White Rappers

Rittz

rittz-recording-artists-and-groups-photo-u1

Born Jonathan McCollum, but more commonly known to his fans under the stage name Rittz, he is a rap artist who signed with Tech N9ne’s Strange Music in 2012.

Hailing from north of the ATL, in the suburbs of Gwinnett County, Georgia, comes Southern rapper Jonathan McCollum, aka Rittz. With a quick, sharp tongue and dexterous rhymes, McCollum had a few close calls in the music industry, winning a battle contest on Hot 107.9, and nearly following in the career path of Eminem, but unfortunately, he was unable to lock down a record deal due to disputes in management and contract deals. Soured by the experience, and just on the verge of giving up rap entirely,Rittz was recruited by Yelawolf to guest on “Box Chevy” from the 2010 album Trunk Musik 0-60. More collaborations followed, and so did two mixtapes, 2011’s White Jesus and 2012’s White Jesus: Revival. Strange Music signed the rapper in 2013, and released Rittz’s studio debut, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant, was released that same year.

Rapper Rittz is the Northside.
Raised in Gwinnett County, Rittz embodies the same level of irony and self-conflict as his hometown. Born into a musical family, he, his twin sister and their brother had always been exposed to the inner workings of music. The fact that their parents were heavily into rock and roll ensured that the kids were always around instruments or in studios. The family moved from small-town Pennsylvania (Waynesburg) to the Atlanta outskirts when he was eight years old, and once Rittz got to junior high, his musical tastes evolved. Atlanta’s booming bass and rap movement had traveled north on I-85 to get the entire metro area jumping.
”When I moved here, I was introduced to rap music. When I started rapping, I was listening to any early Rap-A-Lot records, like Willie D, Geto Boys… Kilo [Ali] was like the first. So when I started at 12 years old, my early raps, I tried to rap like them,” he explains, “But the early Outkast, and Goodie Mob was really the beginning of me wanting to rap and imitate them in finding my own style. Me and another guy were actually in a group called Ralo and Rittz [1995-2003], we were like the white Outkast, or we tried to be like that. I had a studio in my basement, and we put out a bunch of tapes in Gwinnett. I felt like we were one of the first, if not the first… There were only maybe one or two other people rapping in Gwinnett at the time, from ’95 to 2000.”
During the earlier part of the millennium though, around 2003, Rittz had hit a wall. After eight years, he and Ralo had matured in different directions. His promising buzz had led to countless disappointments. “I won Battlegrounds on Hot 107.9, got retired and shit and felt like I was ‘bout to make it. But, so many industry up and downs, with managers, contracts…” He was dead broke, feeling dejected, and living with friends- ready to resign from the rap game before even taking his rightful place in it. It wasn’t until 2009 when he’d randomly received a call from another flamespitter who was repping an area as under-the-radar as Gwinnett was. “I had some money behind me.” Rittz says, “Everything was going good and then everything fell out, at the same time, I’m getting older, thinking it’s time to hang it up. This isn’t gonna happen and that’s when Yelawolf put me on ‘Box Chevy.’ [on Yelawolf’s Trunk Muzik].”
Nowadays, the rap career of Gwinnett-raised Rittz is rapidly on the rise. From his affliation with one of the hottest new rappers coming out of the South to his first mixtape, Rittz White Jesus (hilariously inspired by a friend’s term of endearment), everything is coming together now, two years after he nearly lost everything. These days he’s booking late night studio sessions, and still clocking in to work early the next day. “I see both sides: the regular, working class type shit and then I’ve also seen a lot of the street shit that goes on here, some people that are blind to that here, may never have seen it.” Rittz says he’s “just a normal guy who raps”- a contradiction if there ever was one- but he makes you believe, with the humility of the everyman and the talent of a superstar.

Birthday August 16th 1980

361NtLhf

Discography

The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant (2013)

Next to Nothing (2014)

Official Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Comments are closed.

Powered by: Wordpress