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Roc Roc On
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A good co-sign can oftentimes help an artist reach the next stage of their career. Drake and Nicki Minaj were both greatly aided by Lil’ Wayne’s co-sign. Going back a few years, Lil’ Kim would have been nowhere without Biggie.

Danbury emcee Roc Doogie feels he has the most important co-sign possible, and it’s not from a famous artist, producer, or record label owner; it’s from his mother. Roc proudly promotes that co-sign by wearing a t-shirt that says “my mom thinks I’m awesome.”

As a member of the Ant Farm Affiliates, Connecticut’s largest, and most well respected, crew of hip-hop artists, and the group Phenetiks, Roc has found a lot of other people think he’s awesome, as well.

Roc, who spent the first part of his life in Brooklyn, NY, and earned his moniker after a shaving of his head as a child reminded people of the then popular Charles S. Dutton television character Roc, has been drawn to music since his childhood years, but he notes “I wasn’t really into it until I was able to go to school and speak English. Spanish was my first language.” Once he had a handle on English, which he didn’t start learning until kindergarten, it wasn’t long before he started rhyming.

Roc’s early love of hip-hop manifested itself in two ways, graffiti, for which he used the tag Roc One, and his relationship with his boombox. “I would carry my boombox everywhere,” he remembers, “to tennis practice, to basketball practice, anything that I could do not to be home I took my radio with me, I took my tapes with me, and we freestyled.”

In 1996 everything changed for Roc. His family moved to Waterbury as he was entering the eighth grade. “It was tough to find people that were into the same things I was into,” he says, “I’d say a year, year and a half, later things changed.”

High school was where he met a lot of like-minded individuals, including fellow Phenetiks member Deto-22. Roc remembers a specific day with Deto and Deto’s girlfriend at the time as a turning point for him. “We had all skipped school and went swimming and we were barbecuing and we had a big cypher. He pulled me to the side and said ‘I make beats.’ He gave me a tape, I took the tape home and literally wrote to every beat. Deto and I have been down ever since.”

At around this time Roc was also working with JK1 The Supernova, and in 2003 they came together to rent a studio apartment and turn it into a recording studio. “We just padded the whole thing out. It was $450 a month and we had light and heat included. The only thing was it was in a crackhead building, but we never got broken into. We called that studio Ant Farm.”

Fast forward a bit and an introduction to The Rising Sun Quest led to an introduction to d_Cyphernauts, which led to Roc’s crew hanging out at Enter The Cypher in Danbury, and Roc’s crew and the d_Cyphernauts crew seeing the potential for something big. Roc remembers, “we just had a meeting one day. We were all on the same wavelength as far as the music and the things that we wanted to do and the direction we wanted to take. We just decided to come together and keep the original name but just add the Affiliates afterward so that way it was like paying homage to the original Ant Farm.”

Currently, Roc is working on a solo project. It’s an album he’s been working on for quite a while. “Somebody told me one time that I have my whole life to put an album out,” he explains, “and the moods are always changing, and the vibe is always changing, the music is always changing, and with that is the feeling and the sentiments and everything behind it.” Production for the album is being handled by Deto-22 and Dirt E. Dutch, and Roc says the one thing he can definitely say about it is that his personality is going to shine through. “I’m a happy dude all the time,” he says, “and I reflect that in my music.”

While the full length album is constantly evolving, Roc has an EP, titled Roc, Paper, Scissors, that will be released through Little Ax Media sometime in the next two months.

Although both his EP and full length album are sure to get reviews in a number of print and online outlets, there’s only one review Roc’s concerned about, and as his t-shirt notes, that reviewer already thinks he’s awesome.

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:29 AM  
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