We choose life or death. No third option exists. $uicideboy$ rap like their lives depend on it, because they actually do.
Hip-hop lifted the New Orleans duo of cousins—Scott Arcenaux, Jr. a.k.a. $lick Sloth and Aristos Petrou a.k.a. Ruby da Cherry—out of a violent drug-riddled hood nightmare and into an underground phenomenon. On the way up, they landed a Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top 200, tallied 2 billion-plus streams, averaged 4.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, sold out arenas on three continents, and received acclaim from Pigeons and Planes, XXL, Billboard, and Revolver. Not to mention, they collaborated with everyone from Academy® Award winner Juicy J to members of Korn. These accolades cemented the pair as the culture’s most insurgent, inescapable, and influential cult by 2020.
Locked and loaded, their second album, STOP STARING AT THE SHADOWS [G*59/Caroline], reasserted their power once again.
The boys first recognized this power in 2013. As legend has it, $lick and Ruby found themselves fed up with the world around them, yet curiously inspired by Slipknot, Minor Threat, Misfits, André 3000, Three 6 Mafia, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West. Drawing on $lick’ talents as a guitarist, drummer, violinist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, the two-piece cut up genre lines and blew them into dust, delivering a dystopic diorama of rap through a prism of punk energy, heavy metal nihilism, and alternative vulnerability. In 2014, they uploaded Kill Your$elf Part I: The $uicide Saga to Soundcloud and ignited a prolific run of releases to rival those of hometown legends Lil Wayne and Curren$y.
Within three years, they released a staggering twenty installments of the Kill Your$elf EP series, going so far as to drop XI-XV over the course of just one day in May 2017. Maintaining this breakneck pace, another twenty-one projects followed highlighted by collaborations such as $outh $ide $uicide with Pouya and DIRTNASTY$UICIDEwith Germ as well as the seminal My Liver Will Handle What My Heart Can’t. The latter yielded “Kill Yourself (Part III),” which tallied 136 million streams on Spotify alone.
Released in partnership between their own G*59 Records and Caroline Distribution, the duo’s proper full-length debut LP, I Want to Die in New Orleans, crashed the Billboard Top 200 at #9 in 2018. Standout single “Carollton” put up 57 million Spotify streams as Juicy J blessed the album by co-producing “Phantom Menace.” In its wake, they packed houses around the world supported by diverse bills consisting of Shoreline Mafia, Denzel Curry, Turnstile, City Morgue, Trash Talk, and more. Not to mention, $lick and Ruby shut down the main stages of festivals such as Lollapalooza and Rolling Loud, to name a few. Additionally, they joined forces with legendary blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer on the 2019 six-track EP, Life Fast, Die Whenever.
In 2020, STOP STARING AT THE SHADOWS sharpens the edges of the group’s signature style. The melodies move with demonic grace, while the rhymes fly in a crossfire of vitriol, pain, and longing. Of “Fuck Your Culture” and “Scope Set,” HYPEBEAST noted, “Filled with hell-fueled lyricism and battering beats that creep in all the right places, the singles showcase why the two have become cult figures in the music industry—they’ve aptly reenvisioned the South’s hip-hop roots while pushing forth it’s tantalizing sound.”
Substance abuse and its material causes are the ghosts in the rafters of modern rap, but $uicideboy$ invite them into the blunt rotation, directly confronting the pain that haunts so much of the genre. Detractors have claimed that artists like $uicideboy$, like so many rappers and rock stars before their time, as well as so many of their creative peers, glamorize mental illness and addiction In 2021, the duo released their third full-length project through The Orchard titled Long Term Effects of SUFFERING. The album charted as high as number 6 on the Billboard top-200 and boasts over half a billion cumulative streams across all platforms, with 350 million on Spotify alone.
Every generation tends to believe that history will end, or at least peak, with its passing, but SoundCloud rap—or emo rap, or whatever you want to call it—and its audience belong to an era when our fate seems scientifically sealed. Faced with that grim prognosis, $uicideboy$ ask: What’s wrong with taking a little pleasure in your own demise when it’s all but set in stone?
In the end, $uicideBoy$ live through this music and will continue to do so for a very long time to come. Stay tuned as $uicideboy$ look to release their latest full-length studio album this July.
Consider this a warning.