Maybach Music Group's Rockie Fresh on Why He Chose Rick Ross Over Diddy and the Violence In His Hometown of Chicago
Even though he wasn't born until the decade after Back to the Future came out, Rockie Fresh still rocks a DeLorean in his videos and even sports a pair of Nike Air Mags AKA the Marty McFlys. Fitting considering he acts much more maturely than his 21 years of age would have you believe.
Into The Future We Go...
His rhymes are often of the standard braggadocios fare as many other rappers, but there's wisdom about him in interviews. He often says he's not here to floss or act like a super star. He wants to reach people and bridge different genres and demographics with his unique sound that was cultivated from initially performing with alt rock bands like Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy. He listened to Jay-Z growing up, but he also spent a lot of time in the crib exploring different sounds and artists that didn't fall under the rap umbrella. As a result, he's developed a sound Diddy wanted to recruit for Bad Boy and Rick Ross wanted to bring to Maybach Music. Ultimately he went with Rick Ross. Now, with his third mixtape due out on January 21st, Rockie has arrived in New York to screen some visuals and rock some shows. We sat down with him to discuss his fairly immediate success as well as why he chose Ricky over Diddy and how he feels about the violence in his hometown of Chicago.
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So how'd you start rapping, Rockie?
I was listening to Lupe Fiasco, Kanye, Jay... I loved how they talked about their real lives and made it into good music. But they're much older than me for the most part so I felt my generation needed someone to break it down for us and talk about the things we can relate to. So I started messing around with it and friends told me I was dope so I started taking more seriously.
Was there a moment you remember that made you really take it seriously?Yeah, definitely. My first show sold out. It was in Chicago at Reggie's Rock Club. Capacity is 500 people and it was was packed to capacity. We weren't expecting such a turn out. We ended up having to turn away 250 people. No one my age had a sold out show. When I saw them support so much it made me want to keep doing it and take it even further.
How'd you link with MMG/Rick Ross?
I linked with Ross after I dropped my mixtape Driving 88. The video "Into The Future" didn't get as many views as I thought it would. Spiff TV's Spiff, who is like the main dude behind MMG visuals, he saw the video and played it for Ross. Ross saw it once and wanted to sign me. So he listened to more of my work and when he liked it he flew me out to LA. We met in his hotel and talked about real man type stuff. We related to one another and worked out the business and now I'm MMG.
Most people would have had a Lambo in their video. Why'd you choose a DeLorean?
My whole project is based off of a futuristic vibe. So to me the DeLorean is like a symbol of that, of where I'm going to take my music and my listeners. I've been using the DeLorean since before I got signed. I've had Lambos too, but the DeLorean speaks to my current mindset.