Chicago rap gets another boost next month via Chicago-based Rockie Fresh, who drops his highly anticipated 'Electric Highway' album (on Maybach Music Group) on January 21. We recently spoke to the 21-year-old rapper about how he fits in with the rest of the MMG roster and working with pop-punk group Fall Out Boy.
You recently signed with Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group. Your style seems much different from the other artists on the roster. How do you see yourself fitting in over there?
I'm the only member from Chicago. I'm also the youngest member of Maybach Music. It's a situation where I live a different life than everybody else on the team. I see things from a different perspective, with my being younger than them. So, just off of that, my content is going to be different. Plus, I have a lot of alternative rock and indie-pop inspirations. I like to add that into my music with an urban sound. With that, the music itself is going to sound different as well.
You also have an affiliation with pop punk band Fall Out Boy. Why do you think they liked you and how did being with them end up being a good fit for you?
I like all types of music and when I started going to Homewood-Flossmor High School in the Chicago area, I got introduced to a lot of alternative rock and things like that. Fall Out Boy was a band that I actually took an appreciation for.
When I started making my own music, I wanted to add their type of element into what I was doing with the urban rap. So, I just started adding those type of elements to my songs.
Patrick Stump, the lead singer of Fall Out Boy, he's a big fan of hip-hop music and when he saw that I was from Chicago on one of the blogs that he goes on, he downloaded my mixtapes and he really liked them.
He hit me up on Twitter. When I was out in LA, he invited me to his house. We just worked on records and the chemistry was great. We became good friends. We toured together. It was just a real organic thing based off of the appreciation of the music.
You say you wanted to incorporate other styles of music into your own work. What made you want to do that and comfortable with doing that?
It's about being original. I noticed that every rapper that I like has something original about them and their production. For me, that was just something I really liked and as an artist I felt that if I was capable of doing something that I really liked, it would be smart for me to do it. I kinda knew it was going to set me apart, too, so that's why I wanted to take that route.