Shortly after enrolling into college, Rockie Fresh independently launched his own career. Now, two mixtapes deep with all ears tuned to him, he single highhandedly raised the bar. Receiving critical recognition and presented by 2DopeBoyz and MTV Top DJ’s illWill & Rockstar, The Otherside has over 40,000 downloads to date and still counting.
Becoming quite the jet setter and live performer, Rockie Fresh has joined the Hip Hop war to stardom with the appropriate arsenal. Starting to appeal to the masses of younger and older hip hop fans, DXnext artist speaks on his mixtape The Otherside, new journey to stardom, new project, and summer plans.
Pressure From Chicago: "I feel pressure, but at the same time also motivation. Lupe [Fiasco] is more has a more political standpoint in Hip Hop. So for me it just showed me that people in Chicago are more innovative and that alone gave motivation to find and make my own thing. What influences my music are the people around me. It's important to talk about the stuff that you know so I use the people around me as my inspiration. I want people to listen to my music and feel that they can always do something they always dreamed of doing or to use it as a way to get out of their day to day."
Real Hip Hop Age: "I'm 20...it's no big deal; mostly everyone from my band to my producers are older than 21, but people that don't know me assume that I am older. It's cool though. Me being around older people my whole life and band being older than me keeps me more mature than I guess the average 20 year old. It's cool. I just want people to be able to listen to my music and enjoy it no matter my age."
College Dropout Version 2.0: "I'm not in school right now. It's really been a blessing as far as my situation is concerned. Growing up I never not planned on not going to college. However, I did want to pursue an education and become a lawyer. I guess God sent me in a different direction and everything just fell in line. My parents are real big educators and both college graduates but despite that they really support me in not going to school and focusing on my music. I went to Columbia in Chicago and then to a junior college after. When I was there I did well in school, but it just wasn't for me. I wasn't feeling it. I'm glad I got outta there."
The Otherside: "For me when I started rapping, my thing is inspiration provided by Jay-Z, Kanye West, and John Mayer and people like that. These are people that are claimed to be some of the best artists of my generation, so for me, really get to the other side of my craft. That's why I called it The Otherside. As it started coming together, I found myself in new experiences. I always had an appreciation for real music and so with that my focus is more so not only on lyrics though that's the biggest thing to me, but making full records. So with The Otherside, I'm not just freestyling, but I'm concentrating on what I am saying and really grabbing your attention. That's how I would describe my music its definitely lyrically focused. There's a message in every record for someone. They are really about my life and what I've gone through."
May The Force Be With You: "I started getting the support of other artists, like Naledge, Patrick Stump – he’s the lead singer of Fallout Boy, and Phil Ade. Naledge is from Chicago as well, and so I saw him at different events supporting. He always showed love and is a cordial dude. He was even at my first release party in 2009, which was the first show I'd ever done. At some point that night he ended up rapping "Driving Down the Block" and so just off the strength of that I gained more respect for him, because he gets paid to perform at events and he performed at my show without really knowing me. So from then on he and I built a good friendship from that point on. On The Otherside, he is featured on a song called "Living," and we also released the video for it."
Visual Fanfare: "I'm real big on movies. Movies inspire a lot of my records. I like a lot of crime movies or movies with a strong story. So when I make my records, I take in consideration what the video would be like immediately after I record. I also have a team that helps me to express my ideas. They really help me get out my ideas. I really like thinking outside of the box and getting really creative and over the top. My videos should really showcase my creativity and the work my team puts in to convey the message."
Summer, Summer, Summer Time: "I'm gonna spend my summer in L.A. working on my next project. I'm working with a bit of everyone. There are more credible and established producers on this project and other features that I can't get into quite yet. It's definitely going to be a huge improvement from The Otherside. Now for the summer, I am going to definitely re-release The Otherside on June 27th with like seven or eight new records. As far as this next project is concerned though, the records are going to be all original so it can be considered an album, but we'll see. I don't have a title to it right now, but I'm working on all of that. I already have four records for it. "
On Relationships: "I'm really married to my career. I am really focused on trying to make it. My parents really instilled in me not to be responsible for other people, until I could take care of myself. That's gonna be my approach. Of course the girls are gonna be around. I'm still a young man and everything that I do I want to make sure that I have fun, but at the same time I’m really focused on making it in the music industry. So anything that deters me from that, you know what I'm saying, I don't want to be around it."
Listen Up: "The audience that I am talking to is the audience that is growing with me. I have a lot to really offer the young people and can really rhyme for them and put them in my music. I'm really talking to my age group. I feel like my generation is going through so many issues and they don’t have an understanding on some of the things that they're going through. I want to speak on behalf of them to the older crowds. It's safe to say that I am the future of Hip Hop for my generation. I really want to take my music to other levels. I would love to collaborate with Jay-Z. The reason why because he is considered the best rapper alive and of our time. As a competitive lyricist, I want to see how I compare on the record with him."