Rossy Talks Mop Head Mafia, His Place In New Orleans Hip Hop Scene
Exclusive: The Big Easy up-and-comer talks about being nominated for two Underground Music Awards so early in his career. He also says his flow is the cure for those with short attention spans.
When most people think of Hip Hop in New Orleans, Louisiana, they think of Lil Wayne or Juvenile. Rossy (f/k/a Yung Rossy) is looking to add to that prestigious list as the first signee to Roxwell Records, a “record label, a publishing company and a management company.” Some of the clients on the management side include Scarface and DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia.
In high school, Rossy parlayed his success on the football field into a college scholarship to Jackson State University in Mississippi. It was during his college years however, that Rossy’s interest in football began to fall by the wayside in favor in rapping. He put out a mixtape called Dey Call Me Rossy and started surrounding himself with rappers, producers and others who adhered to what he calls his “movement,” a steady promotional blitz from his camp to raise Rossy from the Underground into more familiar territory.
HipHopDX chopped it up with Rossy in a recent phone interview, and while he isn’t exactly a household name yet, Rossy believes Internet promotion and working with the right people will propel his career to the next level. “I felt like I didn’t have to be a local rapper ‘cause the Internet is worldwide, so that’s the avenue I took,” explains Rossy. “And just blew things up.”
During the interview Rossy touched on his early years, his Underground Music Awards, and just how important the city of New Orleans is to him.
Rossy Discusses His Early Career, Hit Singles “Money” And “Foreva”
HipHopDX: So how long have you been rapping now, and when did you decide you wanted to do it professionally?
Rossy: Well I’ve been rapping since I was young man, probably 13 I started writing. It started out just doing this for fun, and as time went on I just grew with it. I was real big in football through high school, but I always did Rap in the background. Then after [high school] I got a scholarship to play ball and it didn’t go, then I started tearing into the Rap full time. I probably been doing it for two years, as far as really putting my art into it, and putting money behind the movement.
DX: So when [you first started rapping] you were more into football, then gradually switched over?
Rossy: Definitely. I was trying to get to the NFL, that was my goal. And as time went on, the Rap became more important to me.
DX: Growing up, what were you a fan of, what were you listening to?
Rossy: Growing up I was listening to a lot of [Lil Wayne], stuff like that. Local people, a little Jay-Z, and [Young Jeezy]; I’m big on Jeezy. A little T.I., a lot of the South. The South rappers is what I really listened to.
DX: And you mentioned football - speaking in non-musical terms,what other experiences in your life would you say have served as artistic inspiration for you?
Rossy: Really, I don’t know, just me, being myself. There wasn’t really nothing that happened that made me want to do the music, I just was always interested in it and I had a way with words. Then over time as I just developed my craft, it just came to where it sounded like what I’m supposed to be doing.
DX: No doubt. In 2010 your career really started taking off and you formed Mop Head Mafia. What’s the story behind this crew?
Rossy: Yeah. Well just like it sound, man: a bunch of dread-heads and myself and I hooked up with another team down here in the area [New Orleans], TRP Entertainment. Linked up with them and just came up with the Mop Head Mafia idea. And it’s just like, a bunch of dread-heads, we’re real big on that down here in New Orleans. So we just made a clan and we did a few songs with a few different artists. But everybody, the whole thing is dread-heads.
DX: You got rappers and producers?
Rossy: Yeah, rappers and producers. And then we have some people too that don’t rap at all. Just street soldiers that are part of the movement.
DX: You released a new track, "Foreva," off your No Evidence Mixtape. What’s the reception to this track been like?
Rossy: It’s great, I got some great feedback. I got nominated for an Underground Music Award for the track. I got some nice feedback from the track, definitely.
My producer Cletus Kasady, he sent me the track and I marinated on it a little while, and it just kind of came to me. The whole concept of it is, “I do what I do, and I’ma do it forever.” It’s not going to stop, just going to elevate it and get better. And that’s just me, that’s my whole movement and my style: just keep it moving and keep pushing.
DX: And you mentioned Cletus Kasady, can you tell me a little about your working relationship with Cletus Kasady Productions?
Rossy: Yeah, I ran into him a couple years ago... it’s crazy how we met. His cousin is a mechanic, and a friend of mine’s car was broken and that’s how we got together. My boy was like, “Man, he got beats, you should check him out.” And the first beat I heard, I bought it from him, and as time went on we just started working, and now he makes pretty much about 90% of my music. I mean, I haven’t run into anyone underground anywhere that can compete with him. Dude’s sound is on another level, we been rocking real tough for about a year and a half - two years now. And matter fact, he over here now as we speak.
DX: So going forward it’s going to be you two, that’s pretty much a package deal, maybe?
Rossy: Right, definitely. When you get Rossy, you definitely going to get Cletus Kasady, and vice-versa.
Rossy Talks About Recent Success And Recognition
DX: Alright. And you mentioned before that you got nominated for Underground Music Award. What’s your strategy for getting airplay and your songs out for the public to hear?
Rossy: Well I go through a couple different routes. I had a guy out in New York, I was basically paying him to promote my movement and I linked up with Miss Mimi, she’s on G-Unit Radio and Shade 45, and she helped me get my music out too.
And really we just attacked the Internet, I felt like I didn’t have to be a local rapper ‘cause the Internet is worldwide, so that’s the avenue I took. And just blew things up. I got nominated for the Underground Music Awards two years in a row, that was last year and this year.
DX: You’re definitely getting big back home, do you find that success is moving elsewhere too?
Rossy: Yeah, man, definitely. When we were doing shows in New York, the crowd was just loving the vibe and loving the way we were presenting the music. And it’s been all love, even shows in Tennessee and Mississippi and all over. The fanbase is growing.
DX: Just a technical question: your “6ft7 Freestyle” is closing in on 100,000 views on YouTube, and you’ve got a nice, wide variety of flows on that track. Do you like switching it around like that on a lot of your tracks?
Rossy: Definitely, I think people get bored quickly, and peoples’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so you’ve got to switch it up to keep the audience involved so they don’t get tired of it and won’t go to the next track. So I like to really switch it up.
When you hear my project, it’s not going to be a bunch of the same-sounding songs, it’s going to be two street songs and two songs for the ladies, two songs for the club, might have a couple commercial tracks. I mean, it’s going to be a variety, and that’s how I do it, that’s how I’m going to keep doing it.
DX: Can you tell me a little about what’s going on over at 1st Class Records, and are you in charge over there?
Rossy: Yeah, that’s actually my label and I’m the CEO, and we’re actually building the roster now. I got [an] artist coming out by the name of Gwap, he’s like my main rapper. And there’s a R&B artist named Scooter. They going to be coming real soon, 2013 we going to start pushing their movements.
Rossy Reflects On His Life in New Orleans
DX: As a city, New Orleans is one of a kind. How would you describe your bond with The Big Easy both as an artist and a resident?
Rossy: Man, I’ve been here forever, as long as I’ve been alive I [lived] in New Orleans. I’m [going to] represent New Orleans to the fullest. Like you said, there’s no city like this. The types of things we’ve been through and strive, we never stop as a city. So I just want to present that to the nation and represent my city to the fullest.
[Hurricane Katrina] happened a few years ago, 2005, and the city is right back to normal that quick, and that was devastating; most of- a lot of shit was under water. Even the house that I grew up in was under water... six feet of water. You know, we just a people that’s going to keep on pushing. We not going to stop, we not going to let it get us down, we going to find a way to persevere. I’m just trying to find a way to appeal and show that to the nation and represent my city.
DX: In some of your raps, you’ve mentioned that Weezy put New Orleans on the map. How do you feel about the current state of New Orleans Hip Hop versus other cities?
Rossy: Our big music down here is a style of music called Bounce. It’s real high-energy, made for the clubs, the females love it. But that’s like the main thing in New Orleans. I mean, the rappers don’t really get as much spotlight as they really should, but I’m really trying to change that. I’m trying to bring a little spotlight to us, ‘cause there’s a lot of talented artists here in New Orleans and the New Orleans area.
But I don’t know it’s not - we don’t have any big record label [offices] down here, like other cities - like Atlanta [Georgia] or New York. But there’s a lot of talent down here, so I’m just trying to get the spotlight for us for a little some of our talents can come out and shine.
DX: What’s your tour schedule look like, in terms of recent shows and upcoming shows [that] you’ve got?
Rossy: Well actually, we’re working on getting some shows, so that’ll be coming out soon.
DX: Then what’s your next move, what do you have coming up?
Rossy: Dropping the single on [January 15] and mixtape coming soon called The Export coming in the next few months. And it’s “Foreva” on January 15 is the main topic right now.
RELATED: Rossy - "Foreva" [AUDIO]