The mixtape Feed Tha Streets II by Roddy Ricch immediately resonates with its listeners because of its fast-paced and melodic narratives that are accentuated by catchy beats and satisfying autotune
By Mira Sripada (‘22)
Rodrick Wayne Moore, Jr., professionally known as Roddy Ricch is an American rapper born in Compton, California. Roddy Ricch is one of the most notable names in rap and since 2017 has released two mixtapes and one album: Feed tha Streets, Feed Tha Streets II and Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, respectively.
Before even grasping the qualities of Moore’s style that make this mixtape along with his other bodies of work so impressive, his audience can immediately relate and empathize with the rapper’s lyrics. Roddy Ricch is able to illustrate complex narratives while still completing satiating rhymes and committing to his melody. A prevalent theme developed throughout Feed Tha Streets II is the rapper’s rise to fame despite growing up poor in the hood. This theme is common among many rappers however Roddy Ricch uses vivid details and intricate storylines to convey his life story, distinguishing him from other artists. For example, in the second track on the album “Faces”, listeners can hear the rapper remark how, “diamonds outline my name now”. This clever way of conveying his newfound popularity keeps listeners interested. Another representation of this theme is heard in, “Brand New”. Here, Moore admits how, “ . . . all these hunnids got a ***** feelin’ brand new”. The melody entices listeners while the lyrics allow his audience to understand exactly how the artist is feeling. These detailed words that simultaneously are sung to a memorable melody distinctly separate Moore from others.
Aside from lyrical depth, Roddy Ricch’s sound and vocal performance also work together to create instant successes. Specifically, Moore’s fast-paced and wordy songs that are coupled with catchy baselines are particularly intriguing. “Every Season” exemplifies this sound perfectly. Quite possibly the strongest song on the album, “Every Season” features the rapper’s crisp, autotuned voice that swiftly flows through a guitar melody with a quick and spontaneous baseline. The artist’s lucious voice continues to guide through the album to the track, “Cream”. This piece is also high-tempo, bass-heavy and hard-hitting. Interestingly, Ricch’s pauses, or lack thereof, maintain listeners’ attention who find themselves searching for a breath in his verses which often occur at the most rewarding and satisfying moments. Additionally, this song pays tribute to “C.R.E.A.M”, a track by popular 90s hip hop group, Wu-Tang Clan. This tribute is clear when Ricch remarks, “Cash rules everything around me . . .” (abbreviated to the acronym C.R.E.A.M).
In contrast with his high-tempo hits, Moore manages to deliver slower and moodier songs that still capture the essence of his style and overarching theme. It is in his eleventh song, “Down Below”, where a mysterious instrumental and more gradual syncopated beat underlies the rapper’s pensive and sporadic vocal performance. Listeners continue to feel impassioned by the lyrics, “ . . . came from the bottom, down below / ‘Member them cold nights, I was sleepin’ on the floor”, where Ricch demonstrates his capacity for emotional expression and his ability to sing with intention and sentiment. Furthermore, still faithful to a low-tempo track, Ricch produces “Feed Tha Streets 2 (Intro)”. This piece is unlike any other on the album in that its grooviness and casualty is carefully combined with just as much power and intensity as his faster pace works. The artist’s outbursts of sudden passion and zeal invite Moore’s audience to sing along with him.
Yet another feature of Feed Tha Streets II is that a few songs demonstrate qualities of a pop song, which only continues to develop Ricch’s complex style and exhibits an ability to create music reachable to an even larger audience of listeners. Elements of pop can be heard in the aforementioned song “Brand New ”, the eight song on the album. Although the verses are much denser than most pop songs, the chorus of this track is light, peppy and considerably more catchy and danceable than most other tracks on the album. The chorus’s prolonged syllables give more time for words to be processed and sung along to as well. Moreover, hints of pop music are audible in the piece, “Down for Real”. Similar ideas are present in this song where both rap and pop work together to create dense and complex verses coupled with groovy and easily singable choruses.
In addition to the songs mentioned above, listed below are some honorable mentions that contribute to the album’s memorability: “Can’t Express”, “Day One (Outro)”, “Area Codes” and “Die Young”.
It is clear that rapper Roddy Ricch has an innate ability to carefully and thoughtfully soak each song in a complex lyrical ocean that reveals his personal life story. Through his narratives, Moore reveals a common shift in his life from growing up poor to achieving fame and a new prodigal lifestyle. However these storylines are still embedded with deep emotion and struggle. Feed Tha Streets II is a body of work with no extra help. Ricch sings all twelve tracks and delivers with regards to vocal performance and musical sound. Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, the artist’s 2019 album, dominated music in 2020, however Feed Tha Streets II is a notable predecessor and worth a listen to any Roddy Ricch or rap fan.