“The Box” is a song by American rapper Roddy Ricch, released as the fourth single on February 28, 2020, from his debut studio album Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial. Prior to the song being released as a single, it became Roddy Ricch’s highest-charting song worldwide, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, the Rolling Stone Top 100, the Canadian Hot 100 and in New Zealand, as well as peaking at number two in both the UK and Ireland and reaching the top five in Australia. The song received praise from critics and became a popular meme, particularly due to Ricch’s “eee err” ad-lib.
The video was released on February 28, 2020, and featured Roddy Ricch racing in a sports car, dunking a basketball, robbing a bank, and more. The song’s official audio video was released on December 6, 2019, while a lyric video premiered on January 9, 2020, accumulating 100 million and 15 million views on YouTube, respectively, as of February 2020.
“The Box” was the last song Ricch made for Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial. It was recorded in the early morning hours in New York after Ricch had been recording all night. The song begins with a “triumphant introduction that amounts to an orchestral swell”, which many listeners attributed as a sample of the intro on “Love Sex Magic” by Ciara. However, the song’s producer, 30 Roc, has insisted that though similar, the “swell” is not a sample of “Love Sex Magic”, explaining: “It is not a sample. It’s really a VST [plug-in] using Omnisphere [production software].”The song’s intro contains a “squeaky sound”, known as the “eee err” sound, which is also heard throughout the rest of the song. According to Atlantic Records A&R Keefa Black, after the song was finished, Ricch said “Wait let me add something”, and came up with the sound himself. The squeaky sound has inspired many memes online.
Vulture’s Paul Thompson said Ricch “raps with verve”, calling the song “strange and eccentric”, while noting Ricch’s vocal versatility in the song, writing, he “moves easily between vocal modes, sounding defiant (‘I won’t ever sell my soooooouuuuuullllll, and I can back that‘), conspiratorial (‘Got a bitch that’s looking like Aaliyah — she a model‘), or playful — like when he cackles unnervingly at the beginning of the second verse”. The song’s title has been noted as being a possible reference to jail (“the box” being a slang term for “jail”).