What’s up party people? You’re in for a special treat this Friday, because we’re showcasing a 21-year-old up-and-coming star who’s already been recognized by top talent in the industry.
Rockie Fresh (real name: Donald Pullen) is coming to you from the South Side of Chicago. He got his stage name when he competed in rap battles during the lunch hour of high school. After graduating, he dropped his 2009 mixtape, Rockie’s Modern Life, followed by his second mixtape, The Otherside, in 2010. Fresh started building a following between these two releases, which lead him to his most recent mixtape, 2012’s Driving 88. What’s up with the name? The mixtape name and cover (a picture of a decked-out Delorean) refers to the 1985 movie Back to the Future. In the movie, as he is analyzing the now-famous time-traveling car, character Dr. Emmett Brown exclaims, “If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour…you’re going to see some serious shit.” Hip-hop and science fiction don’t usually mesh, so you know Fresh is something special…but that’s not the only way he is unconventional. Indiehiphop.net gave Driving 88 a 4/5 rating, remarking on how it “breaks down two well-loved musical styles.” They’re referring to Fresh’s unique connection to alternative rock, and how the genre has influenced his hip-hop. In fact, Fresh has contributed to the popular alt-rock group Good Charlotte’s mixtape “The Madden Brothers: Before the Fame.” He even toured with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, who Fresh has cited as one of his biggest musical influences.
Driving 88 caught the attention of some of hip-hop’s heavy hitters, including both Rick Ross and Shawn “Diddy” Combs. This commenced a short bidding war between the two music moguls. Fresh eventually signed to Ross’ Maybach Music Group because, as Fresh puts it in an interview with HipHopDX, “Me and Ross kind of connected on a young dude level. He really trusted my direction as far as what I want to do for my generation.”
Fresh is a young, fresh face on the scene, and it’s only going to become more evident in the coming months. Here’s a taste of what he offers:
Rockie Fresh- “No Fear”: