Even if you don't know who Roddy Ricch is by name, you've probably heard his music. That's the thing about the viral nature of TikTok, once an artist's song becomes popular on the platform, their music is inescapable. With the help of his smash "The Box," which served as background music for the most recent wave of viral TikTok videos, the rapper is slowly, but surely, transitioning into household name territory. It's just one of many facts about Roddy Ricch that speak to his star quality.
Having a few famous friends didn't hurt either. Ricch joined the late Nipsey Hussle in the studio to record his 2019 hit track "Racks in the Middle," which really put him on the map. The fan fervor was so strong that when Ricch first released "The Box" in January 2020, it surpassed Justin Bieber's latest single and landed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, a scenario the internet had a field day over.
Then, Ricch reached the next major milestone of his career, when he was asked to carry out the ultimate musical honor: perform on the 2020 Grammys stage. Not only that, but the performance would be especially meaningful, given that he would be joining other top hip-hop artists in honoring the late Nipsey Hussle at the show. For a rap music newcomer to hit music's biggest stage so early on in his career says a lot about his quick come-up in the industry. But for for those who may not be familiar, these facts about Roddy Ricch will catch you up to speed.
1. He hails from Compton, California.
Like a number of hip-hop heavyweights, including Kendrick Lamar, MC Ren, The Game, Eazy-E, and Dr. Dre, Ricch got his start in Compton.
The MC broke through in 2018 with the platinum single "Die Young" and topped the Billboard 200 the next year with his December 2019 album, Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial.
2. He was extremely close with Nipsey Hussle.
In an interview with Billboard, Ricch touched on the special bond he shared with Hussle. Hussle had aimed to cut down gang violence in the streets of L.A., after experiencing it for himself growing up a member of the Rollin’ 60s (an L.A. gang connected to the Crips) before making it out of the gang unscathed. As different as Ricch and Hussle were, they shared the utmost respect for one another.
"Nipsey could respect the fact that I was who I was. I was never trying to be anything that I wasn't," he told Billboard. "If you really noticed, the n***as that Nipsey cosigned from the West, all them n***as are not gangbangers, all them n***as are not him. They not trying to be Nip."
3. He's a Grammy-Nominated musician.
Ricch's verse on Hussle’s final single, “Racks in the Middle,” earned him Grammy nominations for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
4. Roddy Ricch is just a stage name.
The name on Ricch's birth certificate is Rodrick Wayne Moore, Jr.
After growing up listening to the likes of Future, Speaker Knockerz, and Meek Mill, Ricch knew he wanted to take music more seriously. "I bought some equipment and then I started recording real heavy, in my room, when I was like 16," he told XXL.
5. Kendrick Lamar was one of his earliest supporters.
It was at a local church that Lamar first heard Ricch perform, a moment the rapper remembers vividly.
“He went to my mama church,” Roddy told Rolling Stone. “Just randomly, I went one day, and he was there with his peoples. This was before ‘Swimming Pools’ had came out. I had rapped for him and he told me, ‘You going to be somebody in the world.’”
6. He's still getting used to the spotlight.
The rapper spoke to Rolling Stone about a shift in his perspective post-fame.
"This fame sh*t is new to me. Being in rooms where you don’t have to worry about sh*t, I don’t get that side of life yet," he said. "I’ll be in the room with millionaires and billionaires and still be like, ‘What’s going on? Who’s that at the door?
Ricch may be new to the game, but he's already worked with some of the biggest hip-hop icons of our time. Oh, and in addition to performing on the Grammys stage at just 21-years-old, he's become a viral favorite with TikTok users thanks to "The Box." Ricch has hustled hard to get here, no doubt, and he'll surely continue making Compton proud.