Ransom

Album: We Love You Tecca (2019)
Charted: 7 4

Songfacts®:

  • Queens, New York native Lil Tecca (real name: Tyler Sharpe) first gained a following with viral SoundCloud songs like "Love Me" and "Molly Girl." At age 16 he scored his first hit on the Hot 100 when "Ransom" debuted at #93 on the chart dated June 15, 2019.
  • Lyrically, "Ransom" is a typically braggadocios rap track about owning designer gear, diamonds, and luxury cars.

    I got black, I got white, whatchu' you want?
    Hop outside a Ghost and hop up in a Phantom


    Tecca told Genius that he is saying: "I got everything, both ends of the spectrum. Purple, green, red, yellow, black, white, everything. You know? It's like nothing I can't do. You know what I mean? All types of flavors, everything. I got everything. I can trap rap, I can sing, I can rock, everything."
  • According to an interview with Billboard, the song originated as a joke to a friend that Lil Tecca met while playing Xbox. He said: "You know how we just be going back and forth roasting each other anyway. I just decided to record it and throw it up on SoundCloud."
  • The song's title does not appear in the lyrics. So why "Ransom"? Tecca explained:

    "I don't know how I even came up with that name. I just kept writing. Then, usually, I don't pick the name of the song until after the song, so I kept going, I kept listening to it, 'What should I name it? What should I name it?' And then I heard me say 'ransom' and I was just like, 'Ransom.'"
  • The song blew up thanks to its video, which was directed by Cole Bennett. He is the mastermind behind many of Juice WRLD's clips, including "Lucid Dreams (Forget Me)." Lil Tecca told Billboard that Bennett's shoot was mostly freestyled. "We seriously didn't plan anything. We were going with the flow like, 'Oh, this room is fire. Let's shoot in here.' Then, he told me to sit on the floor and don't make any emotion, and I kept smiling at first. It was so weird to do that. And then, after a while, it just became boring, so that's just no emotion at all which is the part you see throughout the video. The whole concept was just to have fun. We truly didn't plan anything and we just freestyled it. And it worked out."
  • The song was produced by Nick Mira and Taz Taylor of the Internet Money collective. It was Taylor who first linked up with Tecca after the beatmaker tweeted that he wanted to do a tape with the young rapper. Tecca flew out to the Internet Money house in LA; "Ransom" was the last of several songs they laid down in one night.
  • Mira told Genius he wanted the beat to be based around something easy to remember, like a bell or piano. "I made this simple bass pattern. So that's how I started the melody really," he explained. "After I get those root notes down, I like to go up and build the chords. I played it on my MIDI keyboard originally and then I went in FL Studios and then I clipped it in."
  • Tecca said that after he heard the beat, he "wrote the song just line by line, but the whole concept of it was just freestyle, but I just put words to it."
  • The song was a huge mainstream hit, reaching the Top 10 of the Hot 100. Lil Tecca told Billboard he knew there was something different about the track as soon as he'd recorded it, as Internet Money's beat is "bouncy and catchy" and the song itself is "short and sweet and gets straight to the point."
  • Cole Bennett told Genius it was the first video he'd made in a long while without a concept or treatment. Instead, he flew out to the Dominican Republic with Lil Tecca simply intending to catch the vibe there.

    "I just brought my camera and we had fun," Bennett recalled. "I wanted (him) to go shirtless because he told me how he wasn't always the most popular kid or anything like that... He's very content with who he is, but I knew that a lot of people that he can relate to are. Him just being this skinny kid, I was like, 'Take off your shirt. Stand there. Be you.'"
  • Taz Taylor told Beats 1's Zane Lowe he hadn't expected "Ransom" to be Lil Tecca's breakout hit. The producer admitted he thought that another of the We Love You Tecca tracks, "Shots," would be the teenage rapper's crossover single.

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