The opening sequence to Roddy Ricch‘s Billboard No. 1 hit single “The Box” off Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial is broad and magnificent. Seconds into the production’s opulence, the track is pleasantly cut by what sounds like a squeaky windshield wiper on a rainy day. That catchy, squeaky sound capturing the hearts of so many across social media has become one of the most significant elements of the song.
But what is it, really?
To find out, HipHopDX spoke with the song’s producer, 30 Roc, who is known for his production on tracks such as Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up” and Travis Scott’s “STARGAZING,” and the hitmaker explained to us over the phone that the sound is actually the Grammy Award-nominated artist himself and not part of the beat.
“Anybody who listens to music knows it’s his voice,” 30 Roc said. “That’s not possible. It’s possible for me to do that, but if I was to put that in the beat without him laying the vocals, I felt like it would throw the beat off. I’m happy that he actually did that instead of us actually adding a chant before the vocals…It’s so crazy to me. I have real producers that be asking me, ‘is this a part of your beat?’ And I’m like, dude, you can tell this is Roddy’s voice. If you really listen to it, it’s definitely Roddy’s voice.”
Fifteen minutes is how long it took for “The Box” to be created — minus Roddy’s “EEE-ERR” ad-lib — and it was sent to the Compton native’s team in November, a whole month before Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial was slated for release as a last-minute addition in less than 24 hours.
“It started in L.A.,” 30 Roc recalled. “We went to L.A. a couple of weeks before we sent that beat. We actually went and then that’s when we found out that we had another song with him and a Fabolous called ‘Time.’ We found that out and then from there he was like, ‘Alright, cool we’re going to send some more beats, go home and get some work done…Keefa [who did the A&R for Roddy Ricch’s album] was like, ‘He in the studio right now for another month.’ We just so happen to make that beat in one night and we sent the beat over. The next day, Keefa texted me, he was like, ‘He bodied this. Bruh, it’s a hit.’ He texted me to put it in the coffin. I put it to the side and shit, ‘The Box’ is ‘The Box.'”
According to Roc, the night he and his producer Squeeze made the beat, they were just trying to churn it out and get it done. It was important for him to create something that would challenge Roddy as an artist.
“I just was going through stuff and I had chose the orchestra in the background,” he remembered. “It’s not a sample. Everybody keep asking me. Everybody keep thinking it’s the sample from Justin Timberlake. No. It’s a sound out of a VST. I added the bell part behind it, Squeeze came in and he did the open high hat and I did the 808. It ain’t a lot of sounds in that beat. We kind of just wanted to keep it simple. Right now we just doing a lot of simple things.”
As the song grew into popularity, naturally, memes have came along with it. Out of all of them, the Sponge Bob meme with Squidward is both of their favorite.
“It matches it completely,” he elated. “Just like, ‘Oh damn, what are you guys doing in the box?” and then they closed the box…that was the actual perfect one. I do like the other ones like the nigga with the Windex.”
— WhosBreezy (@WhosBreezyUK) January 8, 2020
As “The Box” memes went crazy online, the tension was building up in a Billboard Hot 100 battle to No. 1 between Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” and Justin Bieber’s first solo single in five years, “Yummy.” On January 13, “The Box” landed at the coveted No. 1 spot despite Bieber’s efforts to get his fans to help push the song to the top and Roddy’s encouragement for everyone to stream the song as well. In the U.S., “The Box” amassed 68.2 million streams according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, sitting among the likes of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”
Roddy ultimately landed at No. 1, prompting Justin to send out a congratulatory tweet.
“You had to go and make a banger smh!,” JB tweeted. “Haha ur the man!! Love the song!! congrats on your first #1!!”
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 13, 2020
Finding out a song they produced beat out a mega pop star like Bieber was a crazy moment for them and noted that the team is all down for working with him in the future if JB wants a hit too.
“Come and get you one! It was pretty dope though. I didn’t think we was going to be battling Justin Bieber,” Roc said. “I was thinking battle Post Malone…just looking at the charts and what was going on. It’s pretty interesting. It’s a dope moment. What’s really dope about the whole song is it did everything on his own and it’s no video. Normally the artist drops a video and there’s no video out yet. That’s how you know people legit fucking with it.”
30’s 2020 is already starting off right and he and Squeeze reveal that they currently working with A$AP Rocky, Youngboy Never Broke Again and NLE Choppa, among others.
“In 2020, we are trying to be a little bit more visual. We want to be out there a little bit more,” 30 Roc said. “For the last couple of years for me, it was more of just getting the placements and getting the name at least somewhere, but I feel like a lot of people don’t know me like that. I’m going to show my face a little bit more, show the team a little bit more. We just try to get shit done. We just got one mission, which is just get the job done. Shit, we just trying to take over.”
“2020, major foot on necks all year,” Squeeze, the song’s co-producer added.
Of course, the calls enlisting 30 and Squeeze have been pouring for their hitmaking services.
“The calls definitely started pouring in yesterday after that number one,” Roc confirmed.