By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Last winter, Rockie released Censored, a project that gave the MC the chance to say everything that he didn't get to say out of the gate: He talked about the bitches, the money and being a single father in a city where damn near everyone is a rapper. Amid the club hits — "Don't Stop" is still banging down the doors of the club — was the Flight Facilities-sampled "Gold Dreams," in which Rockie let loose and turned each line into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Based on the popularity of that song, Rockie brought Midnite and Team Green Productions back into the studio for the second installment of the Censored series, Gold Dreams 2.0. The release features Rockie's best material to date, and the project, which drops on the rapper's 23rd birthday, marks not only a time of growing up, but a celebration of his being at his most creative and dynamic.
Westword: So Gold Dreams is the continuation of the Censored series, right?
Rockie: Yes, Gold Dreams 2.0 is like the movie, the part two from the first mixtape. With "Gold Dreams," it was basically one of everyone's favorites from Censored, so I took that theme and ran with it. Gold Dreams is really what you make it. It's out of the box, and it's really me. It's what I have on my mind right now. I took the time to say, "Fuck what they wanna hear. This is what I'm about to give them."
This is my story. There's not a "Don't Stop" record on Gold Dreams, because I want them to pay attention. When I make records like that, people tend to latch onto that and not listen to anything else. I don't want that image where I'll have to make club records for the rest of my career. I like making those records because they do what they're supposed to do. It keeps you relevant in the clubs, it keeps the girls around, but there's way more than that that I want to discuss.
In what ways has your content grown up?
I'm talking everything from children to learning the difference between the fans and the haters. I discuss friends switching on me, baby-moms tripping on me. There have been a lot of new things to discuss — it's so different and out there. The intro features J. Carey, and it's called "Come Alive." I'm waking you up. There are a lot of intricate details included on the album that I want the people to really listen out for. This song called "Wanna," an alarm clock goes off and the bass drops, and I just take off. If you're really paying attention, you'll notice it's the alarm from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's song "First of the Month."
You seem to kill it every time with Midnite. Is he handling a lot of the production?
Oh, man, he's handling it! He's got about 80 percent of the album, Team Green got about 20 percent. The chemistry is crazy because they're pushing me right now. They're not giving me club beats; they're giving me stuff that is really pushing my limit and testing my creativity as an artist right now, not just as a rapper. I didn't want anything at all to sound like the first album.