Show & Prove
For the $uicideboy$, success is a matter of life or death, and hip-hop music is their therapy.
Words: William E. Ketchum III
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Success in music was literally a matter of life and death for the $uicideboy$. The New Orleans rappers, Ruby da Cherry, 26, and $lick $loth, 27, started the duo after making a pact that if their careers didn’t take off by age 30, they would take their own lives. Luckily, it didn’t come to that point. Despite limited media coverage, the duo has spent the last two years racking up millions of plays on SoundCloud and YouTube with their depressive rhymes and punk rock aesthetic. “We just want to let all these people know, that have felt like outcasts, or have depression, mental problems, addictions... You’re not alone,” $lick says. “That’s what’s created this family that we now share.”

Ruby (born Aristos Petrou) and $lick (born Scott Arceneaux Jr.), grew up in New Orleans’ East Bank and West Bank, respectively. The cousins got in trouble together as kids, so their mothers separated them for most of their teenage years.

The two spent their early to mid-teens apart but found their way to music. When Ruby was younger, he taught himself to play the violin, drums and piano. As he got older, Ruby learned to rap after dipping in and out of punk bands. $loth started as a DJ and hosted mixtapes before he began rapping. After graduating high school, they reunited in 2013, and formed G59 Records and $uicideboy$. Soon they started to drop mixtapes and over the next three years dropped 37 projects, including standouts like Now The Moon’s Rising and Eternal Grey.

$uicideboy$ have released music packed with rock-bottom rhymes and flows reminiscent of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. “They talk about real things, things a lot of kids can relate to that most mainstream rappers don’t talk about,” said Miami spitter Pouya, who worked with the two on their collaborative $outh $ide $uicide mixtape.

The unsigned duo released installments 11-15 of the Kill Yourself series, continued the global tour they started this past spring and aim to release their full-length debut album, I Don’t Wanna Die in New Orleans, in December. “The reason me and Ruby do so much music is this is our fuckin’ therapy, it’s the best therapy I’ve gotten to this day,” $lick adds. “And I wouldn’t want to [make music] with anybody besides my best friend and my cousin.”

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2017 issue including the cover story with the 2017 XXL Freshman class, our interview with actor Demetrius Shipp Jr.Ski Mask The Slump God's grind for self-made success and Doin' Lines with Yo Gotti.

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