Retchy P is who every rapper wants to be. In that gap between real life and the recording booth, most rappers craft street tales, whether true or otherwise. Retch doesn’t make it up. One visit to his Instagram confirms just how real he keeps it, but it’s his cold, wrought iron raps of recent that’ve taken the Tri-State Area by storm. He’s been co-signed by Action Bronson, who featured him on Blue Chips 2, and now his name is starting to bubble across the country.
Recently, he was locked up by the boys in blue (if you were at the recent Vince Staples show in NY, you heard the crowd yelling “FREE RETCH” while his boy Da$h sprayed the crowd with lean), but now that he’s back in the free world, he’s gearing up to drop his next project, Finesse The World, after last year’s critically acclaimed Polo Sporting Goods tape. With his latest video, “Amedei Porcelena,” it sounds like he’s only getting nicer.
We tracked down the rabble-rousing NJ rapper to talk about street life, recording at Alchemist’s Rap Camp, and how he came up with a song about the Special Olympics.
WL: How was your little skid bid?
That wasn’t about sh*t, I was locked up with like half my kindergarden class.
You’re starting to get a heavy buzz out here. Do you ever feel conflicted by still having a foot in the streets as you pursue a music career?
I mean, sh*t…of course, you know…we’re not dumb mother*ckers on this side, for anybody who may have any type of confusion, n*ggas not dummies on this side. We know we got opportunities and all sorts of fly sh*t, of course, but gang life is still real life at the end of the day, you can’t change who you are or things of that nature. There’s certain things you can’t shake at certain points, but in time…that’s why it’s all about making a transition. It’s a gradual transition, it’s not one that’s just gonna be, “Alright, today you’re doing this and tomorrow you’re doing that.” The way it works on this side, it ain’t work out that smooth, it wasn’t written to just have a smash single that just popped up on the radio. This is just continuous work and building a fanbase.
What music were you listening to growing up?
I was listening to everything. My grandma would be bumpin’ a whole lotta Tracy Chapman, Bob Marley and all sorts of sh*t. On my own time, I’d listen to whatever Hot 97 was playing. Lotta DMX, Hov, Ruff Ryders, Ludacris, Ja Rule, they were makin’ a whole bunch of noise when I was growing up.
Who are some of your favorite rappers of all time?
It’s a whole lot. Hov forever, Max B, Stack Bundles. I got so many favorite artists from this generation, past generations, different genres, it goes all over the place. Bootsy Collins, it jumps all over the place.
How did you meet fellow H’z member Da$h?
Me and Da$h know each other since we were children. We went to school together. I know Da$h through the public education system. I’ve known my man since I was 11, 12. This ain’t some rap sh*t. That’s my boy from the sandbox.
Where did you grow up exactly?
Hackensack, New Jersey. It’s called the Sac, Sac Town. Dirty Jerz. Right outside the George Washington bridge. My stepfather was from Canarsie, Brooklyn, so I spent a lot of time out there as a child, but I went to school in Jersey the whole time. Best of both worlds type of situation.
When did your parents split up?
My parents split up when I was young as f*ck, I think I was like two, if I remember correctly from what my mother told me. If you can do the math on that, it’s been a minute…I wasn’t really trippin’ growin’ up with no pops, n*ggas was all outside.
So you didn’t have a close relationship with your pops growing up?
Na, not at all. You know, I knew my pops and sh*t, but if you’re not in the same household as someone growing up, it’s not the same. It’s not the same relationship I have with my mother and grandmother.
You’ve rapped over some turn-up sh*t in the past, like “Y.O.L.A.”
Yeah, I make all sorts of music. I just make whatever I’m feeling like at the moment. You don’t want to limit yourself into a certain region of music [so that] you’re known to create this type of music, because then when you try to go out and experiment, like motherf*ckers gonna criticize you always, but it’s gonna be much harder for you because you already put yourself in a box. Whereas if you always had a wide variety, they could never say you switched up. None of that sh*t matters anyway.
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