Roddy Ricch’s career has taken off since his significant feature on Nipsey Hussle’s 2019 hit, “Racks in the Middle.” In this pandemic-stricken year alone, he’s hopped on tracks with Meek Mill, Gunna, and Cordae, to name a few. His “Rockstar” collaboration with DaBaby earned him his second ever placement on the Billboard Hot 100, staying atop the chart for seven weeks, but the No. 1 position has become a familiar spot for him to be in. Throughout the year, the “High Fashion” hitmaker has topped the music chart for 18 weeks — more than any other artists in 2020. Not to mention, he received the Album of the Year at the BET Awards, won Apple Music’s Album and Song of the Year, was named Variety’s Breakthrough Artist of 2020, and may potentially win more following his recent Grammy nominations.
Fans often misinterpret Ricch’s rise to fame as an overnight success, but in a recent interview with Variety, the “Box” star explained that his career progression is actually the result of years of putting blood, sweat and tears into his craft.
“To the world it might have seemed fast, but it was not fast,” he began. “From Feed Tha Streets, every year I dropped a project. That first project connected with who it was supposed to connect with, which was the streets. I campaigned a lot for that and did a lot of legwork in my surrounding areas: Compton, Watts, South Central, all the projects that started supporting me. And I feel like once the world caught wind, it just spread and spread.”
He continued, “My second project, Feed Tha Streets II, was 60-something on Billboard [200 albums chart]. With ‘Racks in the Middle,’ we had shot the video the night before I went out with Post Malone on a European tour. I had never been on tour before; I’d never been out of the country before that. So a lot of people probably didn’t even know the moves I was making to set up that success. I was always grinding to get to where I needed to go.”
Though hard work and consistency are vital keys to anyone’s success, Ricch’s accomplishments could also be chalked up to his mentality, his level of maturity and a sense of logic that is not often exhibited in artists his age or in this generation.
For one, the “Die Young” rapper understands his rise to fame is a unique journey. When asked whether there’s anyone whose career path he would like to model, he explained that it’s “almost impossible” to emulate another person’s steps to success. “It’s like thinking about Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant — you can’t compare them, because they came up at three different points in time, they had to play against different people, people’s mentality was different,” he said. “So I just do my own thing, honestly. I can’t say, ‘I want this man’s life,’ or ‘I want this man’s career,’ because that’s envy, and envy is a sin.”
In an age where it’s common for artists to drop more than three projects a year, Ricch’s confidence in his talent and the status of his records, and his desire to deliver high quality records prevents him from dropping microwavable projects just for the sake of pleasing fans.
“I feel like pressure is self-imposed, so I ain’t under no pressure… So for me to drop a whole other album right now, it’s just overkill,” the Compton artist said. “At least let me wait until, instead of five songs on the radio, let me wait till I’ve got two. I don’t wanna be just putting songs on the radio all the time. We ain’t making mixtape music no more. You’ve gotta give it space and time for people to digest it.”
Though many desire to hear the follow up to Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial project, he ultimately wants to ensure he’s dropping quality music, which for him, may take some time to complete.
“I feel like the problem with us nowadays is we want everything right now. But the music isn’t gonna be progressive when you’re putting something out every three months, because you ain’t been through nothing; you still feel like how you felt when you [last] dropped the music,” he told Variety. “To me, stuff doesn’t happen in my life every single day. Maybe for some people it does, but my life don’t happen that fast. I have to give myself time to actually go through things so I can speak on it, and have a new understanding of life. It’s not like I make music that’s not my life, so I feel like I need to give my life time to inspire me.”