The Compton crooner turned up the heat in a kitchen full of hitmakers.
Roddy Ricch‘s December 2019 debut album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial saw him reach another level of popularity, as he added layers of depth to his artistry and inserted more emotion than ever before.
Transitioning from his prior up-tempo hits that put him on the map like “Every Season,” “Ballin” with Mustard and “Die Young,” PEMFBA saw Roddy introduce harmonious, piano-infused instrumentals to showcase his, sometimes, melancholic songwriting and impressively sung verses like on “War Baby” and “Gods Eyes.”
It seems that the 23-year-old Compton native is fond of these December releases, as he made fans wait two years and eleven days for his sophomore studio album LIVE LIFE FA$T (released on Dec. 17). Right off the bat, there are two very evident aspects of this 18-track, 51-minute sophomore effort: Roddy’s approach to this record is less composed and serenading than his debut, with more commercial trap production and a Kanye West-executed influence over the course of the LP.
For his first full-length album, Roddy spotlighted his youthful crooning over toned down beats like on “Perfect Time” and “High Fashion” to showcase his, at times, sensual singing and song topics. While the project included potent bangers like “Start wit Me” featuring Gunna and now RIAA certified diamond smash hit “The Box,” providing an aggressive atmosphere was never the goal.
LIVE LIFE FA$T, on the other hand, sees Roddy do just that, as the majority of the track list looks to tackle a YOLO-type attitude, utilizing production with thumping 808s, energetic claps and guitar and string loops all throughout.
Highlights like the essential opener “thailand” after the intro, “no way,” “murda one” with Fivio Foreign, “moved to miami” with Lil Baby and “don’t i” with Gunna all exemplify this approach, as he uses his melodic prowess to conjure up lively hooks, rather than soulful ballads. His features not only help to promote this energy, but add diversity to the project by inserting their respective flair onto whichever track they inhabit.
21 Savage‘s elite wordplay and playful innuendos, along with Kodak Black‘s smooth verse with his trademark twang on the fifth song “hibachi” make for an entertaining performance. Fivio Foreign handles “murda one” beautifully, as the beat caters to his drill tendencies and he separates himself from the “Gerbers” in the industry. Lil Baby caps off his all-time, stellar feature run of 2021 with one last explosive exhibition on “moved to miami,” shouting out Roddy as he “sends boxes coast to coast.” Gunna’s signature slimy, uninterrupted flow caters exceptionally well to the production and performance by Roddy on “don’t i.”
Just as much as Roddy leaned towards an approach that would garner a collection of bangers, he also took away a lot of expertise from Ye on LIVE LIFE FA$T, as their rendezvous earlier this year on Donda’s “Pure Souls” seems to have left a profound impact on him.
On the album’s namesake opener “llf,” Roddy and Ty Dolla $ign interpolate a sample from Ye and Rick Ross‘ 2010 collaboration “Live Fast, Die Young.” On the eighth song “no way,” Roddy closes the track by recruiting Jaime Foxx to include a skit where he specifically references his College Dropout collab with Kanye, “Slow Jamz,” to pass wisdom down to Roddy. On “don’t i,” Roddy’s multifaceted, long-winded hook sees him flex his relationship with Ye and how he was included in the album-making process for Donda.
I got the shit make ’em plot, don’t I?
I was in the Chi’ town with Ye makin’ Donda
I gotta buy up the block, don’t I?“don’t i” — Roddy Ricch featuring Gunna
The final song “25 million” includes bars where Roddy references his guest appearance at Kanye’s Sunday Service performance earlier this year, and he injects lighthearted wordplay to compare Christian holy water to his jewelry.
Went to pull up at Sunday service in Bugattis
I call up Yeezy, I got new holy water“25 million” — Roddy Ricch
Ultimately, like it or not, it appears Roddy Ricch’s main motivation for his new album was to literally “live life fast.” He caters to a more mainstream trap sound, but applies his own skillset to produce a litany of hard-hitting cuts that will likely grow on listeners as time goes on.