Georgia rapper Rittz released his debut LP The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant in April, and the independently-released album debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200. It's a massive success that the former dishwasher didn't anticipate... at all.
"It definitely exceeded my expectations," he tells Fuse. "Everybody's worried about the first week. I always set the bar really low so I wasn't let down."
The triumph follows years of grinding in the rap game, dropping mixtapes in both 2011 and 2012 while juggling "some really wack jobs" at Kmart, gas stations, a BBQ restaurant and as a dishwasher. "It got pathetic," the 30-year-old rapper explains. "When you're getting older, telling people 'I rap' at your jobs."
But he sees the record solidifying his career. "I feel like I'm here now," the big-haired artist says. "All the hard work paid off. I really wanted an official album to be in stores and 'be a rapper for a living.' It's happening for me."
The set includes collabos with Mike Posner (who reached out on Twitter to work with Rittz) and Big K.R.I.T. (one of Rittz's favorite rappers). It's led by the Posner-assisted "Switch Lanes" single. Check out the video below.