Rockie Fresh Reveals Bidding War Prior To Signing With Rick Ross & Maybach Music, Talks New Chicago Movement

Exclusive: Maybach Music's latest addition confirms that Diddy was also extending offers earlier this year. He speaks of Chief Keef, King Louie and him all inking major label deals in 2012.

The latest addition to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group label is 21-year old Chicago rapper Rockie Fresh. Fresh, a 2011 DXnext alum, released a handful of mixtapes that caught the ear of music execs hoping to cash in on the versatile emcee’s buzz.

“I dropped a music video for a song that was the intro to my mixtape Driving 88,” Fresh explained. “It’s a song called 'Into The Future.' I put a lot of work into the video but it didn’t get the kind of views that I wanted it to. It caught the eyes of a guy who is Ross’ right hand man and head A&R. He played Ross the video and Ross really liked what he saw. I guess he stayed up all night listening to my project and going through all my material.”

“[Rick Ross] let me know that he wanted to fly me out to L.A.,” Rockie Fresh added. “When I was out there I also took a meeting with Diddy. I was in kind of in between a rock and a hard place because both of those guys are huge moguls and super cool, too. I liked how both of them were coming. They wanted to take my situation to the next level.”

In the end Rockie thought Maybach Music was a better fit than Bad Boy Records. “Me and Ross kind of connected on a young dude level,” said Rockie Fresh. “He really trusted my direction as far as what I want to do for my generation. He wanted to give it a platform more so than change the music that I’m making and the content that I talk about and that was something that I really respected. We took it from there and made the deal happen and I feel like it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.”

“It was just one of those things,” Fresh added. “Puff was on top of Forbes [Hip Hop Cash Kings list] this year so he’s definitely good with or without me. With Ross he wanted to be on that level at some point in his career. With me being able to be a part of that early and him viewing me as a piece that’s going to get him to the same platform of Diddy or Birdman is something that I respected. Me and him were able to kick it a lot. His respect for me as a person was more than just business. He understood the type of dude that I am which allowed him to give me the freedom to make the music that I want to make. That was the biggest thing.”

The ink isn’t dry on the young Chicagoan’s contract with MMG but he knows he’ll fit right in with the Bawse.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of good comments about the signing,” Fresh said. “Some people are expecting it to change what I do. Some people are expecting it to have a negative effect on me. I enjoy being an underdog. I like having a story and being able to throw things off a little bit. The friendship I’m able to have with Ross is real natural. If you would have asked me this a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. We relate real well. The wisdom that he gives me about me making my music is so much more on point with life than it is with the art itself. That just makes me a better artist. The way that he works, the contact that he keeps with me, and the storyline of it and how interesting it is will make for a real crazy year. It’s dope and I’m looking forward to having some fun with it.”

Fresh even anticipates seamlessly blending in with this label mates Wale, Stalley, and Meek Mill.

“I’ve been on tour opening up for Meek [Mill],” Fresh said. “I’ve been able to gain a ton of new fans; more fans than I’ve ever gained before from any of my tour experiences. That was eye opening for me just to see that his fans can receive the type of music that I make. It made me understand that me fitting in was going to be natural. At the same time it wasn’t my focus. It was about me getting what I do on a higher level. That’s why Ross did the deal with me so we can amplify my style versus what you would typically expect from a new Maybach signee. I’m going to blend well but at the same time it’s not going to be something that’s forced. I’m not trying to make records to fall in line with what they do. People respect them as their own entity and people will respect me as my own entity as well once they start to listen.”

Rockie Fresh is already his own entity having opened up on national tours off the strength of self-produced mixtapes. Fresh joins other Chicago artists like Chief Keef and King Louie who’ve recently made the leap from mixtapes to majors.

“I feel like it’s super dope, man,” Fresh said of the success of Chicago’s next generation of Rap artists. “We all for the last few years have been at a point where we wanted this to happen. I had a lot of deals on the table before I dropped Driving 88 but due to a situation I was in with some A&R’s I wasn’t able to sign to a major for a year. It slowed me up a lot. At that time a lot of Chicago artists were bubbling who needed that one look to show the world what they’re made of.”

“I guess God saw fit for us to all get it around the same time,” Rockie wondered. “It kind of looks like a bunch of random kids just came out of nowhere from Chicago but we’ve all been doing our thing for the longest. I sold out a bunch of shows even before putting out Driving 88, same thing with guys like King Louie and Chief Keef. We’ve all been working but we come from a place where it’s hard to get cosigns. For the world to open up to what we do is dope. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of this in a major sense because now we have to deliver classic albums to show why we’ve got this attention. I know that’s a goal of mine is to give people something classic now that I’ve got this platform.”

Rockie is so excited about his new platform that he’s already begun recording his debut album and compiling a wish list of producers and features for the project.

“I have two records that I want to be on my album,” Fresh told HipHopDX. “I don’t have a title for it yet. It’s something that I’ll be focusing on slowly. It’s this chick named Kimbra who is signed to Warner Bros. [Records] who has an amazing voice. I’m trying to get shorty’s attention. I definitely want to get her on my album.”

“I definitely want to work with Timbaland, Pharrell, Kanye [West] and my own producers The Cartoonz,” Rockie added. “I want to use some classic producers that have been known for pushing the limits musically and still allowing it to be real hip hop. Once I finish my tour I’m going to get in the studio and figure out who I want to work with on a production level.”

The tour that Rockie Fresh is embarking on is a 30-city headlining tour across America called the Electric Highway Tour. The tour is in support of Fresh’s upcoming mixtape of the same name.

“This is my first headlining tour,” Rockie Fresh explained. “I wanted to go all in on it so I spent a lot of my own money to make sure that the set looks cool and gives people a futuristic experience. With the MMG situation it’s going to be a lot of special guest coming out during this tour. I’m going to be previewing a lot of songs from Electric Highway. The project doesn’t have a release date but I’ll be announcing it while I’m on tour. It’s going to be a lot of new music, a real dope set, the lighting and backdrop is going to be real futuristic. I’m excited about it, man.”

Fresh hopes to expand his audience and the musical palate of his current fans with the Electric Highway mixtape.

“The mixtape will drop by the end of October,” Rockie Fresh told HipHopDX. “It’s a little bit more reflective than Driving 88 due to the fact that I have a deal now and there’s a lot of people that want to know how that came about in a more in depth way. Due to the fact that I have a lot more resources it’s a lot more musical than my other projects. It’s the same type of feel. It’s progressive and has alternative rock influences and pop influences combined with urban music. It’s a different experience than Driving 88. The content is a lot more mature because I’ve actually reached a goal of mine as far as making this deal happen and I want to use it to motivate other young people to go out and get their dreams too. It’s a motivational project but at the same time its fun records on there. It’s really about the story more than ever now because a chapter in the book has now completed itself so I’m kind of backtracking and showing people how it all went down.”

Fresh elaborated on what the title Electric Highway means, “The title is really about progression,” said Fresh. “An electric highway is a futuristic thing that’s coming about in our society. Electric cars can be on the expressway and charge up on the side of the road without having to go to a gas station. My last project was Driving 88 so I wanted to show people that I was still moving. It’s a more futuristic type of thing. I took a small break to charge up and add some new elements to it but we’re still moving forward.”

Rockie won’t change his style just because he’s signed to Maybach Music. He hopes to maintain his artistic integrity while expanding the boundaries of his sound. Fresh’s ultimate goal is to have a number one album and he believes that Rick Ross will help him reach the top of the charts.

“I always want to keep my content as real as possible,” Rockie Fresh said. “I got a real regular background that I come from and with me staying true to that I feel like the content is going to be relatable. I feel like one of my things is being able to hear different genres of music and blend it with Rap. On Driving 88 we sampled from Skrillex and groups that people from my generation haven’t heard of. I want to utilize my resources to hit those people directly and create a soundtrack from scratch of the movie that I’m trying to rap about, which is my life. I feel like Ross knows how important it is for me to have a number one album. We’re going to do what we need to do to make that happen. It’s going to be a work in progress but I feel like as long as I’m honest and give the people something they’ve never heard before the sky is the limit.”

“When I first signed with MMG I felt a lot of pressure because I really wasn’t sure how a lot of my fans would take the signing, even though I knew it was something I wasn’t going to regret,” Fresh explained. “It’s been a lot better than I expected. Now it’s really about the work. I view this rap as a sport and I really want to be on top of it. It’s kind of like the situation with [Derrick] Rose being drafted to the [Chicago] Bulls. People knew he was dope but it took him a while to get that MVP award, but when he got it it was something that was appreciated and earned. I want people to look at my situation and know that it’s something that I earned and I‘m here for a reason.”

18 Comments

  • Respect

    Just for the fact little homie knows about kimbra... damn respect #blendgenres

  • chakkarabani

    the western classical make it worth full... "Check out Obama's New Anthem, Here [Link]," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgHnqcq4eS0

  • Deborah

    Article so dull I didn't bother to read the rest. Maybach Music is a load of rubbish, and the so called rappers there would be better off in MacDonalds. Including the so called boss, Rick Ross- who struggles to go gold every time. Now thats called being in charge of the game. he's going to screw this Fresh guy. Bad Boy wouldn't have done him any good either.

    • Brandon

      Why do people keep measuring artist by record sales. Jill Scott puts out gold selling albums, that don't make her less of an artist! Some of y'all are real ignorant.

  • rt

    HE IS FROM THE SUBURBS, Not Chicago

  • Anonymous

    There are soo few real rappers/lyricists these days..im sorry this dude is an average ass rapper with a great inhouse production team...but people would call this hating on his money, clothes and cars...only people(on a mainstream level) saying anything these days are Nas,Lupe,Common,Mos,Stalley and a few more..but the key to the industry right now is the beats..

  • EnjoyThatShelf

    Enjoy that shelf, kiddo. You're signed to Ross but you aint got distribution with ANYONE. Like the rest of MMG, you will continue to put out wack mixtapes and never an album. Bidding war? You call a meeting with Puff because he was in town a bidding war? LOL your wack ass didnt draw ANY attention until fat ass Spiff saw ur lil YouTube video. 2 people in this world believe in you. THAT IS IT. Now, go soak up all that sun on the shelf. There aint no Chicago movement because NONE of ya'll will EVER drop an album. PERIOD.

  • Donnie

    I'm glad some of these rappers out here saying good things about Chief Keef. Its easy for these crappy rappers to get publicity dissing better talent..

  • Nothnig

    Honestly I think this guy sucks. Not because he signed with MMG because besides Gunplay in my opinion they have a pretty good team, I peeped his latest Interviews & performances the dude just seems so unenthusiastic and dead even during his stage show everybody was more hype then him including his boys on stage and his track that was playing in the background was even "performing" better than he was on stage. Not hating just calling what I see, either he's dead inside and not happy or just too high to care about life and the good opportunities he has coming his direction.

  • BPSN

    Gibbs>>>>>>>>>>>>any nigga comin out of the midwest right now. Bein from Chicago, I've never heard of Rockie Fresh as far as rap buzz or street cred goes, but I'll check him out and see for myself. I wonder how he'll do in MMG though, he might end up gettin lost in all the other artists signin like most of YM artists

  • nsparks923

    Never heard of this dude, but he made a good decision not to fuck with Diddy. No one comes out good working with him.

  • Brandon

    To go along with this dudes comment, Rockie Fresh does not suck! Rockie put out a nice mixtape with Driving 88. I'm sure he'll blend well with Meek and Stalley..definitely Ross.

    • well...

      obviously you and that faggot anonymous dude, directly above you, haven't heard the Driving 88 mixtape. You dipshits are just saying that he sucks because he signed with MMG. I wouldn't be surprised if you poop pushers said Stalley sucked also without knowing anything about his him or his music, only knowing that he signed to MMG also. Dudes like you should spend more time thinking about ways to kill yourself instead of listening to music.

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