Roddy Ricch is convincing. As a newcomer, the Compton, California native has made listeners believe in his talent and his potential for greatness. Look no further than his three laudable projects—Feed Tha Streets, Feed Tha Streets 2, and Be 4 Tha Fame—and his melodious guest features—Nipsey Hussle’s “Rack In The Middle,” Meek Mill’s “Splash Warning,” and Mustard’s “Ballin.’”
With the release of Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, Roddy‘s debut album on Atlantic Records, the 21-year-old, born Rodrick Moore Jr, may end 2019 by making a statement loud enough to make him the artist to watch in 2020. Are we about to enter the decade of Roddy Ricch? Let’s find out if he has what it takes to be a star.
In usual 1-Listen fashion, the rules are the same: no skipping, no fast-forwarding, no rewinding, and no stopping. Each song will receive my gut reaction from start to finish. Let’s have some fun.
The keys sound heavenly. Roddy is here, his voice is carrying a nice bit of emotion. This is a heartfelt beginning. Is that Future doing the ad-libs? Sounds like Future. Roddy is setting up nice momentum. The drums! They’re rambunctious; just bursting with energy. The bounce is jumping into my skin. The musing turned to young man stunts. He mentioned moving to the Hills. That‘s rap money. We didn’t need that toupee line, but I like “Intro.” It’s a little shinier than necessary. Some dirt wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not mad.
2. “The Box”
Lol, how did he make that sound? His ear for beats isn’t Southern, but not fully West Coast either. I like how big “The Box” feels. It‘s nice to hear a young rapper reference Vince Carter putting his arm in the rim. This is stronger than track one. Roddy reminds me of Smino, the way his voice just transforms and bends without warning. Of course, Thug comes to mind, too. Roddy is tamer than Thug, though. He wants to make hits. Although, I will argue that Thug is the All-Father of most rap flows in a post-Rich Gang hip-hop world. “The Box” is great. Roddy just said he’s a 2020 candidate. Hahaha. Man, America might just see a rapper President at this rate.
3. “Start Wit Me” ft. Gunna
Jetson tag. The production has a murky ambiance but doesn’t feel heavy. It reminds me of 21 Savage's “Can’t Leave Without It.” Roddy’s voice is constantly shifting. He sounds almost like two different rappers sharing the same body. The way Gunna walks onto the record is with the presence of a badass. “You don’t want to start with me.” I like Gunna. He raps with effortless, unwavering charisma. I see that quality in Roddy as well. “Start Wit Me” is strong. I’ll come back. Three for three.
4. “Perfect Time”
Piano. It’s a slow build-up. His voice sounds so thin! Where did all the weight go? I’m telling you, Roddy Ricch has more than one voice. There’s freedom to the way he raps. It’s not so much about structure, but the expression. He wants you to remember how he sounds, not just what he‘s saying. Rappers love 1942. This is a short record, but I love it. The singing is touching! Imagine if Lil Boosie could sing like this? Imagine that!
5. “Moonwalkin” ft. Lil Durk
Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial is pretty loose. There is no ongoing theme or concept. “Moonwalkin” sounds ready for the radio. The cadence and melodies are both infectious. I wonder what the sample is. I might’ve been wrong about Roddy being tamer than Thug; he’s pretty random with these inflections. I like Durk’s Auto-Tune. “I got a cougar, she listens to jazz” is my favorite line of the album so far. I wonder, what kind of jazz? Lil Durk will have John Coltrane samples on his next album. They sound good together.
6. “Big Stepper”
Some pleasant chords. Roddy sounds good. “I was taught to never show love.” This one isn’t as gripping as I want it to be. Ha, the PND bar. I was thinking about “Persian Rugs” the other day. Okay, I'm into “Big Stepper.” I wish the album had more consistent energy. It doesn’t really burst or completely slow down, it just moves. “Big stepper like Big Meech,” that’s another throwback reference. Roddy is a different case, but I wonder if there are some kids who have to Google ‘Big Meech’ after hearing this song. “Got to put the stars on the ceiling.” I‘m a fan.
7. “Gods Eyes”
So far, no skips. But there‘s also no song I'm in love with. Importantly, everything has kept my interest and been kind to my ears. “Gods Eyes” has some good rap-singing. Damn, what he said about his brother. That’s rough. He’s in the bag. Roddy reminds me of Future when he’s in heart-spilling mode. I would listen to Future ramble for an entirety over the right beat. Roddy hasn’t quite mastered that approach, but he’s compelling. “I felt so stuck in my life I had to pour me a cup.” It’s funny, Roddy reminds me of so many rappers, but I never forget I’m listening to Roddy Ricch.
8. “Peta” ft. Meek Mill
Meek ushers in the song. He’s becoming one of my favorite rap voices. Unfortunately, this beat is not doing it for me. Is that a flute? There’s a cartoonish texture to the horn loop that I’m not feeling. The keys are fine and Roddy sounds good, but the beat has ruined this record. Meek’s verse is a floater. Rich Meek raps will be their own era. “They tried to throw a kid under the bus now I’m running it up.” Peta will be tweeting about this song. I guarantee it.
9. “Boom Boom Room”
I like soothing this build-up. Roddy slowed it down, this pace works for him. The singing is compelling. He sounds like he’s rapping with all his soul. “I been working on my confidence.” Roddy’s killing it. For a kid, there’s a lot on his shoulders, but he doesn’t sound like a man who will crumble. This might be my favorite. I love the way Roddy‘s voice sounds atop this BPM. He has a presence when he’s in no hurry. The atmosphere has a chance to create some gravity. “Boom Boom Room” has weight, a keeper.
10. “Elyse’s Skit”
This is cute and pretty accurate.
11. “High Fashion” ft. Mustard
Mustard laced Roddy. A good drop. “High Fashion” is the single. “High Fashion” is for the radio and the clubs. I can imagine all the bathrooms that will be the setting for Instagram videos to this song. Roddy sounded like Thugger for a second or maybe I’m imagining Thug because he would be perfect here. It’s a simple, sweet song about the romance of a rap star. Roddy Ricch will perform this at New York Fashion Week next year.
12. “Bacc Seat” ft. Ty Dolla Sign
Roddy’s beats are built from the most pleasant piano and guitar melodies. Atlantic paid top dollar to make them glossy. Sonically, the mood shifts between engrossing and easy-listening. “Bacc Seat” isn’t as compelling as “High Fashion.” The songs are similar in themes, but “Bacc Seat” doesn’t do anything to stand out. Here’s Ty, the CELINE King. Yeah, this was probably a Ty record that was passed off to Roddy. Vocally, Ty exudes that energy of walking through your house in the dark, you can’t see, but you’re confident because you know where everything is. This is Ty’s song. Did he just call himself a sex symbol? You can’t do that on someone else’s song.
13. “Roll Dice”
Roddy’s album sequencing reminds me of Lil Baby. The songs are always strong and are put into a collection that further showcase his growth as a rapper. That’s what Roddy seems to be going for with this album. He is displaying the growth of his life and his sound. Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial is the “major label” version of his mixtapes. “Roll Dice” is good. Not a late album homerun, but another solid single (no pun intended).
14. “Prayers To The Trap God”
The best song title of the album. I wonder, who is rap’s Trap God? Probably Gucci Mane in 2012. That’s when he ascended to icon status. Oh, yeah, we‘ve found our late album homerun. This is honest. Damn, the way he said he couldn’t go to sleep. The cops shot his uncle? He was watching Family Guy when the cops raided the house? He probably wasn’t laughing when they knocked. Keeper.
15. “Tip Toe” ft. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
This one has a nice build-up. Yep! The beat is melodically saucy, the flow just amplifies it. I like these drums. I wish this one came a bit earlier; it would’ve had a greater impact higher in the tracklisting. This is the record that needed the Meek feature. He would’ve eaten. Boogie is here. He sounds like he’s levitating. Boogie compliments Roddy well. I’m used to him being the guy to call for hits, he’s not in that bag, though. Closing out with a guitar solo is… Interesting. I won’t skip, but not sold on a revisit.
16 “War Baby”
Last song. Nice keys to start. “I’m from the bottom of the bottom, check your sources, baby.” Roddy is talking his talk. He saved the most personal song for last. He‘s putting his heart into this one. His voice is so youthful, but that pain, it’s soaked in the words. Roddy‘s been through it. “Survived in the trenches I’m a war baby.” A PTSD bar. Yep, he’s pouring it ALL out. Man is that a choir!? YES. My heart just leaped out my chest. Beautiful. I need a video. Roddy tried to sneak in a last-minute tearjerker. Keeper.
Final (First Listen) Thoughts on Roddy Ricch's Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial
Hip-hop changed Roddy Ricch’s life, and much of Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial is inspired by that change.
On the album’s intro, Roddy mentions how he moved from his home to the Hills. Of course, a nice home isn’t the only sign of luxury attached to being a budding rap star, and the young rapper is relishing them all over 16 tracks. Yet, he’s also from Compton. He won‘t let us forget. Moving to the Hills doesn’t change what he’s seen. The pain remains.
Roddy Ricch loosely delivers the dynamics of his life in voice-shifting melodies and heartfelt lyricism over sweet-sounding instrumentation. Some of the beats are too shiny for his honest-to-the-streets raps, but Roddy remains compelling. Although his rap-singing style is of-the-moment, there’s an identity to his sound. A sound he’ll be able to build upon with future projects.
Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial isn't a masterpiece, far from it, but it is a strong collection of songs. They’re loose in structure and savoring in sound, giving listeners just enough of Roddy Ricch to remain convinced that he's a star in the making.