|Birth name||Jonathan McCollum|
|Also known as||Rittz the Rapper|
|Born||August 16, 1980|
|Origin||Gwinnett County, Georgia|
|Labels||Strange Music (former), Cli-n-tel Ent. (current)|
|Associated acts||Tech N9ne, Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T., Krizz Kaliko, Mike Posner|
Jonathan McCollum (born August 16, 1980), better known by his stage name Rittz, is an American rapper. He was previously signed to Tech N9ne's Strange Music label. His debut album The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant was released on April 30, 2013.
1980–2009: Early life and career
Jonathan McCollum was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, on August 16, 1980, and moved with his family to the suburbs of Gwinnett County, Georgia, when he was eight years old. His parents were intensely interested in rock and roll, ensuring that he and his siblings were exposed to musical instruments and recording studios from a young age.
Around 2003, after numerous disappointments, Rittz's musical career stalled. “I won Battlegrounds on Hot 107.9, got retired and shit and felt like I was ‘bout to make it. But, so many industry up and downs, with managers, contracts…” He was broke, feeling dejected, living with friends, and ready to resign from the rap game. However, in 2009 he was contacted by the rapper Yelawolf, and this led to financial support. “I had some money behind me.” Rittz says, “Everything was going good and then everything fell out, at the same time, I’m getting older, thinking it’s time to hang it up. This isn’t gonna happen and that’s when Yelawolf put me on ‘Box Chevy.’” Rittz stated in a 2013 interview that he had supported himself by working various "nine to five" jobs, such as in the restaurant industry. Rittz also went on to say that he would commonly tell people he was a rapper, even when he was not active. For twenty years, he wrote rhymes, and he spent ten years pursuing a career.
2010–13: White Jesus and The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant
Rittz's career breakthrough occurred with the release of Yelawolf's 2010 EP track "Box Chevy". Since then, he has frequently collaborated with Yelawolf, and the pair toured together on the 2012 Slumerican Tour. Rittz is also widely known for his 2011 mixtape White Jesus. In 2012 he took his favorite songs from White Jesus and added a few new songs and re-released it as White Jesus: Revival.
Rittz signed to Tech N9ne's Strange Music in 2012. Rittz and Tech N9ne immediately began working together, releasing the popular collaboration remix of Rittz's "Bloody Murdah" shortly after Rittz joined the label. He released his solo debut, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant on April 30, 2013. On October 15, 2013, Rittz appeared with fellow rappers Wax, Rapsody, Emis Killa and Jon Connor in the first cypher at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.
2014–present: Next to Nothing, Top of the Line and Last Call
In April 2014, Rittz announced via Facebook that he would release his next album Next To Nothing on September 9, 2014. In an August 2015 interview with NEHipHop, Rittz announced that he would be releasing an album in May 2016, titled Top of the Line. In July 2017, Rittz announced that his next album would be titled Last Call and would be released on September 29, 2017.
Following the release of Last Call, Rittz had fulfilled his contractual obligations to Strange Music and decided not to renew his contract, amicably parting ways with the label. He has subsequently found his own label, Cli-N-Tel Entertainment.
- The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant (2013)
- Next to Nothing (2014)
- Top of the Line (2016)
- Last Call (2017)
- "iTunes / Trunk Muzik 0-60". Apple Inc. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
- "Twitter / Therealrittz: Thanks For The Birthday Wishes". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Nguyen, Michael (2013-04-30). "Rittz Affirms "Fuck Swag" Stance; Says He Doesn't Believe In Selling Out | Rappers Talk Hip Hop Beef & Old School Hip Hop". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- Company, The (2012-11-29). "Rittz Ponders Why He Isn't Mentioned Amongst Other White Rappers, Explains "Two Atlantas". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- "iTunes - Music - Trunk Muzik 0-60 by Yelawolf". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- Horowitz, Steven J. (2012-06-26). "Yelawolf Announces "Slumerican" Tour Dates". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Rittz - White Jesus Hosted by DJ Burn One // Free Mixtape @". Datpiff.com. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Rittz – White Jesus: Revival (Mixtape)". 2dopeboyz. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "XXcLusive: Tech N9ne's Strange Music Signs Rittz [VIDEO] - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Rittz f. Tech N9ne - "Bloody Murdah [Remix]"". HipHopDX. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "iTunes - Music - The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant (Deluxe Edition) by Rittz". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "2013 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher: Wax, Rapsody, Emis Killa, Rittz & Jon Connor". RapRadar. 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "RITTZ - S/O to 3 LITTLE DIGS!!! THE TITLE AND RELEASE DATE..." Facebook. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- "WATCH: Rittz Talks Next Album, Possible Collab Project With Yelawolf [Video". Strange Music, Inc. 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- " "My New Album "LAST CALL" Drops 9/29". Twitter. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- " "Rittz on His Break With Strange Music and His New Label, Cli-N-Tel". Westword. 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-05.