It’s not that Rockie Fresh is scared or anything. He’s just not stupid.
The 21-year-old rapper laughs when he says it, but you will never catch him playing a game of pickup football with his Maybach Music Group boss, rapper Rick Ross.
Emphasis on never. Have you seen the size of the two of them side by side? It would never work.
Musically, Rockie Fresh is bringing a different funk to hip-hop. He's signed to MMG, one of hip-hop's trendsetting labels, but his interpretation of the music has hints of alternative rock music a la Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte. After uber-success on the mixtape circuit, he'll finally release his first studio album, aptly titled, "Debut Studio Album," later this year.
Aside from rocking the mic, of course, Rockie is rooting for most Chicago teams (as a South Sider, it’s treason to root for the Chicago Cubs, but he’ll have a beer in the stadium) and hoping/wishing/praying for a Bulls comeback.
Everyone is waiting for Derrick Rose to get back in the game. What’s the vibe like in Chicago now?
It’s a good time for us. But at the same time, we all just want to make sure he’s actually ready to come back. Nobody wants him to come back too soon. Because he’s actually from Chicago, people have a different kind of respect for him than we’ve had for any other player that’s played for us. So everybody just wants to make sure that he’s healthy more than anything. ... We don’t want him to get injured again and things be worse. It’s a crazy time for the city.
I know you want another championship from your home team. How far off from reality do you think that is?
I don’t think it’s too far. We could get blessed with a good draft pick or something next year and maybe the year after that. But I do feel like Derrick Rose needs a little bit of help -- that’s a lot of responsibility on him. He needs a little bit more release in the backcourt. Hopefully we come up and get us a nice little guard.
Who’s your team when you play "NBA 2K"?
Russell Westbrook is definitely one of my favorite point guards, and he’s been putting up some real solid numbers, too. When I got introduced to "2K," everyone that I was playing against was using the Bulls, and so I had to find a different team. I started running with OKC back when Kevin Durant and Westbrook first came to the team, and that just stuck with me ever since. That’s my favorite team in the game; that’s also translated to real life, too. Outside of the Bulls, they’re the people that I want to see win the most.
Do you play basketball?
Yeah. I was actually down in Miami this weekend and I ended up playing a lot. I was trying to get Rick Ross out on the court, too, but he wasn’t trying to see me. Maybe that will be a game that we record soon.
What would your ideal warm-up music be?
I’m warming up to Jay-Z. "The Dynasty" intro is always a good song to start off with when you’re getting ready to play sports. Also Lil Wayne’s "Dedication 2." That mixtape is actually really nice to get it turned up to for sports. He actually has a song on there called “SportsCenter.” It’s one of his best freestyles ever, so I always used to listen to that. It’s got basketball sounds in it. It’s a crazy record.
Speaking of Hova, would you ever want to pull a Jay-Z and do some type of business in the world of sports?
Definitely. Before rap I always had a longing for sports. I’m not the biggest dude, so I got in my mind early that I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete. And once I really capture this rap thing like I want to, then I definitely could see myself moving into that realm at some point.
You played baseball as a kid; how do you use that discipline in hip-hop?
I learned how to be a team player. And I learned how to play my role and work with other people. Ross played football when he was in college for a little bit, and that team mindset is relatable all across the board.
So Rick Ross won’t play you in basketball, but would you play him in football?
Not at all! I definitely love playing football. ... I mean, I probably could outrun him, but if he catch me, I don’t know if that would be a good thing for my career!