With his new mixtape Feed The Streets II dropping during a busy weekend for rap, this is your official notice: Do not overlook Roddy Ricch. The 20-year-old rapper from Compton is a fresh face on the scene, but he’s already garnered high profile co-signs from fellow Los Angeles stars like Nipsey Hussle and Vince Staples, making him one to watch in the approaching new year.
Of course, it isn’t just local acts giving him the stamp; Roddy was gifted a Dreamchasers chain by Meek Mill back stage at Power House 2018, leading to rumors that the young rapper had been coronated as the newest member of Meek’s own label. His meteoric rise has been propelled by two things: A catchy, revealing flow that brings to mind fellow emotive west coast heartstring puller 03 Greedo, and a gift for selecting stunningly captivating beats to showcase it over from the likes of BeezoBeats, CashMoneyAP, Cassius Jay, KBeazy (along with Tarentino of 808 Mafia), London On Da Track, Rex Kudo, and Scott Storch.
While songs like “F*cc It Up,” “Chase The Bag,” and “Die Young” became his calling cards with their raw visuals, half-crooned combination of tortured reflection and triumphant flexing, and evocative production, the surefire indicator of his coming explosion in success came courtesy of hip-hop ukulele player Einer Bankz, who previewed Feed The Streets II single “Every Season” on his Instagram in late September. The post currently sits at just under three quarters of a million plays, the most of any of his videos in the past months, which even include established stars like Amine (301,000 views), Kyle (331,000 views), Kodak Black (610,000 views). Chance The Rapper’s video with Bankz only has 521,000 views. Roddy is certified star already and the song wasn’t even out yet.
Now that it is, though, it’s easy to see why. Beezo and Cassius provide a strangely melancholy trap loop out of a folksy, acoustic guitar and pummeling drums, while Roddy flips a topsy-turvy flow that easily slips in and out of hyperspeed as he alternates between Crip life-prompted paranoia (“Back at the trap I was ducking them people”) and swaggering braggadocio (“All of my diamonds gone buss out the meter / I’m dripping water n—a, Aquafina”). It’s not just the words; it’s the way he says them, with an easy confidence that belies both his young age and status in the game and the tightly-constructed complexity of his bars. If Atlanta’s Gunna is the polished, mainstream-ready takedown of Young Thug, Roddy is the same for 03 Greedo.
It’s still early in the game, but for now, Roddy looks like the complete package: Relatable but aspirational, successful but appreciative, rock hard but vulnerable. He may be feeding the streets now, but it’s probably a safe bet that the rest of the world will be jumping in line sooner rather than later.
Roddy Rich is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.