Los Angeles Times

How Compton's Roddy Ricch became 2020's newest star, with help from some squeaks

Around 6 p.m. on a Friday night, Roddy Ricch's new single "Boom Boom Room" bludgeoned the near-empty Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. The 21-year-old Compton rapper's crew was locking in the mix for the night's show, and the deep bass and crackling snares had already drawn a crowd of superfans outside. The song's lyrics - "Bought a big Patek with a brand new wrist setting / I'm a slide in the Rolls, slide in the Lamb, slide in the Benz" - set a triumphant tone for the home-state crowd.

But Ricch wasn't anywhere in sight. Instead, his guitarist stood a little sheepishly at the mic, crooning the hook with exaggerated tenderness. Strobes and fog machines blasted the room, but the star was missing.

Then, alone in the dimly lit back of the venue, Ricch stepped forward, wearing a gray sweatsuit and sunglasses. He cracked up at his bandmate's gentle rendition of the tune, taken from an album which, at that moment, was No.

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