The new decade has its first breakout star on the Billboard charts: L.A. rapper Roddy Ricch.
The 21-year-old Compton emcee vaulted to the top of both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 song and album charts this week, after his single “The Box” became a TikTok sensation (the infinite meme-ability of its squeaking-sound hook, from producer 30Roc, helped its cause).
The song is a deep cut from Ricch’s studio debut, “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial,” which came out in December on Atlantic and has been a streaming sensation ever since; it previously topped the Billboard 200 chart last month.
Though the achievement came during a relatively slow week for new album releases (no albums debuted in the top 100), Ricch was still able to lock Justin Bieber’s “Yummy” out of the top singles slot.
Ricch is the first artist to lead both single and album charts simultaneously since Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from the soundtrack for “A Star Is Born.” The latest Billboard 200 chart is also notable as the first to include video and audio streams from YouTube as part of its metrics.
The two-fronted chart success heralds Ricch as a major commercial force in hip-hop in the new year, with four songs (either as a lead or featured artist) cracking the Top 40.
Time will tell, of course, if Ricch can maintain this momentum in the long run. But L.A. hip-hop now has its undisputed major new star established.