Young Roddy is a New Orleans rapper signed and affiliated with Jet Life Recordings and the Jet Life crew. A long time member of the legendary Crescent City hip hop crew and frequent collaborator with Curren$y, Young Roddy is preparing his debut release of 2014, Route the Ruler. It will be the follow up to his successful co-release, Bales, featuring Jet Life CEO Curren$y.
Route the Ruler is expected to drop in early 2014.
Below are excerpts from a recent interview with BitTorrent discussing the Bales and Red Eye mixtape releases and the Red Eye Tour, Young Roddy's first 35-date national headlining tour in 2013.
Q. Your work has a tight, crisp feel; reminiscent of earlier generations of hip hop. Who did you grow up listening to?
Man, the list would be so long. I listened to Nas, Jay Z, Biggie, Pac, The Hot Boyz, Outkast. The crews: D Block, you know what I’m saying. Roc-a-fella. Cash Money. Grew up off of that. And then there’s NOLA: Juvie, fuckin Soulja Slim, and Lil Wayne.
Q. There’s the issue of authenticity across hip hop (and the whole record industry) – where it’s more about marketing than music . You’ve managed to build a big following, without giving up your brand or independence. How do you make that work?
It’s about not forgetting where I came from. Stay true to myself. Seen a lot people, you know, mess up on that. So I learned from their mistakes and make my own lane. Musical integrity… oh man, that’s the key to all of this.
When it comes to my career, what I want to do, I’d model it after Nas. He stood for something, you know.
Q. Jet Life sounds different from other crews out there. You’re also constantly releasing new music. How do you guys handle the production?
We split production duties based on the situation. I’m always working with Monstabeatz, but I’ve also been doing records with a few different producers, pushing my sounds and ideas in new directions. If it’s my project, of course I handle how it’s going to sound. If I’m working with the rest of the team, I know they’ll have a vision that we’ll work towards together.
Q. Has technology changed the way you work?
You used to sell it out the trunk, nowadays that’s over with. Now it’s about reaching your fans. Using the internet to your advantage, even if you’re giving that music away. I’m still a pretty old school person, though. I don’t write rhymes on my phone. I still got the pen and pad. We just always trying the best way we get those records to our fans, however we can.
Q. You have one of the most dedicated audiences out there. How do you build and maintain a relationship with fans?
I try to stay consistent with this work, with these projects, shows, tours. It’s a grind. I grind hard and they relate to where I’m coming from, so it’s an easy connection. We have the best fans: it’s amazing. Stay humble and stay true to yourself. It will take you a long way.