Roddy Ricch, the emcee with a penchant for chart-topping melodies, sits down with Rolling Stone to reflect on his first times. The Compton rapper recalls when he first related to an artist, how he felt making his first million, rapping for Kendrick Lamar before he was a teenger, and more.

Watch: Roddy Ricch chats to Rolling Stone

In paying homage to fellow Compton native Kendrick Lamar throughout the interview, Ricch tells of Lamar’s 2012 album Good Kid, m.A.A.d City being the first time he truly felt represented. “It felt [like] I had somebody who told my story, that told the story that I was familiar with,” he says. “Because we come from the same city, it was something I could relate to.”

Ricch explains that he was surprised at couldn’t anticipate his own reaction at making his first million dollars. “It felt different than what I thought it was gonna feel [like],” he says. “I thought making my first million was going to feel like I was on top of the world, but I really just wanted more money after that.”

Ricch describes meeting Marshmallow and collaborating on their first single, “Project Dreams,” as well as describing what it was like for his family to hear him on the radio for the first time, with 2018 single “Die Young”. “My aunty said she drove an hour in L.A. and heard it ten times on the radio.”

Ricch wraps the three-minute interview by retelling the first time he met his personal hero, Kendrick Lamar, as a pre-teen. “He went to my mamma church” tells Ricch. “I rapped for him and he told me, ‘You gonna be somebody in the world’”. Recently I talked to him and he told me he was proud of me. That’s crazy, right? I didn’t think he was gonna remember me.”

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine