San DiegoNorth America

i-roccI first met I-Rocc in Sacramento when he was very young. He was heavily connected to the Sacramento Rappers making noise at that time. Now in 2015, I-Rocc continues his successful career despite the circumstances of the streets.

As far as the retail side, I just released C-Section Compilation Vol.2. I got the Mistah F.A.B. and I-Rocc, Face Off album. I rereleased my whole catalog last year. I dropped Trill I Am digitally in January. The single Cold World with Nipsey Hussle and Smigg Dirtee produced by The Batkave. Music retail wise. Other than that I’ve been coming up, I got a group album with my boy Aye Hit from out here in San Diego. It’s done I just got to put that out. I got a group album with me and Turf Talk, done. Right now I’m working on a group album with my potna from San Jose, E-Nut from the Josie Boys and one with Spider Loc.

With everything going on in San Diego, it’s probably been hard to do music. I imagine that’s why a lot of the music has been on hold. I see you have made a big transition to digital sales as well.

Mostly at first we had to figure out how it worked. It was unknown territory for me. I was always a physical dude. With music it’s kind of like cutting hair or swimming, you can’t read a book to figure it out. You kind of have to get in the water or pick up a pair of clippers. So I tested it with the catalog. Then Ghazi at Empire (MOD) came at me with Distribution Deals, I put them to use. It’s just like how people lie and say I sold 10,000 physical CD’s out the trunk. So I’m hearing people saying they making all this money digitally, so I had to see for myself. And it’s good! It makes you lazy in a sense, it can make you lazy, ‘cause really you can just upload something and sit back and collect a check. Still the core, I have a big fan base inside the prison system, they can’t buy digital downloads, they have to buy physicals. They’re still the core audience, you still need physical CD’s. Even in the streets. What if you’re not selling them, then give them away, that’s always been my motto, “you know what I’ll give it to you.” It cost me $ .60, that’s like me giving you 2 quarters and 2 nickels. Get the product, give me 2 minutes of your time. That’s how confident I am, that’s always been my motto. The digital is cool. I think everybody needs to learn that. I think in the next 3 or 4 years CD’s won’t even exist.

I disagree, I feel physical CD’s or a physical copy of music will always be available because it’s a collector’s item. Fans always buy, steal or trade for Collector’s items. If people just wanted a Rap album, they would download any ol’ Rap Album, your fans want I-Rocc so they buy I-Rocc.

I just dealt with it head first from the artist/CEO standpoint. Now I’m trying to figure out how to blend it with the physical and make it all work together.

You always stay busy, what else are you working on?

The solo album, The Rockumentary. I know it’s been a long time. I’ve been working real close with Nipsey. I’ve been kind of learning a lot still musically, as far as beat selection. Not to really be inside a box musically but still keeping your core fans happy. Not to go all outrageous, just little curves, try different things. I used to be more on a rush tip, “you know this needs to come out.” What Nipsey taught me was that to appreciate you got to focus more on the art than the culture sometimes. Artistically we’ll go back and determine, I wasn’t ready, or I don’t like that. Even though people receive it well as artists you feel a certain kind of way. What I learned from him was he just won’t put nothing out unless he feels it’s right, the story isn’t told. So I’ve been learning how to focus more on the storytelling on the record, instead of it just being songs on a CD. Being in music this long and being at the age I’m at I’m still learning. I figured out, I grew up, I learned a lot when I came in. I came up under Killa Tay so I Iearned how to do songs in 15 minutes, if you wasn’t done writing you wasn’t on the song. You do the song, 3 months later it’s out on CD. So that’s the formula I was brought up under. That’s been a good part ‘cause my work ethic is incredible. You know when you get in the studio that impresses these top tier, upper echelon musicians. “Wow you do that that quick” cause they don’t expect that much from you.

I-Rocc went more in depth on the things Nipsey Hussle had been sharing with him, including the importance in colors when marketing products, what books to read and polish up on your knowledge and simple advice to grow your music. I-Rocc also mentioned he was very proud of Smigg Dirtee and his   accomplishments as a musician so far. I-Rocc’s label Money Hungry is stronger than ever along with Smigg’s Teamwork imprint.

To work with I-Rocc email him at Biz4irocc@gmail.com

By Mr Ceza Photo Courtesy Mr Ceza