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Roddy Ricch says it would be “impossible” to model his career after JAY-Z or Drake

The Compton native reflected on his breakout year in a new feature with ‘Variety.’

Roddy Ricch Wire Image

Despite the pandemic, Roddy Ricch has enjoyed an incredibly successful year. The Compton native won his first Grammy and is poised to earn another; hit No. 1 with his debut Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial and recently made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Speaking with Variety, which just named him their Breakthrough Artist of 2020, Roddy explained that while his rise to fame may seem fast to some, it was really the result of years of grinding.

“To the world it might have seemed fast, but it was not fast,” he told the outlet. “From [2017’s] 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]. 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.”

The workload is even more intense since Roddy’s not following any particular roadmap. The 22-year-old explained that he’s not trying to model his career after successful artists, such as Drake or JAY-Z, which he said would be “almost impossible.”

“Someone can inspire you musically because music is a sound, but trying to mimic somebody’s career — that’s almost impossible,” he explained. “I could never say that I want my career to be like, let’s just say, JAY-Z. Because JAY-Z at 22... Did we even know JAY-Z at 22? I think JAY-Z put his first album out at, what, 27? Even Drake was, what, 24? 23? I don’t even know.”

“I’m 22 coming off two No. 1s. It’s just a different time,” Roddy continued. “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. 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.”

Roddy also said he doesn’t feel too much pressure to follow up his No. 1 debut album. Unfortunately for fans, this means it might be awhile before they receive the rapper’s sophomore effort.

“I feel like pressure is self-imposed,” he said. “I’m in a good place; whenever my momma turns on the car, I’m still on the radio. So, for me to drop a whole other album right now, it’s just overkill. 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.”

Most recently, Roddy hopped on a remix of Internet Money’s “Lemonade.” The rapper is currently nominated for six awards at the 63rd Annual Grammys.

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