All I Got: How Rod Wave’s Honesty Stirred Something In Me

Rod Wave

Rod Wave struck a chord with one of AllHipHop’s writers.

by Cornell Dews

Over the years, The Breakfast Club morning show on Revolt TV has done a tremendous job interviewing a wide range of guests.  You’re guaranteed to learn something and be entertained at the same time. We all have our favorites.  The Birdman interview.  Well, that wasn’t really an entire interview, but you get my drift.  The Dame Dash interview.  And countless others.  Too many to name.  “Draaaakkkkke” is one of my most entertaining ones to watch.  When that young man said “Draaaakkkkke” I thought I would die laughing.  Soulja Boy was on one that day.  Recently I was blessed to catch an emerging star in Hip Hop give, what I feel was a very candid interview that allowed the viewing audience to peer into his soul.  The interviewee in reference is Rod Wave.  His interview was so real that it challenged me to think “how do you live your dreams when the life you lived didn’t prepare you to?”

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“Heart been broke so many times, I don’t know what to believe.”

I may be late to the party, but when I first heard Rod Wave so melodically rap those bars, immediately I knew that I wanted to hear more from him.  Then I saw him do an interview on Dirty Glove Bastards where he explained his lyric “Jeezy told us trap or die but told his son to go to college.”  The verse itself let me know that this young man had something more substantial to rap about.  He had a different perspective.  He viewed things differently.  So I began to listen.  And on Friday March 26, 2021 I ended up watching his very telling interview with DJ Envy, Charlamagne and Angela Yee.

The interview in its entirety is a little over 34 minutes long.  But that short amount of time was so compelling to me.  Rod Wave is a 21-22 year old man that’s extremely successful and very transparent with his feelings through his music.  He talks about a lot of pain in everyday life.  During the Breakfast Club interview, Rod Wave stated that “I don’t want people to think I’m complaining or nothing about what came with this life.  Cause I’m still thankful for it.  But it’s just that I never been the center of attention.”  Immediately I began to think about the number of people who dreamed of success in their lives, but weren’t properly prepared to handle the success when it came.  How does it feel to go from “rags to riches” and be immediately levied with the burdens and responsibilities of success?  Even as a child you’re immediately propelled to the helm of your family, community, to lead because your dreams have come to fruition, granting you monetary gain.  That’s difficult for anyone, I’d assume.  But imagine just how much more difficult it must be for someone from the bottom as a teenager or someone in his/her early twenties.  Just speaking for myself, I would have been killed or burned out by now if I was a millionaire in my teens or early twenties.

When questioned, Rod Wave stressed that he didn’t want people to think that he was suicidal or anything.  He was just trying to express the weight of fame that he’s enduring.  He went on to say in the interview that he has “never been the nigg@ with all the pressure on him.”  He continued to say that he can’t even sleep at night.  He wakes up to grab his phone to “make sure the day is gonna be good.”  Nobody has died.  No one needs to be bonded out of jail.  Rod Wave continued to speak, saying “it’s hard to sleep knowing the pressure is on you.”  “So, I’m saying like maybe when I go, I’ll finally get some rest.”  That’s real spill to hear from a young man who is seemingly living his dreams.  Made me wonder, just how many of our other young celebrities in Hip Hop are living the same dreams and nightmares as Rod Wave?  Is the price of fame attained from living your dreams really worth it?  But who could honestly acquire a taste for poverty?

Around the 25 minute 13 second mark of the interview Rod Wave says, “sometimes I feel like I bit off more than I can chew with the music and the fame and all that.  But it’s all I ever dreamed of.”  Damn.  When I heard him say that, it pulled at my soul.  I personally know many young people like Rod Wave with the same dream as him.  I’ve taught them.  I’ve raised them.  I think about ABM Tank becoming a rap star.  Or JiggyRunTheCity, Big3K, Luioto dreams of rap stardom coming to fruition.  I ask myself, are they mentally and emotionally prepared for success?  Will they lose themselves in the midst of the glitz and glamour?  Although that I pray that all of my “sons” dreams come to fruition, I also pray that they’re properly prepared for success.  For me, Rod Wave offered a different perspective that I hadn’t considered prior to watching his interview.

A young man with potentially the number one album in the country, SoulFly.  A great piece of work, might I add.  The recipient of gold and platinum plaques for record sales.  Self-made millionaire.  But evident on The Breakfast Club all of those things still does not manifest into complete happiness.  Instead, it might bring the opposite of happiness.  As expected, during the interview, Charlamagne did ask Rod had he ever done therapy or mental wellness to deal with the pain.  To which he replied, “the music bro, I can’t really talk to nobody about that sentimental s###.  It’s uncomfortable for me.”  His sentiments are quite similar to every male I know whether they are chasing their dreams or have attained them.  Nevertheless we chase still.  Some of us will even sabotage our dreams to avoid the responsibilities that come with our dreams.  The pressure can be unbearable at times.

I just wanted to take the time to thank Rod Wave for giving us a glimpse into the other side of success for young rap stars. I hope those from a similar background as you, with shared aspirations watch your Breakfast Club interview and see what I saw.  And I pray that eventually you find solace in living your dreams.  Sincerely.  Cornell Dews