2020 has been a huge year for Compton-raised rapper Roddy Ricch. His hit single “The Box” from his debut album Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial claimed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 in January and became the longest-running No. 1 debut rap album on the Billboard 200 since 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ grabbed the title in 2003 (per The Source). Shortly after this milestone, Ricch walked away with his first Grammy for best rap performance for his collaboration “Rack in the Middle” with Nipsey Hussle and Hit-Boy. Now, Ricch is headed into award season with more nominations under his belt. He tied The Weeknd for the most nominations at the 2020 American Music Awards, which included a nomination for the night’s top award, artist of the year (per Variety).
While most people can sing a few lines of his chart-topping hit, fewer know anything else about the self-made artist. Here’s what you don’t know about Roddy Ricch.
Roddy Ricch went viral on Twitter thanks to Justin Bieber
There were many songs battling it out on the charts at the beginning of 2020, including tracks from veteran stars such as Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Drake. Bieber, in particular, was heavily promoting his single “Yummy” — he even retweeted (and then deleted) instructions from a Belieber explaining how to stream “Yummy” on repeat. Roddy Ricch was in the run for the No. 1 spot too, and despite Bieber’s controversial efforts, one single tweet from Ricch might have been just viral enough to catapult his single to the top spot. Ricch’s tweet at the center of it all told fans to “stream yummy by justin bieber.” Yes, Ricch directed fans to his competitor’s song, and that move sent Twitter into such a frenzy that it may have helped Ricch boost his profile and best the rest.
At the end of the day, Bieber grabbed the second spot and made light of the situation by congratulating Ricch. “Thanks everyone. So thankful. #yummy. @RoddyRicch You had to go and make a banger smh! Haha ur the man!! Love the song!! congrats on your first #1!!” Bieber wrote before returning the favor. “Everyone go stream #thebox.”
Surprisingly, Ricch has said he is not a huge fan of social media. In fact, Ricch likes to keep to himself and doesn’t call himself famous.
Roddy Ricch says fame won't change him
Roddy Ricch doesn’t step out in public often, and he apparently likes his low-key life. The only times he admits he feels a bit like a celebrity is when he’s on stage. “I don’t really feel stardom until I pop up at shows, which is fine, because that’s only, like, an hour out of the day and I get to connect with my fans,” he told GQ in January 2020.
Ricch is set on not letting his new popularity go to his head and said Kendrick Lamar’s attitude about stardom inspired him to keep his head on his shoulders. He also mentioned that Meek Mill used to warn him about the power of fame. “Now he comes to me like, ‘Damn, you still ain’t changed!'” Ricch recalled. “I’ll remain the same, it shows something in my character.”
When asked about having a No. 1 album, Ricch insisted he’s here for the music and not the Hollywood lifestyle. “A lot of people get bigheaded … but my mama sends me prayers every morning,” he said. “I dunno, man. I can’t see myself getting too overwhelmed by that. I just wanna keep doing music for my people and explaining how we live. That’s it,” he said.
Roddy Ricch and Nipsey Hussle had a special relationship
Roddy Ricch and the late Nipsey Hussle collaborated on the Grammy-winning song “Rack in the Middle,” but they weren’t just music industry acquaintances making a song together. In fact, Hussle took Ricch under his wing because he could understand and respect where Ricch was coming from with his music, which was influenced by Ricch’s upbringing. The two rappers were from the same area of Los Angeles often associated with violence and crime.
“It just came from organic vibes. When I was first rocking with Nipsey, around the time of Victory Lap, Meek [Mill] was still fighting his legal battle,” Ricch told GQ in a 2020 interview. “We all came together, and they embraced me as an artist because they saw the transparency in my music — the realness behind my music was too factual to be ignored.” Ricch now hopes he can help other artists as Hussle and Mill helped him.
Roddy Ricch is focused on helping his community
Roddy Ricch draws inspiration from his life in Compton. Personally, he has started to invest in property in his hometown to make sure he is always financially secure. citing his grandmother as a role model. She worked minimum wage jobs her whole life and scraped together enough money to eventually buy two homes. “I’d seen men in my family have more money than my grandmother and blow it,” he told Billboard in late 2019. “That mentality instilled in me [that] even with barely much, if you manage your money right, you can do something with it.” However, he says he doesn’t like to share that part of his life on social media.
Another aspect of his life he doesn’t often post about is his involvement in Compton, where he tries to give back to the community. “I’m still very involved in my community,” he told GQ. I give back and I’m always there for the homies. That’s one of the biggest parts of what I do. We do a lot of giveaways, things like that, but those aren’t things I put out there with the media.”
One thing is clear, this young artist is going places while remaining rooted in his values. We can’t wait to see what the future holds in store.
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