Roddy Ricch “Live Life Fast” Review

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Roddy Ricch “Live Life Fast” Review
There’s no “The Box” on Roddy Ricch’s sophomore effort “LIVE LIFE FAST,” and that’s okay.

In 2019, Roddy Ricch defied expectations with his debut studio album Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, a record that many fans hold in high regard due to its chart-topping, diamond-certified single “The Box” as well as its overall artistic ambition. So when Roddy Ricch announced that his sophomore album would arrive shortly after the two-year anniversary of his remarkable double-platinum debut, lofty expectations were automatically set for LIVE LIFE FAST.

Whether the album satisfied listeners’ desires largely depends on what they were looking to hear from the Compton artist. Those hoping for a spiritual successor to “The Box,” for instance, will be disappointed because although both “thailand” and “hibachi” are certified bangers in their own right, neither of them matches the quirky ingenuity of Roddy’s runaway hit single — which, keep in mind, was originally an album cut. Additionally, fans who anticipated that LIVE LIFE FAST would be leagues ahead of Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial may feel like his sophomore effort fell flat because it doesn’t fully eclipse its predecessor.

While fans are fully entitled to feel disappointed about the elusive rapper not delivering on either of those aspects, that doesn’t mean that Roddy Ricch has fallen victim to the infamous “sophomore slump.” In fact, he’s far from it. Rather than delivering an uninspired second album that capitalized off the territory already explored on Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, Roddy opted to defy expectations. Thus, those who enter LIVE LIFE FAST expecting nothing but a solid project from the 23-year-old artist may be more likely to appreciate the new full-length record.

Loaded with 18 tracks, Roddy Ricch’s latest album finds the Grammy Award-winning artist at a crossroads, as he decides whether he should slam his foot on the gas and ride the momentum that he built with his debut album or press pause and take a moment to appreciate what he has accomplished. On the LIVE LIFE FAST intro "llf," he explains, “I've realized I've lived fast, I wanna take my time. Time is the most expensive luxury in the world. It's something you spend and never get back, but you never know how much you have left.”

Roddy Ricch incorporates concepts like slowing things down and taking one’s time into LIVE LIFE FAST in multiple ways. On the surface level, he has literally taken two years to release a follow-up to Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, a career move that many of his most commercially viable contemporaries wouldn’t even consider. Topically, Roddy addresses the stress that stems from adjusting to the fast-paced life of a multi-platinum superstar on tracks like “rollercoastin” and “crash the party.”

He also embraces the overarching theme by implementing a sonic shift during the latter half of the album, which finds the Compton artist taking on significantly slower production and operating in a much more experimental space. Over the final 10 tracks, Roddy Ricch performs a soulful ballad alongside Ty Dolla $ign and Alex Isley, bodies a Nils and Kenny Beats-produced drill beat with the assistance of Fivio Foreign, delays the start of his melodic Lil Baby collaboration “moved to miami” by opening the song with a minute-long jazz break, and tries his hand at a spaced out, alternative R&B instrumental reminiscent of Drake’s “Race My Mind” on “more than a trend.”

All of the creative decisions that Roddy Ricch makes on his sophomore album prove that a lot of thought and ingenuity was put into the album, and in addition to his own ideas, it’s clear that one artist in particular heavily influenced him during the creation of LIVE LIFE FAST: Kanye West.

Roddy Ricch has previously named My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as his pick for the greatest album of all time, and after publicly airing out his frustrations with Kanye West earlier this year, the two artists linked up to create the Donda track “Pure Souls.” Several months later, Roddy’s sophomore album is filled with multiple Yeezy-inspired moments, from the “llf” interpolation of Ye’s hook on Rick Ross’s Teflon Don track “Live Fast, Die Young” to Jamie Foxx’s reenactment of his classic “Slow Jamz” feature on “no way.” Beyond the welcomed doses of nostalgia, it’s amazing to hear Roddy pay homage to one of Hip-Hop’s greatest artists, and those nods may offer some insight into one of the young artist’s goals with LIVE LIFE FASTYe is known as an artist who constantly recreates himself in order to craft incomparable albums within his discography, and judging from the new, subdued style that Roddy adopts on his latest record, he might have taken a page straight out of his Donda collaborator’s book.

Roddy Ricch successfully subverts expectations with an extremely low-key record that requires numerous listens to soak up all of the incredible production, experimental tracks, and unique wordplay lurking beneath LIVE LIFE FAST’s surface. Some fans will still be quick to write off his sophomore album as a dud that’s not as “exciting” as its predecessor, but it’s easy to look at Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial through rose-tinted lenses due to the success of “The Box” and all of the accomplishments that it brought the Compton-bred artist. In reality, even that album was one that had to grow on listeners, so fans should heed Roddy Ricch’s advice and take their time when listening to his sobering sophomore album.

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