New York, N.Y. -- Most of us have a certain sense of belonging, a certain sense of pride, confidence, and connection with our hometowns, and the more we come to love it, the more inspiration we draw from it (well, for artists, anyway). Logically, then, the closer an artist feels with the roots that have shaped their life, the more genuine they’ll come across as a true representative for their hood. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who has more Philly pride than up-and-coming emcee
, so needless to say, his music is filled with the love he has for the town that’s more than just his birthplace, but his heart.
Growing up, Rocky found comfort in the streets of Philadelphia to compensate for the many pains he endured in his home life, and it was on these streets that he developed a passion for hip-hop. As he continued to hone his skills and make his name known in the community, he was presented with several opportunities to advance, including a chance to work with the highly-respected production team,
. Since then, he has been privileged to perform alongside some of the most influential rappers in the game, including
. He’s also been involved with several collaborative projects for on his own music having featured some of today’s most impressive talent on his tracks.
exclusive, five-question interview
, Rocky steps into the Booth to talk about how he feels about his current success and his new mixtape,
Every Man for Himself
After listening to songs like “I Do It” and “Stay Gone” its obvious that you have a lot of hometown pride. What does it mean to be a true Philly emcee?
It means a lot to me to be a Philly emcee for the simple fact that the only reason I'm in the game right now is because of Philly emcees. If it wasn't for the Gillies, the Sigels, the Most Wanted's I would never even considered becoming a recording artist. Those dudes inspired me to wanna tell my story and reach out to the people where I'm from and inspire them. I remember being in the crib with my homies memorizing the entire
Best of Beans
mixtape or the entire
Mixtape. Those dudes are the reason i started dreaming and all i can hope for is that one day my music will inspire people to start dreaming as well.
You’ve undergone several hardships throughout your life; what has been most difficult for you, and has hip-hop helped you to rise up and overcome any obstacles?
Not having my mother or father around for pretty much my whole life has played a major part in who i am as a person. Most people wouldn't know this unless you have dealt with this personally, but when you don't have parents in your life it makes it very hard to express yourself and trust people. That could hinder a lot of relationships because you look at everyone as an outsider. I think rap has helped me with that in a sense because through my music i can express myself and get a lot of sh*t off my chest that i really need to, but I may never talk about on a one-on-one basis.
After appearing on over 100 mixtapes from countless DJs nationwide, what should listeners expect from your new Every Man for Himself mixtape?
They should expect me 100 percent. This is the first of three mixtapes that I'm dropping in the next three months, and i want people to get on board now so they know where im going with this and they can follow me all the way through. If you haven't formally been introduced to my music I'll give you an introduction on this mixtape. To keep it simple and plain I make Fly People music. If you're fly then you'll get into it.
Every Man for Himself includes several original songs. Are there any in particular that you are super excited for everyone to hear? If so, why?
I'm just excited about the whole project and my upcoming projects. There are several originals on the tape that are dope, but there are also a lot of instrumentals that i rapped on here that you'll probably enjoy way more than the originals. This is the warm-up tape. Get on board and get ready for these power moves I'm about to make.
Following the release of this mixtape next week, what is next up for you musically?
Well I'm already 20 songs into my next tape that I'll be dropping next month, all originals by the way. I'm real hype about that project. And I'm also in the process of shooting a video album. I've been out L.A. for the past month or two shooting videos and I plan on releasing them after these two mixtapes. So look forward to seeing and hearing me everywhere this summer.
Final thoughts? Shout outs? Confessions?
I wanna thank DJBooth.net for giving me this opportunity to speak to the people. Everybody that supports me. All my fans and future fans, and I just wanna let everyone know to keep a eye in my direction, cause this is gonna be a big summer.