In hip-hop, we’ve all grown accustomed to the mafia braggadocio talk served from rap’s Frank Lucas, Rick Ross. We’re all familiar with his street jargon and godfather mantra all too well. What we’ve also grown accustomed to – and ultimately respect – is Ross’ innate ability to find talented gems. The rap Pat Riley built his team from the bottom up by reeling in a bevy of free agents to accommodate his Maybach Music sound. From adding marquee free agents such as Wale, Meek Mill, Stalley and Maybach O to bolster his roster, he essentially filled in every hole needed to conquer the rap game. Yet, he was missing an integral piece: a sound to serve both sides of the quarter. A sound ultimately that can grab not only the black demographic but also every other demographic along the way. Enter Rockie Fresh, a 21-year-old rapper who has carved himself a nice niche thus far in his young career.
After stringing together several scintillating mixtapes such as The Otherside and Driving 88, Rockie became the talk of rap for his ability to create songs and implement his mellow rock sound to his laid-back delivery. Upon hearing this, Ross decided to add the youngster to Maybach in July of 2012. While many pondered on the notion of the deal, Rockie crushed all the skepticism with his latest release (Electric Highway) this past week. With over 100,000 downloads in just the first day, safe to say that Rockie Fresh and Rick Ross may be onto something, don’t you think?
Dime was able to sit down with Rockie and talk about his new mixtape Electric Highway, working with Rick Ross and Curren$y, Chicago’s sound, and his NBA comparison in this interview.
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Dime: What’s the overall response you’ve been getting for your new mixtape, Electric Highway?
Rockie Fresh: So far it’s been good man. You know what I’m saying? I’ve really just been paying attention to my Twitter and what my fans are saying or whatever. They definitely were pleased with it. It’s going good so far. It’s the most downloads I’ve ever did on any project. It already got 100,000 the first day. So you know I’m proud of it.
Dime: Congrats on that, Rock. You have a few joints on there that I liked. What were some of your personal favorite records on the mixtape and why?
RF: I don’t know. I really like all of them equally because they all went through the same process. You know what I’m saying? None of the songs were really something that I thought was harder to do compared to the next one. They all gave me different vibes. Each record had a different part of me; a different subject matter. When I listen to it, I kind of learned about myself in a way. So it’s super dope. I like all of them to be honest.
Dime: What was your mindset for making this mixtape? I personally felt like it was a combination of Rockie from The Otherside mixed with your last project, Driving 88.
RF: Nah definitely. I felt like one thing about The Otherside that made it so dope was the amount of time that we put into it to make it feel how we felt. You know what I’m saying? And then like, that was one thing that was tough for me about Driving 88. That was my first time really recording while touring. Also, I had a lot of stuff going on outside of the music that made me have to rest from doing a lot of the things with that tape. But what saved it was the maturity and the new love that I really got for the music with me just getting closer to it and having it where I wanted it to be. So with Electric Highway, I was able to take that maturity from Driving 88 and kind of combine it with more time on the music. I was able to make it feel like The Otherside felt because it had a bunch of time that went into the project.
Dime: You had some notable names on the mixtape with Rick Ross, Nipsey Hussle, and also Curren$y. Talk about how the collaboration with you and Curren$y aka Spitta came about?
RF: Ahhh man, I was just out in New Orleans and I’ve always been a big fan of Curren$y. Me and him signed to the same label and I also heard that he had a respect for my music. So I was out in New Orleans and we were sitting at his car shop.
Then we went out to the car and I played him the record (“Roll Up”). He was like, “Ahhh man. I wanna get on this.” So yeah, we took it from there. Knocked it out and we’re going to be working on the video real soon too. That’s my homie, I was super happy to work with him.
Dime: Nice. Another joint that I liked on the tape was the third track “Thick Bitch.” I wanted to ask if there was any girl in particular in the industry that you may have your eye on or dedicated that song to?
RF: Uhhh, nah, ain’t nobody in particular. There’s so many beautiful ladies in the industry. I don’t really kill my shot by naming them. You know what I’m saying? (Laughs)