Redd Roxx Rundown: Livin’ Rich with Rich Rocka, formerly Ya Boy
blog by Maria Redd • March 19, 2013 @ 10:44am
Ya Boy, also known as Rich Rocka, has experienced major success in his music career on the West Coast and is determined to make his mark worldwide.
Over the past few years, Buffalo has become his second home due to his cousin Stevie Johnson’s career in the NFL as wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills. While here in the Queen City, Rocka is deeply involved in the local music scene—networking and making music with local talent and continuing to produce what’s earned him the respect and notoriety that he has today.
I was able to catch up with Rich Rocka to discuss his current musical endeavors as well as learn what his future may hold.
ReddRoxx: What’s up, Rocka! Thank you very much for taking time to speak with me. My first question for you is why the name change? You’ve been Ya Boy forever!
Rich Rocka: It was time for a change because the name Ya Boy ran its course. With everything comes growth and Rich Rocka is the rebirth.
RR: I can respect that! I think that was a smart move. So tell the people where you’re from.
Rich Rocka: I’m from California, the Bay area to be exact.
RR: California is a long way away! So with that being said, what brought you to Buffalo? I know that your cousin Stevie Johnson plays for the Buffalo Bills, but what ultimately made you decide to make Buffalo your second home?
Rich Rocka: Me and my cousin have been real close—like twin brothers—since we were young. We have each other’s back and know the other’s best interest in life at all times, so when he made the move to play football in Buffalo, I came with him. Kind of like a package deal—Buffalo had to give me a contract too. Ha.
RR: Well that makes sense! I’m sure he appreciates having some family close by as well. So getting back to your work, how long have you been creating music for?
Rich Rocka: I’ve been doing music for like eight years, and I’m just starting to break through and get my recognition worldwide.
RR: That’s a long time of hard work and dedication; It’s great to see that you stuck with it and that it’s paying off for you. You seem very passionate about what you do which leads me to ask, what’s the motivation behind your music?
Rich Rocka: The motivation behind my music is the knowledge that you can have the whole world if you hustle for it. I try to influence people to hustle hard and live rich.
RR: Ok I can dig it! Since you’re influencing others to hustle hard, who influences your music the most?
Rich Rocka: I had a few musical influences growing up, of course Big [Notorious B.I.G.] and Pac [2 Pac], Jay Z, Eminem, Master P, Cash Money Records, Jadakiss and the Ruff Ryder era—just to name a few.
RR: I can respect that list! You named a lot of greats which explains why your music is received so well. I also respect the fact that you choose to make music and network with some of our local artists—are you working with anyone currently from the Queen City?
RR: John Boy and G5Gi are two of the best from the city so it’s no surprise that you linked up with them! Back to Rich Rocka—you’re definitely making a lot of noise in the industry right now, so inquiring minds want to know if you’re currently signed to a major label or are you independent?
Rich Rocka: Me and SJ13 (Stevie Johnson) have started our own label called Black Card Music.
RR: That’s what’s up! There’s nothing like having your own label and calling your own shots. With the way the industry is now, it seems like a lot of artists are going that route. Speaking of other artists, you have a long track-record of working with some of the industry greats! Who do you feel like were your best collaborations?
RR: Those are all notable artists, especially Wiz Khalifa because the track he featured on with you, “I Get Her High” I must say, was one of my favorites! I have to ask—how was it working with the Wiz?
Rich Rocka: Dope, literally…ha, Wiz is like my brother—the music was natural.
RR: I could definitely tell that in the song. I know it has to be awesome to work with other artists who share the same vision and talent. We can agree that that was a classic, but what are some of your most recent releases?
Rich Rocka: The last mixtape I released is called “Trappy Birthday,” which exploded in the streets and online. It’s a classic tape.
RR: I concur! I have “Trappy Birthday” in my iPod so there’s no dispute there! I’m sure that your fans want to know the projects that you currently have in the works?
Rich Rocka: I’m working on my worldwide debut of “Rich Rocka” which is my greatest work yet. I’m excited for the world to hear it and plan to bring a fresh sound to the game.
RR: That’s huge! Make sure you keep me in the loop! You have a release coming soon, but do you have any upcoming performances?
Rich Rocka: Imma make sure I come shut Buffalo down real soon.
RR: Ha ha! Your second home awaits you! In the meantime while we await your return, where can your music be purchased or downloaded?
Rich Rocka: iTunes of course and ANYWHERE online just search “Ya Boy” or “Rich Rocka”.
RR: We can also hear your music somewhere else—one of my favorite show is Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset” [laughs], and you are on its theme song, how’d that come about?
Rich Rocka: Well my music is pretty popular, a lot of TV shows and movies love to make my music their theme songs and soundtrack music. As long as that check is being cut, imma keep showin’ up.
RR: As you should! Do you plan on having more television or movie placements for your music?
Rich Rocka: Yes, as many as I can. There is no money like TV and movie money.
RR: I bet! So with your album “Rich Rocka” on the horizon, what can the fans expect from Ya Boy now known as Rich Rocka?
Rich Rocka: Timeless REAL music.
RR: Simply put! Leave us with one of your favorite quotes:
Rich Rocka: “Respond, don’t react; listen, don’t talk; think, don’t assume; vote Rich Rocka for President.”
Check out the latest release from Rich Rocka! For The Money by Rich Rocka ft. Clyde Carson