Nardo Wick describes himself succinctly: “I’m 19 and I’m depraved.” This sly sense of confidence reverberates all through “Who Need Smoke?,” the Jacksonville rapper’s breakout single that ponders the titular query to his opposition, and unabashedly asserts himself (“You would ship your greatest man, you gon’ lose your greatest hitta”) as a rising risk to the rap recreation.
Launched in January, the solo single loved a profitable streaming run by itself because it hitched itself onto the rocket ship that’s TikTok virality. A snippet of the track’s memorable stomping (“What the f–ok is that?”) line served as a backdrop to quite a few comedy movies on the platform. Atlanta rap famous person Lil Child can be a famous fan of the track.
But it surely’s within the recently-released “Who Need Smoke??” remix — that includes visitor verses from Chicago’s Lil Durk and G Herbo, alongside Atlanta’s 21 Savage — the place the track’s business potential reached its apex. Launched on Oct. 8, the remix helped the track zoom to a powerful high 20 debut on the Billboard Sizzling 100, coming in scorching at No. 17 for the week dated Oct. 18. Most remarkably, Wick landed within the high 20 in his debut as a number one artist, an accomplishment that the majority new artists aren’t capable of declare.
“The power of the track is simply uncooked and pure, it’s completely put collectively,” The 19-year-old rapper tells Billboard of the remix’s scorching begin. Already a menacing and dirty lower by itself, the addition of established MCs like Durk, 21 and Herbo — whose particular person kinds align completely with the track’s eerie lure manufacturing and intimidating ambiance — has made the remix a playlist staple and repeat-listen candidate throughout streaming platforms. Now with over 28 million views on YouTube, the remix’s Cole Bennett-directed music video has comfortably surpassed the unique’s 23 million from its January launch.
Under, Billboard speaks with Wick concerning the track’s No. 17 debut, how he acquired his begin with rapping and his upcoming debut venture.
Let’s begin with “Who Need Smoke??” and the remix’s debut at No. 17 on the Sizzling 100 in its first full week of monitoring. How have you ever reacted to that?
It felt good. Actual good. It’s nonetheless surreal, somewhat bit.
Do you suppose the remix has the legs to hit the highest 10 within the subsequent couple of weeks?
For positive. In fact.
The unique model had plenty of success by itself. Do you know on the time that it might it was gonna be the hit that it was?
Yeah, I anticipated that, simply primarily based off the engagements I had off my snippet.
What concerning the unique do you suppose actually contributed to its reputation?
The stomping, for positive. It’s the creativity of the track. It was totally different, it didn’t sound like the rest. No person heard something prefer it.
There’s a form of horror film affect to the track. Was that intentional?
Truthfully, no. That’s simply what got here out. It’s simply coincidence.
How did the thought for the remix come about?
I all the time knew I used to be gonna remix it. I simply needed to put it collectively the appropriate means [with] the appropriate folks, and construct these relationships. After which I acquired them on the track.
How did that lineup of Durk, Savage and G Herbo come collectively? Why these three specifically?
Like, you sit down and you concentrate on a rapper that may go on that track, and actually they had been the one three that match the track completely. I really feel prefer it was excellent.
Did they report their verses on their very own or had been you within the studio whereas they did it?
I used to be within the studio when Durk did it, and I used to be within the studio when Herbo did it. I wasn’t within the studio when Savage did it.
What was that have like watching Durk and Herbo report their verses?
Sitting there and seeing them give you it, it was uncooked. I knew they had been going to do what they did on it.
All of them appeared within the music video and also you had scenes with all of them. What was it like being on digital camera with them for the primary time?
That s–t was uncooked. It was uncooked. Like I completely felt prefer it was form of surreal. Now it’s common. However like I informed you, if I actually sit down and give it some thought, it’s totally different. I’ll be like, “Rattling, I actually used to see these guys on the web, [hear them] on the radio.”
How did the Lyrical Lemonade collaboration come about? What was the expertise like being shot by Cole Bennett?
Actually, that was Durk’s thought. After he recorded his verse, he was like, “Cole wanna shoot it.” S–t was uncooked, it was like a film. Capturing a film.
What has been your favourite second all through this era of revitalized reputation and a spotlight that the track is getting now that the remix is out?
Thus far, my favourite second is the Billboard [top 20 debut], For positive. That’s like, huge. Billboard? And I’m 19, I’m not speculated to make Billboard interval. And it’s high 20.
I learn somewhat bit about how your dad has been an enormous supporter and an enormous affect. How has he helped you kickstart your profession and how much artists did he play within the automobile rising up?
He desires me to study as a lot as I need to study. He desires it simply as a lot as me. He used to play Gucci. Loads of Gucci. Like previous Future, Astronaut Standing and Again to the Future. He used to play Yo Gotti, somewhat little bit of T.I. He used to play Rick Ross, s–t like that. Yeah, however primarily Gucci.
The place did you discover ways to rap?
That’s been pure. I don’t know. That all the time got here to me simply, like I all the time understood it. Lots of people don’t perceive that it’s a distinction from understanding easy methods to rhyme, [and] actually like, understanding it and making sense. I all the time understood it actual younger.
You solely have a pair singles out proper now. What do you suppose followers shall be getting along with your upcoming debut venture?
Me. They’re going to get me. Count on enjoyment. They’ll anticipate what they will anticipate. Count on the sudden. For extra, you gotta take heed to the tape.
Is there a timeline for when followers ought to anticipate the venture to return? Do you’ve any collaborations within the works?
December. [And] yeah, I acquired options on there. Like, 4 or 5 options, one thing like that.
Who do you’ve your eye on for future collaborations?
No person, actually. I acquired all of the collaborations I wished. Until it’s any person like Drake or one thing.
What’s subsequent for you? The place do you see your self within the subsequent 12 months or two?
Increasingly success. Greatness.