- Gov't Name: Rodrick Moore
- Age: 20
- Reppin': Compton
- Twitter: @roddyricch
- Instagram: @roddyricch
- Notable Releases: Singles: “Die Young,” “Can’t Express,” “Every Season,” “Down Below”; Projects: Feed Tha Streets, Feed Tha Streets II; Guest Appearances: Marshmello’s “Project Dreams,” Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle” featuring Hit-Boy, Post Malone’s “Wow (Remix)” featuring Tyga
- Label: Bird Vision/Atlantic
- Currently Working On: As-yet-titled debut album due this fall.
- Surprised About Who Is Missing: “Every Bird Vision Ent. artist! That’s all I’m [gonna] say. I don’t want the smoke.”
- Influenced by: “Nipsey Hussle, Young Thug and Future. They got me through a lot of problems that I’ve been through in my life.”
- As a Freshman in High School: “I was the senior varsity jock nigga as a freshman. I was anti social, but at the same time, people gravitated to that because they wanted to figure out who I was and why I was how I was. Being so exclusive, it made people wanna fuck with me. I fuck[ed] with math. I hated science like a muthafucka.”
TRUTH ON BEING AN XXL FRESHMAN: “I just feel like it’s a blessing to be able to represent Compton. I think it’s three of us from the West [with] Lil Mosey and Blueface. You got L.A., Compton and up north. It’s lottery shit. You are the top 10 artists, basically, of 2019. Gunna was like, ‘Oh, I’m goin’ to New York.’ I was like, ‘I’m goin’ to New York.’ So, we just going back and forth but not saying nothing. I was like ‘Man, you made the list?’ He like, ‘Man, don’t tell nobody. Yeah!’ He the only nigga I knew that was even gon’ pull up. So I feel like, we the big dawgs. We what everybody lookin’ at. I ain’t graduate high school, so this like my graduation in a way. I told my mama. She ain’t even know what the fuck it was. But just know, that’s like, lottery pick type shit. I felt like I should [make it]. I wouldn’t even have been mad if I wasn’t. I knew I was in consideration. I think I’ma make every hood proud. Everybody that ever seen me come up, know what I came from, know how I came up, know where I started. I feel like I’ma just make everybody proud. Just show niggas that you can accomplish that shit.
The [Freshman Issue] I remember vividly is the one with [Lil] Uzi [Vert], 21 [Savage], Kodak [Black], [Lil] Yachty! That’s 2016. That was a memorable one for me because I was like, ‘Damn, I should be in that muthafucka.’ You be talking shit, like, ‘Nigga, I shoulda been on the cover in 2000 and...’ You just bullshittin’.
I feel like at this point, this is gon’ give me something for my younger guys to really know this is global progress. Coming from where I come from, I’m the first nigga out my hood to even be on a magazine cover, I think. Just coming from where we come from, niggas know you make a stamp, you set your own. I ain’t follow nobody path; I did it my own way. It’s just grindin’, ya feel me? You just gotta grind. At the end of the day, previous Freshmen you thought they was gonna be big and they didn’t do nothing. And Freshmen you thought were messed up when they did get Freshman, they be the biggest artists, so you don’t even know. You can’t call it. It’s just grindin’. Some years were a little more rappy than others, then the waves change. Some niggas fall off that we thought was gonna be the man. When I drop, they gon’ know what’s up. This my coming-out season.
I came up, now it’s time to pop out. I hope everybody in the class succeed. I hope everybody continue doing what they been doing to dominate the industry, to dominate the game, so they stay in that top 10. I just pray everybody wanna stay in that top 10, because nobody wanna be [No.] 2, everybody wanna be [No.] 1. Keep that mentality and I feel like everybody gonna be good. This is our graduation.”
RODDY RICCH'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN INTERVIEW
Los Angeles' spot in hip-hop is untouchable, whether you're talking historically or in modern times. Coming from that long line of talent emerges Roddy Ricch, a 20-year-old rapper hailing from Compton, Calif.—Laurel Street to be exact. Roddy melds his unique, higher-pitched singing voice with an ability to bend rap flows wherever it needs to go. He's seen it all, from spending time in the streets, being locked up in jail and facing legal troubles, to selling out European shows, climbing up the Billboard Hot 100 and going on tour runs with Post Malone. Now he's a 2019 XXL Freshman.
Long before he was inducted into the Freshman class, Roddy Ricch was already popular around his neighborhood due to how he carried himself and his early music only increased his cool factor. Lil Bird, the nickname given to him coming up in Compton, decided to buy a bunch of recording equipment on a whim as a teen, working on his music and dropping whatever he came up with. One of his early successes was the track "Rich Nigga."
In 2018, with his Feed Tha Streets series already kicking off, Roddy dropped the summer hit "Die Young," a thoughtful, somber song about living life to the fullest while being aware of how quickly you can lose it all. His momentum heading into Feed Tha Streets II was at a fever pitch, with his single "Every Season" only adding to his rise. After the project dropped, "Project Dreams," his collab with EDM DJ Marshmello and his verse on Post Malone's "Wow. (Remix)" proved that he can spit on a variety of soundscapes, alongside anyone.
One of his more memorable collaborations in recent months is a track with his close friend, the late Nispey Hussle. The Atlantic Records signee, born Rodrick Moore, Jr., holds the honor of being on "Racks in The Middle," Nipsey's last single to be released before he was murdered. The rapper's music, momentum and his ability to be a poet of the streets has culminated in a spot on this year's XXL Freshman cover.
As Roddy Ricch's popularity hits new levels, he doesn't forget the people who were important to his development. "Nipsey Hussle was a primary influence in my life, fuck rap, my life," he shares, giving the fallen Crenshaw rapper his just due. Moving from the West Coast to Down South, Roddy also connects with Future's artistry. "With rapping, I fuck with Future, a lot," he explains. "That's like one of my big brothers in the game. Recording with him was dope. He kinda just accepted who I was. I'm young. He's like one of the niggas I looked up to."
With two hip-hop influences like Nipsey and Future, some of Roddy's fans might be surprised he has a bit of a Christian rap background. At one time, Roddy's music sounded much different from the vivid stories of survival that has made him a notable name on the Billboard charts. "I grew up in church," he shares. " I wanted to like rap and shit. My mom ain't like it. She used to try and make me write Christian rap." As expected, as he got older, his music became more closely tied to the realities of the street. "I wanted to tell my story, or testimony if you will, what I feel like I been through."
To swing things back to how important Nipsey was to Roddy, he shares the process of making "Racks in the Middle" with him." All my songs mean something to me. They like my kids, but that one, I hold very much close value to it," he says. Roddy already worked on the song, long before Nipsey got a hold of the track. "I didn't even like it at first. I just made the hook and I left it." He then reflects on Nip's verses on the song: "And Nipsey picked it up and really did his thing with it... That song just been meaning a lot to me lately, you know, like, I can really feel everything we was saying."
Reflecting on his status as a 2019 XXL Freshman, Roddy is gracious and satisfied with how everything turned out. "I ain't graduate high school," he begins, "so the pictures, the drip and everything, make me feel like I'm doing my cap and gown." However, Roddy feels he should've already been in the class: "Two years ago, I thought I shoulda been on the cover, but I'm glad it's now. I was immature at that point. Now I could be somethin'."
Catch the rest of Roddy Ricch's 2019 XXL Freshman profile interview at the top of the post.
See Photos of Roddy Ricch Behind the Scenes at the 2019 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot
RODDY RICCH'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN FREESTYLE
Commitment will take you far, just ask 2019 XXL Freshman Roddy Ricch. Starting his music career on a whim as a 16-year-old from Compton, Calif., his new pastime turned into a more lucrative path years later. The work put in culminated in his summer 2018 single "Die Young," a chilling song about a desire to stay safe, just as your life starts to bloom. Recorded the same night XXXTentacion passed away on June 18, the track picked up momentum slowly and then skyrocketed, crossing 90 million Spotify streams to date.
From this point on, it felt like Roddy Ricch's ascent never cooled off. He followed up with the release of his Feed Tha Streets II project in late 2018. "Project Dreams," his collaboration with EDM DJ Marshmello and and an appearance on "Racks in the Middle," Nipsey Hussle's last single before his untimely death, only raised Roddy's already soaring profile. With all he's accomplished in about a year, Roddy has more than earned his place on the 2019 XXL Freshman cover, alongside the rest of his peers. As part of the XXL Freshman process, Roddy kicked a freestyle, opting to taking a unique approach to it by snapping his fingers as a beat.
Roddy's freestyle is a thoughtful reflection on how difficult it was for him to make it out of his rough Compton surroundings, while still being happy with the spoils of his journey. "These judges ain't giving a fuck about us, they just washin' us up/I'm in the penthouse with the dirty money, tryna wash it up," he chants.
He also keeps it real about some of the activities he took part in at his grandmother's house. "Back at granny house, we was servin' junkies, tryna run it up/It was a lotta niggas, that was eatin' round us/They was watchin' us... starve," Roddy raps.
Catch the rest of Roddy Ricch's 2019 XXL Freshman freestyle above.
RODDY RICCH'S ABCs
Roddy Ricch, Compton-born and bred, is 20 years old with a calm confidence beyond his years. He's got a piercing look in his eyes that means business, but he also knows how to have a good time. After the success of his Feed Tha Streets series, his single "Die Young"—and its millions of streams—tearing down stages across the world, plus becoming a 2019 XXL Freshman, Roddy has plenty to celebrate—and even more racks to show for it. During the XXL Freshman cover shoot, he flexed thousands of dollars in cash as he delivered his version of the ABCs.
Early on in his ABCs, Roddy reveals one of his childhood nicknames. For B, he chooses bird. "Where I'm from in Compton, thats what they call me, Lil Bird," the West Coast native says. While he rhymer doesn't explain the origin of this moniker, it's likely the inspiration behind his label's name, Bird Vision.
A few of Roddy Ricch's word choices also revolve around home, whether it's going outside to stunt or staying in for a quiet night. For the letter D, he picks the word dinero, which is Spanish for money, and pulls out enough money to pay your rent for a month. "Can't ever leave the house without the dinero," Roddy says, which is pretty sound advice. When H comes up, Roddy goes for the word homebody, along with a quick explanation: "I like females to be homebodies. Don't come outside." Up next, the letter I reminds him of an igloo. "Igloo, when I step out the crib, I'm an igloo," Roddy declares while showing off his jewelry.
As he inches closer to the end of the alphabet, Roddy nods to one of his late, close friends. "N is for Nipsey Hussle." he states. "If you don't who that is, congratulations, you played yourself." He then ends his choice for N with a thoughtful message: "One of the greatest rappers to ever live. R.I.P. my big brother Nipsey Hussle."
Catch the rest of Roddy Ricch's ABCs at the video up top.
TIERRA WHACK, COMETHAZINE AND RODDY RICCH'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN CYPHER
Charisma, personality, intriguing backstory and interesting antics aside, being able to rap is still an integral part of being rapper. Go figure. Year in and year out, the cypher has been the space where newly-touted XXL Freshmen make their case with bars, alongside their fellow classmates. The cypher with 2019 XXL Freshmen Comethazine, Tierra Whack and Roddy Ricch features three rappers from three different parts of the map putting on for their cities with three distinct styles.
“Claim he gon’ get me, claim he gon’ rush me/We outside your spot now, nigga, time to get ugly,” Co menacingly spits. “Have him shitting in his pants, nigga, pass him a Huggy/Choppa bullets make him dance, look, he hitting his Dougie/Catch him lackin,' do your thing, then clean up the spot/’Cause who gon’ leave some evidence?/Nigga, I’m not/I paid $100 for the Forces, now it’s blood on the bottom/Fittin’ to hit the Foot Locker, bitch, I’m not fittin’ to wash ’em.”
“Fuck all that talkin', let's do it/I keep me a ruler/Bitch, I grew up with the shooters,” Roddy rhymes. “Slidin’ in the back of the rack with the roof up/I got all white diamonds, Ku Klux/My bitch be naggin’ too much/Make it rain in Magic too much/I don’t wear my Patek too much/I be really, really, really getting pissed off/Wear my Fendi evil eye, my shirt looked pissed off/Yeah, I got expensive habits/Ace of Spades when I’m thirsty/Plug let me get it dirt cheap/We gon’ pull up to the club 30 deep.”
Tierra Whack, who was recently named the best female rapper on the planet by Meek Mill, pulls an XXXTentacion move and decides to go a cappella to really show off and accentuate her wordplay. Punctuating her rhymes with her free hand, the Philly native blacks out, twisting words together effortlessly.
“The queen of my city, I prove it in this freestyle (Philly)/Mean-mugging all your cheap smiles/You a beach chair, you fold, I’ma beach towel,” she spits. “The way I come around, everybody remain the same/You know my name/With a dollar and a dream I change the game/Wait, I beach towel folds too/I beat your ass if you run up on my crew/Like a child at the zoo or a kid a the beach/I keep talking ’bout the beach, but I’m trying to dig deep in the sand/I leave my eyes open when I sleep, I’m a man/W-O at the beginning/Bumping John Lennon in my all white linen suit getting loose.”
Watch Comethazine, Tierra Whack and Roddy Ricch's 2019 XXL Freshman cypher above.
TIERRA WHACK, COMETHAZINE AND RODDY RICCH'S 2019 XXL FRESHMAN ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW
For the XXL Freshmen, it’s all about capitalizing on the moment of being crowned a leader of the new school. Some rise to the occasion and catapult themselves into superstardom, while others aren't as successful years down the line and fall to the wayside. Comethazine, Tierra Whack and Roddy Ricch realize their time is now.
After sharing the stage together for their 2019 XXL Freshman cypher, the trio sits down to discuss the seriousness of the situation of landing a spot on the 2019 XXL Freshman cover.
“Growing up, [becoming a Freshman] is definitely one of those things where I’m like, Yo, I know my time is gonna come,” Grammy-nominated Philly MC Tierra Whack states. “I didn’t say 2017, 2016, I was just like, Whenever they choose me, that’s when my time is. That’s what I believe. I was like, Yo, I gotta make it one year. It’s gonna happen. And it happened, so it’s good.”
Alamo Records artist Comethazine, who hails from East St. Louis, Ill., was also motivated to get his day in the sun. His Bawskee mixtape series has his name ringing bells and fan base growing stronger by the day.
“[Making the cover is] something I seen and wanted to do, ’cause I knew that's what it would take to be where I wanted to be,” he says. “People that was here succeeded at what they did in rap.”
“I’m the first nigga out my projects to even be on a magazine,” he reveals. “I was sitting on the boulevard every day. For them to see me there, and to still be able to pull up or be on magazines, do all this type of stuff, it’s surreal. But it’s motivation. [It’s] something that a lot of the younger guys where I’m from can look up to.”
Hustle and motivate.
Watch Comethazine, Tierra Whack and Roddy Ricch’s 2019 XXL Freshman roundtable interview above..