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THE ETCS

Before Roddy Ricch Came Back, He Had to Live Life Fast

Since his last album, Roddy Ricch has traveled the world, had a son, and become a global sensation. Now, he’s back to achieve even more.

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Seven hundred and forty-three days. 

That’s how long it’s been since 23-year-old Roddy Ricch released an album. An eternity in the modern world of rapid and constant releases from musicians, and Roddy has lived a lifetime in that span. He spent 2020 going from internet curiosity to bonafide megastar, largely on the heels of his smash hit “The Box,” along with his charismatic lyrics, syrupy smooth flow, and a sing-song delivery that makes it hard to decide if he’s more rapper or singer. 

In 2021, Roddy was a looming shadow within the industry, his return anxiously anticipated, essentially making his return week a blackout date for any artist looking to release music.

Finally, Roddy is back, with his second album and just the fourth full-length project of his already monumental career, Live Life Fast

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“I like to take my time, experience a little life,” Roddy told Boardroom’s “The ETCs” podcast about his hiatus between albums. “Just take that time off for myself. Really reflect on stuff. I always be working. It’s like basketball, you know what I’m saying? You just be practicing all the time.”

And the whirlwind of Roddy’s life the last two years — traveling the world, having a son, launching into superstar status — became the fodder for his new album. For Roddy, that experience was necessary, because his songs have to be true to life, and he says on Live Life Fast, that they are. They’re indicative of the new life he’s carved out for himself. 

“Some days I be like shit, fuck it, I’m about to go chill. I’m about to go relax. Nigga gotta live, you know what I’m saying?” Roddy said of his spontaneous nature while between albums. “Just go breathe and feel this shit, go to Cabo or go wherever for a couple days just to feel it… just to talk about it. ‘Cause that’s how it gotta be now, it ain’t no play. Like, nigga gotta really be talking that shit and know what he talking about.”

While Roddy admits the globetrotting nature of his life the past two years has seeped into his recording habits, he’s adamant that he maintained the same hunger that propelled him to superstar status. 

“When you’re so into what you’re doing, you ain’t even thinking about it,” he said. “I recorded some of this shit in Paris, I recorded some of this shit in New York, Miami, LA, Houston. But when I get in that mode, I be recording everywhere. I be having a mentality like, ‘It’s a 13-year-old little nigga at his computer all day going dumb, nigga, and you ain’t doing shit. Go get your money.’”

Right out the gate, Live Life Fast sets the tone with an homage to one of the most instrumental figures in Roddy’s life, the late Nipsey Hussle, whom he memorialized with a tattoo of the word “Prolific” on his face identical to one Nipsey had.

“It was always like an honor and a blessing to be in his presence,” Roddy said of his relationship with Nipsey.

With cover art meant to mirror that of Nipsey’s classic, Grammy-nominated debut album Victory Lap, Roddy is not only honoring his friend, but acknowledging his profound impact on his life. In the unique place as the artist featured on the final officially released track of Nipsey’s life, one might assume that is now a bittersweet moment for Roddy, but he says it’s actually the opposite. 

“It’s sweet,” he said. “That shit sweet…. I cherish that shit. Just being a part of that legacy, being able to to call him my brother — like for real and it ain’t no fake shit, you know what I’m saying? Like, it ain’t no weird shit. I cherish those things.”

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