The beautiful ocean shore, various shades of brown skin and the Earth’s colors never looked so gorgeous. The summer breeze, the smell of the island’s spices and the taste of fresh fruits melted on the tongues of many. Vibrant carnivals, Calypso music and Caribbean rhythms make St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, the ideal place to vacation and retreat, after months and months of hard work and stale routines.
The skies are blue and the clouds are white, over the locals and the sounds of Reggae with Hip Hop nuances are providing vibes that influence the people to rock back and fourth to the island's unique sound. Local men with long locks and women the shapes of hourglasses dance under the sun, while celebrating life’s treasures. This isn’t a dream, it's Rock City.
After writing songs for more people than Lil Wayne’s been featured on, Theron (Da Spokesman) and Timothy (Don’t Talk Much) have devoted their lives to helping other artists live out their dreams. With a successful career in songwriting, the two brothers had neglected their hopes of being a music duo to the backseat- until now. Coming from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, the tandem is bringing their soulful approach to pop culture, while adding a dash of dialect and introducing another side to their American resume.
Rock City, named after their island, made their transition to the U.S. in 2000 and have since then graced the concrete of Miami and killed the music scene in Atlanta. After getting their name placed in the mouths of top industry people, Rock City signed a deal with Akon’s Konvict imprint as a group, destined to make their mark.
This week DXnext takes you outside of the continent and brings back “World Muzik” from Rock City.
Hailing from: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Current works: They’re currently working on their album as Rock City the group, versus being known as songwriters. “We’re behind scenes trying to come to the front,” said Da Spokesman. They also have a mixtape, The Black Beatles and their debut, Wake The Neighbors, which you should be looking out for.
Connects: Beanie Sigel, Akon, Rich Boy, Wish Bone, Pussy Cat Dolls, Mario, Macy Gray, Sean Kingston and other key players in the game. “Right now, I think we’re connected to 90% of the industry.”
Past collabs: They’ve written and worked with Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Akon, Mario, Enrique Inglesias, Sean Kingston, Usher and Eve.
Life outside of music: “Real talk, its weird,” said Da Spokesman. “When we got in the business, they were like, ‘It’s going to be parties, there’s going to be girls, you’re going to be living the dream…’ and when you’re young you’re like, ‘Hell yeah!’ We worked our way up and now that we’re successful we don’t do anything. All we do is go to the studio, we come home, we be in the hotel and the only thing we do is go to the movies.” He goes on to admit that when they’re not at the movies, they’re at home watching one out of their 3,000 movies. “Ask anybody in the game, we are the movie collectors.”
Life before rap: “We’re from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. We’ve pretty much been doing music our whole life,” said Don’t Talk Much. “Most people don’t know this, but we’re very, very popular and very well known back home. We have a huge fan base. We grew up in the one of the worst projects in the St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, also known as housing. We come from the struggle, and we represent the struggle.” He goes on to admit that they were the only local artist who were going around St. Thomas, signing autographs, taking pictures and having girls scream “Oh my God!” yet they were flat broke. “Girls were chasing our car, but we ain’t have no muthafucking money,” Da Spokesman said while laughing. “We had to get out of there.”
Career sum up: “Oh man, I would say a blessing, man. It's weird because we go places now and we meet people who say, ‘Man, I’m from Wisconsin and it's hard, or I’m from Utah and it's hard’ and you be like, ‘Dog, I’m from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands our island is 3,200 miles,” laughs Da Spokesman. “I never met anybody from the music industry who was trying to look for talent where we are from. They don’t care. When people come to Virgin Islands, they are coming to chill…our career has been the most unexpected roller-coaster ride we’ve ever been on. Our life has been full of surprises.”
Three words to describe the music: Da Spokesman wanted to sum it up in two words. “I wouldn’t label it as Hip Hop anymore. If I had to sum it up in two words, it would be ‘world music.’ If you hear what we do, it’s a blend of Reggae, Hip Hop, R&B, Calypso, and Zuke. I know people who would be like, ‘What they fuck is Zuke?’” Da Spokesman admits that they’ve been tying to tackle how to formulate the music, without leaving out a single genre for years. “If he had to add one more word, it would be energetic, in addition to world music. He goes on to say their music isn’t “Shawty pop your booty,” although they do have that type of music in their iPods. Da Spokesman also described Rock City in a press release “If you had The Fugees without Lauryn Hill, you would have us.”
Da Spokesman’s perception of Hip Hop: “Some people might be mad, but this is my perception and my opinion; I love it. The reason I say that is because when we were growing up, our parents were saying that what we were listening to was a little craziness. I love the fact that young people and the people growing up are expressing themselves in their own way and they love it. My problem with Hip Hop isn’t the people in it, I just think there should be more variety in it.” He goes on to lend the advice to upcoming and established artists to make good music, regardless of record sales, while staying true to yourself.
Message to the people: “My publicist is in the room and she told us to say, ‘Stay in school and don’t do drugs.’” Da Spokesman starts laughing, while making the transition to being serious, “Nah, I’m playing. The message to the people is not to give up on your self and to be and stay true to yourself. Believe in God, whoever God may be. Only you can stop you.”
Discover the music: Right now you can go to www.myspace.com/rcitylive.