He may have thousands of fans across the country praising him for his lyricism and transparency in his work, but Rittz is not going to pass on the opportunity to show you his flawed, less than exemplary image as a role model. Rittz is joined by Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Mike Posner, and Suga Free. And despite being from a northern suburb of Atlanta (“don’t let the word suburb throw you off/ a lot of people moved here and get their heads blown off”), Rittz chose to rap over a beat concoction of G-Funk with a hint of Southern drawl smoked into it.
For his debut album on Strange Music, Rittz takes on his other alias of Jonny Valiant. You can take Jonny Valiant as the everyday, alter ego to White Jesus, who has to deal with the insecurities of a regular person. But all of the good and bad you may experience is amplified hundredfold for him, due to his growing star status. Two of the biggest issues Rittz has had to tackle on a regular basis are balancing being in a relationship and tour life, and his vices that help him manage stress. Being apart from his girl on the road and facing temptations left and right, Rittz started with penning heart felt letters to his girl, reminding her why he does what he does and that groupies mean nothing to him (“Always Gon Be”). He then ended up not only indulging, but heightening, those same temptations: “f*ck till we’re sober […] and I got one more favor to ask/ can I put a little bit of cocaine in ya a$$/ I took a sniff and told her, ‘B*tch, I’m gonna nut and smash'” (“Sober”). On top of that Rittz has had to deal with heavy usage of pills or alcohol to escape pressure from work, meeting others’ expectations, and now grueling tour schedules. Although he doesn’t explicitly discuss recovering from these crutches, the somber tone in his voice conveys the sense that admitting them in his raps serves as a catharsis for him. After hearing him speak of his faith in God throughout the album, it follows that this form of confession gives him a sense of emotional release.
The guest verses were logical, looking at Rittz’s feature resume, and predictable isn’t a bad thing. Suga Free is on point with a hook that the guys can groove with, alongside their girls, and not be ashamed. The tracklist order begged the need for a little more attention, jumping back and forth from the struggles and luxuries of his initial career and current maturing one. But after listening to the last track, “All Around The World,” despite what happened before today for Rittz, you can tell he’s is in a better place, grateful and hopeful. He’s come to terms with the fact that “2 years ago, if it wasn’t for no bad luck I probably wouldn’t had no luck at all.”
Oh, and attention any prospective interviewers planning on chopping it up with Mr. Valiant. You might want to listen to “My Interview” and be more than okay with “a little drunk and […] always tired,” Rittz.