At 24 and 25, New Orleans based mostly cousins Aristos Petrou and Scott Arceneaux Jr. made a pact to allot the following 5 years of their lives to creating it within the music trade. In the event that they failed, the results have been steep. “We determined to provide this ‘til we have been 30 and if we didn’t make it by 30, we’d fucking kill ourselves,” Petrou, who’s now recognized to the world as Ruby da Cherry, says. “That is all we needed to do and if we couldn’t do it, we didn’t see some extent in residing.”
The duo cultivated a ardour for music at a younger age, with Petrou taking part in in punk bands from 12 onward and Arcenaux starting to provide beats at 19. Neither had an preliminary intent to pursue hip-hop, however after reconnecting as adults, the pair started rapping collectively of their spare time. “Round 2013, we linked up and I received this DSLR Canon P3I as a gift for graduating faculty, and I needed to start out taking pictures and enhancing to observe,” Petrou says. “I referred to as Scott as a result of he was making solo music only for enjoyable, he was making 30 songs and mixtapes each three months and placing them on the market for nobody to hearken to. I picked one of many songs and advised him that I needed to do a video for it.” From this video, Petrou and Arcenaux started leaning on one another for his or her solo music, however after a couple of months they determined to return collectively on a track. “He made this beat that I actually favored and he actually favored, so we each hopped on it,” Petrou shares. “After making that track, we have been each blown away by how nicely we labored collectively and the way nicely the track got here out with us each doing a verse. So we determined to fuck doing shit solo and began doing this collectively.”
After they got here collectively as artists and made the pact, each Petrou and Arcenaux have been struggling financially and didn’t have many choices. “I had no job as a result of I’d gotten fired for my tattoos and was a heroin addict who by no means needed to return to working the 9-to-5,” Arcenaux, who’s now generally known as $crim, says. “He was working two shit pizza jobs simply to maintain the lights on in his home.” With nowhere to go however up, the cousins started their hustle, selling their music on a neighborhood degree old style methodology didn’t lead them in the precise course, which prompted Petrou to seek out the underground rap scene on SoundCloud. “After a yr or so of failing, watching folks throw [our CD] away, and not likely going wherever, he referred to as me up actually excited and advised me to return over. After I received to his home, he pulled up SoundCloud, which we have been utterly ignorant to how highly effective it was,” Arcenaux explains. “He confirmed me a bunch of people that have been discovering success within the web rap scene and it was sort of the lacking piece to the puzzle. It confirmed us every part we have been doing improper and the way the sport was altering.”
Petrou and Arcenaux took inspiration from rappers like Bones and Yung Lean who’d discovered success on SoundCloud, in addition to OGs like Lil Wayne, and commenced pumping out tracks to construct a presence on the platform. “The way in which we began by dropping Suicideboys’ songs was doing the ‘Kill Your self’ sequence one by way of 10,” Petrou explains. “Every sequence had three tracks on it and perhaps a couple of bonus tracks.” Suicideboys began dropping music in June 2014, releasing one track from the EP every week and transferring on to a brand new EP firstly of every month. By flooding the positioning with fixed tracks, Suicideboys gained a following on SoundCloud and in lower than a yr, had 10 EPs underneath their belt. After the “Kill Your self” sequence, the pair determined to take their method in a brand new course and in early 2015 dropped their first mixtape, “Grey/Gray.” They took a liking to cultivating bigger our bodies of labor, and from there, dropped one other seven mixtapes inside a couple of years. “We simply needed to be in everyone’s face always,” Petrou says. “We figured if we weren’t dropping music at this fixed fee, someone else could be and these days folks’s consideration spans are clearly worse than they’ve ever been. Should you don’t keep related, don’t keep in folks’s faces, and don’t even change up your type on occasion, there’s at all times gonna be one other dude or one other woman that’s developing.”
Suicideboys discovered SoundCloud at simply the precise time, as they gained a following when the group was pure and the mainstream hadn’t caught on to the phenomenon. As artists like Lil Pump, Lil Peep and XXXTentacion graduated the underground and broke into the mainstream, the phrase “SoundCloud rap” got here together with them—which, in response to Petrou, polluted the positioning with artists. “Again in 2015 and 2016, there was this entire group on SoundCloud and it was fairly insane what number of artists have been on there working collectively,” Petrou says. “It was a stupendous factor, however that’s throughout with now. Individuals began saying, ‘Oh my god, all I’ve to do is add this to SoundCloud and begin posting it round,’ then the floodgates have been opened. I might argue that Suicideboys have been one of many final artists to leap by way of these gates earlier than they have been shut. By the gate closing I imply it getting too fucking affected by too many artists and manner too many feedback of self promotion—earlier than it received spammy.”
As soon as SoundCloud went mainstream, Suicideboys had extra eyes on them than ever earlier than. This led many dad and mom and journalists to clutch their pearls on the group’s picture, which many, together with the Suicideboys themselves, would name controversial. “I do assume we’re controversial,” Arcenaux admits. “After we began we took inspiration from Riff Raff, who was so on the market, and we needed to determine how you can seize folks’s consideration. Should you take it at face worth, in fact it’s tremendous controversial. However you then get to know our backstory and perceive that we’re speaking about actual issues which have occurred in our lives. We weren’t rapping to essentially flaunt something, we have been speaking concerning the hate we had for ourselves and it simply so occurred that’s how our picture developed.” Whereas some have condemned Suicideboys for his or her lyrics, followers from around the globe have associated to the subjects their songs categorical. “Each story is identical and I get chills speaking about it now, however these youngsters are speaking about how we saved them from killing themselves or how they’re clear off of medicine,” Arcenaux says. “Children who’re scared to get remedy and scared to be stigmatized or, due to the way in which the system is, might not have the ability to afford to go get assist—they discover that in our music.”
Suicideboys have made some extent to share their struggles with melancholy and substance abuse of their music, significantly of their latest venture—“Cease Staring on the Shadows.” This mixtape got here collectively after the pair took a nine-month hiatus from making music, throughout which Arcenaux entered rehab (he’s now been sober for over a yr). The venture marks a change in course for the group, not solely of their sound, however of their perspective on making an impression on their listeners. “I’ve at all times been very open about my life in my lyrics and generally I used to be very adverse and darkish,” Arcenaux says. “There’s a part of me that really hates our previous music due to the mindset that I’m in now and it brings me again to that point. We’ve seen folks drop like flies up to now couple years and I used to be subsequent in line if my conduct saved up. I do know a whole lot of youngsters look as much as us and we’ve heard a whole lot of private tales from them, so now greater than ever it’s crucial to provide them one thing optimistic to look as much as.”
By way of taking possession of their very own struggles, each Arcenaux and Petrou have labored to separate their personas from their private lives. The pair created $crim and Ruby da Cherry as alter egos, to get folks’s consideration and assist them get within the zone. “Regardless of how actual you’re in your music, what you’re making an attempt to promote folks is your persona.” Arcenaux says. “After I went by way of remedy, that was a giant factor that I went by way of with my therapist. I used to be making an attempt to keep away from actuality in any respect prices inside my dependancy and all of the trauma I’d been by way of to the purpose the place my persona really turned part of me. It was a coping instrument for survival and I used to be introducing myself as $crim to everybody. After I received sober, I lastly began introducing myself as Scott once more. I keep in mind how stunning that was and the way it felt after I did that.”
Though they’re a part of their persona and add to the darkish attract of their picture, Suicideboys’ tattoos are a hundred percent the actual deal. Each found a love for tattooing lengthy earlier than coming collectively to make music and for Arcenaux his tattoos are a part of the rationale he left behind his life working a 9-to-5 with the intention to pursue music full drive. “After I was working on the furnishings retailer and every time I received some regular earnings, I might get tattooed and I saved pushing it to the purpose the place I’d gotten sleeves,” Arcenaux says. “Finally, I received to my hand and I requested my job, which was tremendous company, if I might get my palms executed. They mentioned no, however me being the little younger, dumb, hardhead that I used to be, I went and received my palms executed anyway—even towards the tattoo artist’s recommendation.” After a couple of weeks making an attempt to cover his forbidden tattoos at work, by sporting gloves or masking his palms with make-up, Arcenaux was ultimately caught red-handed and was fired. With no job taking over his time, Arcenaux and Petrou got here collectively to create Suicideboys—and the pair hasn’t regarded again since.
Getting tattooed has been an integral a part of this duo’s story and with out these hand tattoos, who is aware of the place Suicideboys could be immediately. We under no circumstances suggest getting tattooed with the intention to develop into the following scorching rapper. By now it’s develop into a cliché, however that act of rise up helped cement Suicideboys’ core perception—fuck the institution and what anybody thinks of you.