they are not an excuse and will not keep him from achieving success and based on what we’ve seen from the rapper he is far from finished. Even though much of his success has brought along with it fame and glamor, for Richh says he doesn’t do what he does for fame or clout. His main focus is to get his message out but at the same time also to enjoy some of the little luxuries that come along with doing so. Although much of his fame now is credited to his musical career, the rapper says Rapping is not something he plans to do forever. His plan after music is to focus on business much like greats before him did such as Jay-Z and Sean Combs, which he spoke about in an interview with Fader.
“I can’t be, you know, too old in this sh-t. It’s a young n—a game… Once I get to a certain point I really just wanna just be having so much money that I don’t really gotta chase it as much. I can really just sit back and make the proper business moves to create generational wealth.”