Rylo Rodriguez Talks ‘Been One’ and How He Comes Up With Viral IG Captions

Rylo Rodriguez sits for an interview about his new album Been One, his relationship with Lil Baby, how he comes up with his viral IG captions, and why he wants to drop another album in the next couple of months.

Photo by Sigmund Owho Osimini

At first glance, Rylo Rodriguez appears to be a man of few words. During his recent visit to Complex's Times Square office, the rising star from Alabama carried himself with a reserved and soft-spoken demeanor, often requiring our crew to lean in close to catch his words. But if you ask him, he’s not always quiet.

“Most people probably think I don't talk a lot, but I really do,” he offers, revealing a common misconception about himself. “When you get to know me, I'm funny.” 

Glimpses of his comedic and talkative personality emerge throughout the evening, especially while whispering and cracking jokes with Lil Baby, who has accompanied him on this press stop, but Rylo seems to reserve most of his energy for his close circle of friends and family (and through his music).

Born Ryan Adams in Mobile, Alabama, Rylo discovered his passion for rapping at a young age, experimenting with his sound on his brother's computer. He started performing at small birthday parties as a teen, but it wasn't until 2017 that he truly made his mark on a national level. That year, he gained attention by collaborating with Lil Baby on tracks like “Eat or Starve” and “Stick On Me.” These features ultimately propelled Rylo into the spotlight and set the stage for his solo career. 

After his breakthrough, Rylo released a series of singles that showcased his knack for flipping classic R&B songs and infusing them with his own personal stories like he did on “Project Baby,” which incorporates Mariah Carey's “Always Be My Baby” and “Valentines,” which samples Tamia's “Can't Get Enough.” 

Rylo ultimately signed a deal with Lil Baby's record label in 2020, which was followed by the release of his debut album, G.I.H.F. (Goat In Human Form) and a feature on Lil Baby's critically acclaimed project My Turn.

In March 2023, Rylo returned with Sorry Four the Delay, which he tells Complex was a strategic move to lay the groundwork for his next big move: his highly anticipated album Been One, which arrived last week. Speaking with Complex, Rylo pointed out a detail about the Been One tracklist, hinting at a thematic link between the two releases. “Last month, I dropped the EP, but it was only to promote my album, Been One. On my tracklist, the first letter of each song spells out, ‘SORRY FOUR THE DELAY, THX.’” 

Rylo Rodriquez spoke to Complex about the creative process behind Been One, collaborating with Lil Baby and Lil Yachty on the project, and his goals for the future. The interview, lightly edited for clarity, is below. 

What was the moment when you realized that you wanted to become a rapper?
My brother used to rap, so when he'd leave, I'd record myself on his computer. And then I came home one day, and they were playing my music and telling me how hard I was. 

What's the first time you performed in front of other people?
I performed in front of other people at my homegirl’s birthday party. We were like 16, and she made me perform at her birthday party, but I forgot my lyrics. 

A lot of people aspire to be rappers. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Probably my storytelling and what I rap about. 

You use a lot of R&B samples in your music. What do you like about R&B, and why have you chosen to incorporate it in your music?
It makes you feel a type of way. Then I put my voice on it. So it's just like, with the way I rap and the samples, it’s [perfect]. I just like doing samples.

You mentioned earlier that Aaliyah and Usher are the GOAT singers, but are there any current R&B artists you’d like to collaborate with?
Brent Faiyaz. Another R&B artist I would like to collaborate with would Summer Walker and SZA. She is my top right now, SZA.

How would you describe your friendship or work relationship with Lil Baby?
We’re more like brothers. It's like a brotherhood thing.

Is your brotherhood what prompted you to sign to his label?
Yeah. It was the right fit signing to his label, and more so just learning from him.

View this video on YouTube


You get a lot of attention for your Instagram captions. What's the secret to making an Instagram caption that everybody loves and that goes viral?
I play one of my songs and just pick out which one is the hardest bar in the song. But I might go through 10 songs just to find the right bar. Sometimes I've been hearing the song the day before, [and decide] I'm going to use it for my caption, and I write it down in my notes.

Can you tell me a little bit about the album? How would you describe the creative process for this album, and did it differ from past experiences?
I'll do freestyling but it ain't just freestyling, like straight going. I'll do one line, do another line, then do another line. But when I first hear the beat, I harmonize on it, and then I go back and just fill in the words. So I really record differently. 

What are some of the themes or stories that you share on this project?
It is more so about my situation right now.

Is there a particular song on the album that you think best describes your situation? Or do you have a favorite song?
“End of the Road” and “X-Hausted.”

What about “End of the Road” stands out to you?
I like “End of the Road” the most because I wrote it about my best friend who passed away last year. 

Is it hard to listen back to now considering what it’s about?
Nah, it ain't hard to listen back to because it's like a stress reliever. It takes me to a place where I know he is in a better place. I know he'll be proud of what I'm doing.

What do you like about “X-Hausted?”
I like the flow and the cadence and all the pockets I go in on, because I switch the flows like four different times.


Rylo Rodriguez reveals the secret behind his viral IG captions 👀 Our full interview with the Alabama rapper is on Complex now

♬ original sound - Complex - Complex

You have a collaboration with Lil Baby on the album called “Real Type.” How did that song come together?
I recorded that probably a couple months ago, and I always heard Baby on it. But he just put his verse on there right before for the album. He be real busy. But it came out great. There's a club vibe from it. 

How did you and Lil Yachty come together to work on “Taylor Port Junkie?”
The idea of “Taylor Port” came together, because I know all the females drink Taylor Port [wine], so I just wanted to do a song for them. And the beat, I think Yachty made a beat like that before, or the dude who made the beat made a beat for Yachty. So, I heard Yachty on it, and I just sent it to him and he did the verse.

What was the process for selecting features for this album?
I'll do all the songs first and I'll see who I can hear on the song, and I'll reach out to that artist.

Were there any features that you wanted that just didn’t work out this time?
No, I didn't want to do a lot of features because I ain't dropped in so long. 

What would you say was the hardest part about putting this project together?
It really wasn't hard making this album. 

What was the best part of making the album?
Finishing it, knowing it was going to come out. 

What do you want listeners to learn about you or take away from this album?
I just want to say it helped them get through what they're going through. 


Rylo Rodriguez reveals his 3 favorite songs on new album ‘Been One.’ Our full interview with #rylorodriguez is on Complex now

♬ original sound - ComplexMusic

The tracklist is 19 songs, but how many songs did you originally record for the project?
I recorded a lot of songs. We had to pick out of, like, 30 songs. There's still a couple songs that I wanted on there that couldn't make it, but I'm going to put it on the deluxe.

How many songs would you say you record each session?
The most songs I would probably record in a session would be three. 

What are your goals for this year, besides obviously putting out the album?
Putting out another project right after this. In a couple more months, I want to put out another project. 

Have you already started recording for this project?
Yes, I recorded as soon as this tape was turned in. 

What does success look like to you? Is it winning Grammys, becoming a billionaire?
Success is being able to take care of my family for the rest of my life and putting me in different situations where I could branch off to do other things, because I won't be rapping forever. I feel like rapping just gets you right here to do the next big thing. 

So while you’re pursuing a rap career, do you care about being the greatest rapper of all time?
No, I don't care about that. 

What would be your next career after rap?
Something in fashion, real estate. A lot of stuff.

Latest in Music