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RetcH, a.k.a. RetcHy P, a.k.a. Porter, a.k.a. the 'Lo God, stopped by Complex HQ to play some tracks from Finesse the World, the follow-up to his breakout album Polo Sporting Goods. It's harder and darker than his Thelonious Martin-produced sophomore tape and harkens back to his earlier work on Delinquents and Degenerates. The New Jersey rapper has been making a name for himself by tearing down stages across the country—evidence of which can be seen in his new "Hunnid Bandz" video above. "Bandz" is the third release (after "Amedei Porcelana," "Gunz Gon Blow") off of the aforementioned F.T.W. and it's a high-energy banger. RetcH is in the video doing the money dance while loosing his mind on a stage with strippers. Check his Instagram for more performance footage. He's known to put a good show and might perform on a shorty's shoulders from time to time.
F.T.W. is already sounding very different from the critically acclaimed Polo Sporting Goods, and there's a reason for that.Many think he's just a drugged-up rapper who lights blunts on packed trains. However, he's smarter than you think. He has a vision for this next project, and he's strategically plotting the rollout. We talked to a Polo'd down RetcH about F.T.W., playing dumb, hanging with Action Bronson and Alchemist, plus much more.
When is Finesse the World dropping?
I’m thinking top of next year, somewhere around February.
How long do you think this project is going to be?
I’m not going to go over 14 joints. I got about 10-11 that’s for sure. I try to keep it quality over quantity.
You’re playing around with your flow more on this one. It's an evil voice. This is Evil RetcH.
I don't want to put myself in a box. A lot of people got hip to me when Polo Sporting Goods dropped, so they don't know about Delinquents and Degenerates and La Cienega. They want to put me in the same category as a Joey Bada$$—no shots. I don't want to be in a box. Either you fuck with it or you don't. This is how me and Da$h came in. That’s why I came back with this type of sound on F.T.W. because I wanted to let niggas know not to put me into a box.
I like Tracy Chapman, the Police, Eagles, all sorts of wild s**t.
Regardless of how your flow changes you consider yourself a storyteller, correct?
I’m a visionary. I want you to picture it. That’s one thing I like about music. The reason why Hov has always been one of my favorites [is] because Hov was able to describe something that'll make you pull up that picture in your head.
Other than Hov, who are your influences?
Niggas like Stack Bundles made me want to rap. Niggas like Max B made me really want to make music. Like really build a song. Big L is another one. There’s a lot of people outside of rap that made me want to make great music too. I like Tracy Chapman, the Police, Eagles, all sorts of wild shit. You see, I say Tracy Chapman and you started laughing. [Laughs.]
Nah, man. It's funny because I'm not surprised. Who put you on to Amedei Porcelana?
It’s the most expensive chocolate. When I started fucking with Action Bronson and Alchemist mad heavy, we used to go out and eat at mad places. We were taking a lot of the names of songs and projects from menus. We were at somewhere and they had something on the menu it was called The Gay Todd. It was funny as hell 'cause The Gay Todd was good as hell.
What was it?
It was like some chicken and noodles. It was on a stick or some shit.
When is Alchemist going to give you a beat?
There’s no Alchemist on F.T.W. We've got [Harry] Fraud helping finish up the project. I’ve made plenty of music at ALC’s crib, but we just waiting for that one jawn.
How did you come up with the concept for “Special Jim”?
"VIP at the Special Olympics." That was the first line and also that was just being around Bronson and ALC. We're always saying fly shit, like being somewhere ill doing some shit that doesn't normally happen. Like being front row at the Awareness for Breast Cancer rolling up. This is just shit that we say. We just talk like that. It started out with VIP at the Special Olympics eating a shrimp dish, wearing driving gloves, getting a Katz Deli sandwich delivered while we're sitting front row at the opera.
Not every young rapper knows how to perform but you always shut shit down. How do you prepare for that?
I'm gonna be honest with you: by not preparing at all. It’s one of those things that took practice. When I would first go out I wouldn’t go out with much charisma, but now I go out like this is what I do. Like when you're playing video games at home. So I treat every spot like the crib, we're just having fun. I’m not taking it that serious. I'm taking it serious, but not that serious to where I'm not having fun with it.
What’s your writing process?
It goes different ways. If I get a hot beat in an email and I got the headphones in, I might just start crafting it there in the air. Or if I'm sitting there focused I’ll start jotting it down. It goes different ways. Some days I just think of a hot line in my head and throughout the day I'll be 12 bars in with no beat. When I first started I used to write everything, then after that I got to a point where I would just craft it in my head, then like a combination of both. I memorized the whole first verse and hook, and I wrote the second verse. Before I would have the whole catalog. I had the song, the verse—it was so organized. Now it’s just a mess. [Laughs.]
The beats are pretty dark on F.T.W. It sounds like a crime novel. Who's featured on it?
As far as features, I only have Mac Miller and Da$h on there as of right now. Let me tell you something about Mac: Son is mad nice. He plays guitar and the piano.
Finesse the world means making the world work for you, you're not working for the world.
You working with a bunch of different producers on this new joint?
I pretty much tried to bring every producer from Delinquents and Degenerates back. The only person I wasn’t able to get back was my man Seewax and the cat who made "Fly Away” because he didn’t really make that beat. Somebody hit my email saying [KhaLiL] stole it. That’s corny taking somebody else’s beat and pushing it as your own. So anything else you give us we don’t know if it’s stolen, so it’s quiet for him. And Seewax—who did the intro to Delinquents and Degenerates—you know, people get caught up in their personal life sometimes, so we weren't able to make it work.
So what are you trying to accomplish with Finesse the World?
We caught a lot of attention between Instagram and Polo Sporting Goods. You would've thought I had just been born around that time because not too many people knew about my earlier stuff. Motherfuckers didn't see the whole resume. They just see the whatever's going on at the moment. People got hooked on to the music and they pegged me as a "real" rap artist or a "real New York" artist.
Well, that's what Polo Sporting Goods sounded like because you grew up in the NYC region.
With the whole Finesse the World thing the whole goal of this project was to break all of that. It would force people to go back and do their research. Finesse the world means making the world work for you, you're not working for the world. Now it makes niggas go back and do their research, and when they go back it’s them at the crib looking stupid. Like, "Damn, I was trying to put him into this box, but he was doing this from the jump so really he just gassed us." Now they're going to be looking at it like, "He came out like this, then he dropped Polo Sporting Goods and we found out the nigga was educated, now he going back to playing dumb."
What’s the rarest Polo piece you’ve got in your collection?
Some Polo Sport jackets from '91.
Angel Diaz is a Staff Writer for Complex Media. Follow him @ADiaz456