As one of the pioneers of the underground Detroit rap scene, The R.O.C. has survived several different eras of hip hop and much like Prozak, earned his stripes in the gritty do-it-yourself nature of the Midwest.
With fans buzzing over his recent guest appearance, we decided to sit down with The R.O.C. for an exclusive interview to discuss his work with Prozak and what fans can look forward to in the near future.
It’s been a while since fans heard from you. What’s been going on?
I’ve just been kind of laying low and doing music a little bit here and there. I’ve been getting life together, so I’ve really been laying low from music. You’ll probably see more of me in 2013.
What is it like to come back from that hiatus and have fans clamoring for you the way they have been?
That’s the part that is insane. I don’t understand (laughs). Especially today, in this fast paced music business – you have to constantly do something to stay relevant. For me to not do anything in so many years and still have that kind of love – like you said, clamoring and wanting more. It’s like, “Wow!” That’s how I describe it.
You and Prozak just did this track, “Knuckle Up”, and it’s always great to hear the two of you together. How did this come about?
We’ve been talking for a while about doing something together. We wanted it to be right. It did take a little bit for us to get to that point where, okay, the time is right. This is what we’re going to do. He was at the studio one day, we got together and vibed, like I said the time was just right. Both of our mentals were just right and that’s what came out – “Knuckle Up”. It was just rugged, you know, rough. It was awesome the way it came together. It was very cool.
What do you think it is about Prozak that appeals to so many people?
When you say “Prozak” to me, the first thing that comes to mind is: work. That’s why I think he fits so well with Strange Music because when you hear Tech, you think work. You hear Krizz, there’s a worker. Travis, a worker. You think of Strange Music as a whole, you think work – work ethic. Just work, work, work. That’s Prozak. People see how talented and how much work he puts in. I think that’s what attracts people to him. They see how much he grinds and how much he can take – basically nothing and turn it into something magical.
You have one of my favorite flows ever in hip hop. It’s so unique and not what people expect. How did you develop that?
I guess, for me, it was always music first. I like production before I like rap. That’s how I started, was with production. From that standpoint of being a producer, it’s like putting lyrics together is putting music together. When I hear music – it’s like the music talks to you and tells you what to do already. So it’s not hard to write anything. It talks to you and guides you. I know people hear it differently and do it differently, but for me, it talks to me. It’s not difficult for me, it’s basically sitting there telling you, “This is what I want you to do. This is what I want you to say. This is how I want you to string these words together and rhyme.” It literally tells me what to do. I go with it, wherever it goes. It’s uninhibited – you just go.
Anything for fans who may be seeing this interview?
Definitely expect more from me in 2013. There’s a lot of cool things going on and my album Digital Voodoo will be out in September 2013. Thanks everybody for still showing love for R.O.C.
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