Sir Michael Rocks speaks to HotNewHipHop on a variety of topics, he talks about his next mixtape, his relationship with Chuck Inglish, signing to Jet Life Recordings and a lot of other random ish.
Sir Michael Rocks, also known as Mikey Rocks, also known as 1/2 of the Cool Kids, is probably the freshest motherfucker ever. It's not even a cocky thing, he'll tell you himself, it's just what it is. But not only is Mikey Rocks always fresh, he's always ahead of the curve, music-wise and fashion-wise. His laidback flow is definitely a good fit for Curren$y's Jet Life Recordings, to which Rocks signed back in October. But you really can't compare Mikey Rocks to other rappers because his flow and sound are so different from what is constantly heard nowadays; staying with the fresh theme, listening to Sir Michael Rocks' rap is like a breath of fresh air.
HNHH chopped it up with Sir Michael Rocks for an in-depth interview into the mind and raps of the young spitter, the topics ranged from his favourite animals, to musical influence and inspiration, to fashion. Read our interview below to learn something about getting fresh.
Sir Michael Rocks: Hey how you doing?
HotNewHipHop.Com: I'm good, what's up?
SMR: Um, nothin' much, runnin' around in the Chi right now, what's going on?
HNHH: Ah okay, so are you living in Chicago right now or are you living L.A.?
SMR: Um, kinda back and forth right now. L.A. for sure, but, you know, I got some stuff I gotta do in Chicago this summer, so kinda just moving back and forth right now.
SMR: Um, it won't be a 2, it won't be a 2, but it'll be something else, a little bit better. I haven't came up with a title yet, still kinda working it out. But the music is like eighty percent done, so all I gotta do now is get a couple more tracks recorded and then I'll be ready to put it out hopefully by July sometime.
HNHH: Okay, cool. Can you list any features or producers, are you working with the names you worked with before or anything different?
SMR: Yeah, I got a couple different producers on there. Got some stuff with Chuck [Inglish] on there, of course, got some stuff with Cardo. I have some stuff from Flosstradamus, um, a couple other local producers and stuff. I got some stuff from Hit-Boy on there...uh..got some tracks from..who else is on there? I have trouble remembering everybody on there. Polyester. I got some...who else...I'm tryna think. I have more, closer to the date, when I figure out which tracks I'm actually using too, cause I got like thirty songs but only about fourteen of them, you know, are going on the actual project, so I'll be able to narrow it down a little bit more when I finish the whole thing. It's looking good though, the sound has grown, it's definitely growing more and more. This one, it's a little bit different sound than the previous mixtapes.
HNHH: Yeah they have a similar feel. Who came up with the concept or like the artwork for Premier Politics, it's so dope.
SMR: That was me.
HNHH: Oh yeah. What's your favourite animal, I heard you were into animals?
SMR: Right now, I wanna get a, like, a monkey right now. Like a small one though, not a chimpanzee, those can fuck you up. I'm thinkin' like, there's a monkey called a tamarin that's cool, a capuchin monkey that's cool, and a marmoset, they kinda like, you know, they like about the size of maybe a small cat or a dog or something you know. I like cool pets man, like some exotic stuff, I wouldn't just get a regular fish and dog, man, I gotta get somethin' crazy man, I wanna get something little bit smarter. You know what I'm saying, like monkey's are a little smarter.
SMR:Yeah, he did, he did. He liked it a lot, he was about to hop on it, but he kinda took real long to do the verse for us, so it was kinda too late, so I was like don't even worry about it I'll just get you on something new for the next project or whatever. He did hear it, he definitely liked it alot. But, I didn't get a chance to get him on the remix or anything like that 'cause it was kinda too late so I was like don't worry about it, let's do something new.
HNHH: So you guys are gunna be working on something else together?
SMR: Yeah, we'll get him on something for this project.
On His Solo Career & The Cool Kids' Future Plans
HNHH: You've obviously been more focused on your solo career than the Cool Kids recently, how has that been for you, like how is the process involved in writing or creating music different? Do you find it easier or more difficult to work solo?
SMR: It's not easier or harder really. In some way it's easier and in some ways it's more difficult. It's easier 'cause I don't have to like, work with anybody, or make the subject matter work for two people, and all of that stuff you know what I'm sayin'. I don't gotta like, keep anybody else in mind, or take certain beats, you know, that two people like, instead I just do everything that I want and I'm 100% in control of it. But it's a little bit more difficult because now I gotta write the whole thing you know, sometimes he'd just write the hook and then I'd just have to write one verse and that's a little easier, you know, but now I gotta write the hook, the verse and the second verse, I don't really do third verses. But it's just like a little more work now on the solo side, but through doing that I got a lot better and I can crank 'em out a lot faster now 'cause I'm more in shape when it comes to writing. It's like excercising the muscles so my muscles for writing are in good shape right now 'cause I write so much.
HNHH: Yeah for sure. What are the future plans for the Cool Kids?
SMR: Um, Chuck's not really tryna rap right now...
HNHH: Yeah I can kinda tell, he's been putting out beat tapes...
SMR: Yeah, and I think that's the thing for him to do right now, you know what I'm sayin', 'cause at the end of the day he's a real good producer, and he don't wanna let that talent to go to waste, and I feel like he could be one of the top producers, if that's what he focused on. And like, the rap game politics, that's not really his thing, he's not really tryna be like a super-celebrity like that. So I think, the production thign is more of what he should do, more of his personality. To be a rapper takes a certain kinda personality, you gotta be able to like, put up with bullshit, and you gotta play the politics game, and you gotta put on your facade, your costume basically, and he's not really about that, and then you gotta mingle with othe rappers, and rappers is really lame and so I feel him on that.
HNHH: Are you saying that the Cool Kids are broken up, like you don't think you guys are gunna do more stuff together?!
SMR: Ummm, he's going to be doing a lot of production for me, like he's making the beats and I rap. 'Cause originally that's how it was supposed to be, like he wasn't even really rapping at first when we first met, he just wanted to make the beats and I was gunna be the rapper, and he was gunna make the beats. So it might go back to that, you know what I'm sayin', 'cause he don't really wanna rap.
On What Influences His Flow & Sound
HNHH: You have a pretty unique flow and sound, who do you think has had the biggest influence on you?
SMR: Umm, I dunno really, I listen to a lot of stuff...
HNHH: What did you listen to growing up?
SMR: I listened to 'Pac and Slick Rick and all that, but I don't think that's my biggest influence, I get a lota influence from talking to people, and like, watching stuff, and observing the world going on around me. It's not really about me getting inspiration from other rappers and stuff, 'cause I don't really sound like nobody, you know, I don't really rap like anybody. So I can't really say there's a certain rapper that, you know, gets me going and makes me wanna rap like how I rap, 'cause I try not to rap like other people. So, I think that I get a lota inspiration from talking game with other people I know, and my friends, and other smart people, and just learning more about myself and the world and how people work and stuff, and I think that's like more where I pull my raps from.
On Singing To Curren$y's Jet Life Recordings
HNHH: And you signed to Curren$y's Jet Life Recordings in October, how have you benefited from that so far?
SMR: Um, you know that was my boy, before any of that, before any music I'd done or work I'd done. He was kinda tryna help me out, and open up some doors to his world. 'Cause I was taking it on the solo tip, and I had good music but my outlets were a little limited because nobody was knowing what was goin' on with me by mself, they would still just refer to me as the Cool Kids. I had to establish myself as a solo artist and get like, fans on my own and build my own base and build my own sound. And, you know, while I was doing that he saw the potential and was like yo, you kinda have something cool goin' on, let me help you out and let me give you a lane to talk to some people, 'cause people you know, they only hear what is given to them, so he kinda was openin' up a lane for me to be able get to the masses.
HNHH: When did you first meet him, and how did you meet him?
SMR: Umm this was back in '08 or I think it '09 actually. I had a couple of his mixtapes after the Wayne stuff, you know what I'm sayin', after the Cash Money stuff, and I was like, yo, he's super nice on his own, without them. I liked how he began to open up into more his own style and more his own thoughts and more of his own point of view, and I was really down with it, and I just hollered at him over MySpace. And I was like yo, let's get up and do somethin' and he came to Chicago and we just kicked it and we just been friends since then, man.
On His Fashion Sense & Thrift-shopping
HNHH: The other thing I wanted to talk to you about was your fashion sense, 'cause I find you have a really sick style, a lot of it is vintage-inspired. Do you go thrift shopping, like do you do that yourself or do you get other people to do it for?
SMR: Nah, nobody else could shop for me ever, I'd be pissed, they don't know what to get. I think like, given the amount of money, you know what I'm sayin', given the amount of money of the best dressers, you know what I'm sayin', whoever people look at as the flyest in the game right now, given the same amount of money I'm killin' 'em all.
HNHH: For sure.
SMR: Nobody is touchin' me at all, like no offense to anybody, but I look at a lot people, like, man, y'all are on pre-school shit when it comes to gettin' fresh, like nobody is really messin' with me on that, man. It's not really like an arrogant thing or cocky or nothin' like that, it's just like I gotta an eye and my eye is so crazy for this and I look at it more than just like clothes, man, I really do my research I know the history, I know what's what, you know what I'm sayin'. I been doin' this since I was little though, I always been the freshest one that you know since I was really young. And I'm not afraid to do what I wanna do, I don't gotta wait for the trend to be accepted for me to do it.
HNHH: What's your favourite pair of shoes?
SMR: Right now?
SMR: Riiiiight now, I am kinda rockin' with Gourmets a lot now. I like the Gourmets. That's the dude that did...they look kinda like Jordans, but they like upscale Jordans. He makin' them outta canvas and they got the gumsole bottoms, they look like you know what you're doin', they kinda like classy Jordans, you know what I'm sayin'. I can't really do the Jordans no more like that, they kinda burned that up, 'cause Kim Kardashian got Jordans now, you know what I'm sayin', I can't really rock with the Jordans no more like that. I'm kinda on some next-level stuff right now, I wanna get everybody, like, fresh again, like everybody be dressin' like a clown and lookin' like a pack of skittles now, so I'ma inspire that wave, when that next wave come around.
To finish up our interview, we did a short “This vs. That.” The name pretty much says it all, it's a simple game, where rappers choose 'This' versus 'That.' Peep Mikey's choices below.
HNHH: Vinyl vs. Digital.
SMR: Vinyl, vinyl is better.
HNHH: Studio vs. Tour
SMR: Studio...um...[he thought about switching it] yeah, I could live with that, I'll go with the studio for that one.
HNHH: The Wire vs. The Sopranos
HNHH: Blunts vs. Papers
SMR: Um, okay this one I always give the same answer, I'ma give you the same answer for this one. I'll smoke papers with my hip friends, you know what I'm sayin', it's on that, but my hood friends not gunna smoke no papers man, they gunna smoke blunts, they not gunna let it go. So when I'm with my hood friends we smoke a blunt, when I'm with my downtown hip friends we'll smoke a paper.
HNHH: High tops vs. Low tops
SMR: High tops, man always go with the high tops.
HNHH: Tattoos vs. Piercings
HNHH: Illmatic vs. Reasonable Doubt
HNHH: Apples vs. Bananas
HNHH: Dogs vs. Cats
SMR: Right now, I been on more of a cat thing. Dogs is cool, I like dogs, but it depends, like, I wouldn't get like a regular house cat it's gotta be an oscillat or marguay or some dangerous little thing.
HNHH: Right, an exotic cat.
SMR: Yeah it's gotta be an exotic cat.