Roddy Ricch instantly shot to fame with his hit single, “The Box”, but how did he get his start? What did he do before rising to fame in the hip-hop industry with one of the biggest songs in 2020? Let’s find out.
Roddy Ricch’s first official single was titled “Chase Tha Bag” that was released in 2017 as part of his debut album, Feed Tha Streets.
Before “The Box” generated tons of memes and made its mark at the peak of music charts worldwide, Roddy Ricch started out in a rough part of town.
Growing Up in a Gang
Roddy Ricch, real name Rodrick Wayne Moore, Jr., didn’t have a simple childhood by any means. Born in 1998 in Compton, California, he traveled around a lot with his family and came back to the streets of his hometown as a teen.
He began rapping at around the age of 8 and started experimenting with beats at 16 years old. “I bought some equipment and then I started recording real heavy, in my room, when I was like 16,” he told magazine XXL in 2018. “I was just playin’ with it.”
While he is a California native, many have noted that he doesn’t have the same sound as anyone from his area.
He spoke about his influences to XXL, stating, “My first time out of state—when I was like 12 or 13—[was] Chicago. So that was like when Chief Keef first came out, Lil Durk was doing his thing, all the Chicago rappers was on somethin’. I kinda attached myself to that in middle school.”
During his time in Compton, Ricch found himself a member of the Park Village Compton Crips – a gang in southern California. He got two “C’s” tattooed on himself, which symbolized his association with them.
He even spent some time in county jail in 2018, which he shared his feelings about with Passion of the Weiss:
“Couple weeks. It didn’t like scare me or nothing. I was just like, ‘I don’t never want to be here.’ F*ck that sh*t. I was in the county—that thang! I wasn’t tripping about it but the fact that I ended up there. I was just like f*ck.
He continued, “Think about it, you riding the bus but you don’t see how you getting there. That sh*t’ll f*ck yo head up. Going in there—the smell, all that sh*it—it f*ck yo head up. You ain’t gone like that sh*t. That jail sh*t, it’s just…It ain’t right.”
When asked in a 2018 interview how old he was when he joined the Crips, Ricch replied:
“I was runnin’ around with all the Crips. When I got older I got kicked out my mom’s house, when I was like 15, 16, then I started getting into the streets for real.”
Watch the full interview where Ricch talks about growing up in Compton, being a Crip member, and more below.
Getting Into the Rap Scene
In the midst of his involvement with the Crips, Ricch was recording songs and eventually came out with his first mixtape. It was called Feed Tha Streets, which was released on the 22nd of November 2017.
It featured tracks like “Chase Tha Bag”, “Hoodricch”, and “Fucc It Up”, which garnered some attention and support from well-known rappers like Nipsey Hussle, Meek Mill, and 03 Greedo, but it didn’t hit the charts.
March 2018 came around, and Ricch came out with an EP titled Be 4 Tha Fame. A couple of months later, Nipsey Hussle invited him to perform as a guest at a Los Angeles PowerHouse Concert.
After the attention from other rappers with his first mixtape, Ricch decided to release a second one, simply titled Feed Tha Streets II. It featured the song “Die Young”, which was his first track to hit the charts.
Even though “Die Young” peaked at 99th spot on the US charts and 38th on the US R&B charts, it went 2x Platinum and sold over 2 million copies in the US.
It was his first breakthrough, but was nowhere near the level of fame he’d soon reach with “The Box”.
The Success of “The Box”
Ricch published “The Box” in 2019, as part of his album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial.
It went global, topped the Hot 100 charts for 11 weeks straight, and went viral with countless memes on Twitter and TikTok.