Rock Da House [Interview]
Toronto, ON – Rock Da House sits patiently in the backroom of Rockwell clothing store, surrounded by the latest mixtapes and DVD’s, tapping his finger on the cash machine, bopping his head lightly to a faint rhythm playing in the background. A few bills are spread out along the table in front of him, which leads to his first statement; “I’m a businessman.”
But even without Rock mentioning his passion for making moves, once you walk through his clothing store, through the backdoor that leads to a food shop, then into his backroom where a countless number of merchandise-from coach handbags to Louis belts-are on display for purchase, you already know what this self made entrepreneur is about.
“Open that door and check what’s back there.” Rock has that mischievous smile on his face, like he’s always up to something, which apparently turns out to be true. “One week it’s done,” he says, as two workers put a barber chair into place for a salon that will be added to the already multi-faceted store.
“That’s what I do. I turn over stones till I find a diamond.”
And Rock Da House has been turning over stones for the past decade, from his early roots doing house parties as a DJ, to appearing 9 times on BET, along with appearances on MTV and Much Music, to selling mixtapes back and forth from Toronto to NY with the likes of DJ Clue and DJ Who Kid, always looking for ways to expand his now infamous brand.
“People made me do this. They made me start Ambush TV. They made me start my own magazine. I didn’t wanna do none of this shit. But when nobody wanted to pay me, I made my own way.”
His brand now has grown into a one stop shop, which includes a video and beat production team, a marketing team, events and promotions, and even a film production team. Rock’s grind is non-stop.
“I try to make a pay-check every day,” he says, still with that mischievous smile on his face. His words almost echo the catchy hook of his first song as rapper, “Anything you want I can get it for yuh.” He slides his music video into the DVD player and brags about the level of production.
“I don’t do this by myself. I got a team with me that’s great and can do great work.” He bops his head a bit more. “I’m not even trying to be a rapper for real. I’m just trying to show all these guys out here that say their doing it how to do it for real.”
He plays out the video before his ambition start kicking in again. “I don’t know how far I’m going to take it though. I don’t have no plans for an album, I don’t know about a second single. But since I released this video, the response I’ve been getting from the industry has been incredible. Artists hitting me up saying they want to do collabos, producers wanna give me beats. I have all the resources, I have everything to make noise, so why not push myself?”
And although Rock does admit he’ll keep treading the waters of hip-hop on a rap level, his goals are to push music to the limits, passed hip-hop.
“I’ve been messing around with fusing hip-hop and soca together. It’s still at the idea phase now, but know Dr. Jay and them, if I can get it to work, I can see it doing big things. Like what’s reggae-tone? Just reggae mixed with Spanish music, and that bust already. I’m just always looking for the ticket, trying to see what’s under that next stone.”
Rock Da House has taken himself to a level very few involved in the world of hip-hop in Toronto and in Canada have ever been. And though he remains humble, his achievements speak for themselves.
“Being humble keeps me hungry for more. I’ll have two grand in my pocket, but [feel] like I’m broke.”
And when asked what will be the final move for Rock Da House, what will finally make him sit down and reflect on all that he has done, Rock replies the only way he knows how.
“Nothing. I’m never satisfied.”
Written by Kern Carter for HipHopCanada.com
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