On a typical night, you can click on Ro$$ Mac’s Instagram story and find him grinding – whether chopping it up at the DJ booth in a popular Chicago bar, or opening for an artist at a packed out concert, he’s making sure his latest single is in rotation.
This is the strategic hustle that sets him apart from his peers. The rapper has taken everything he’s learned from growing up on the South Side of Chicago to working on Wall Street, to inform his music and how he promotes it.
Hypefresh caught up with the “Wall Street Rapper” a few days before he heads out on his first tour opening for T.I. and DJ Envy.
Q: You’ve coined the term the “first Wall-Street Rapper.” What does that mean? How does it set you apart?
A: I think an artist needs to be genuine with what they’re talking about. Most people won’t resonate with an artist that’s not true to who they are. For me, I love sharing my story – I think in our community we brag about the wrong shit. I’m going to brag about the shit that’s dope to me – being a black guy in finance. Being a broker dealer versus a drug dealer.
Q: When did you realize it was time to start pursuing a career in music?
A: It took seeing how my music impacted other people to really push me to take it seriously. My brother [song writer and producer Sayyi] and I worked on a track called “What We Doin’.” I had a big ass party I was getting ready to throw in New York for New Year’s Eve so I told him to fly in so we could perform the song. There were like 500 people there and the whole place went up!
Q: Tell me more about your party series The Drill – how does it fit with your brand as an artist?
A: The Drill used to be a party series that we threw in New York, and then we expanded from there to events in Chicago, New York, Miami, L.A., Atlanta, etc. The events are geared toward sophisticated, young, black professionals. We realized brands like D’Ussé, BET, and Revolt want to be connected to our audience so we connect brands to people, and people to music.
If you’ve heard of The Drill, then you’ve probably heard my name. I think that’s something that’s unique to me as I push my music – I’m able to throw dope parties, while also using my platform to expose these audiences to my music. I get to host, perform, and get people used to my voice and my brand.
Q: What was a turning point for your music, and how has your music evolved since then?
A: My music really took a big step after I was able to travel with my brother and Jeremih on the Forest Hills Drive Tour – it was one of the greatest experience of my life. I got to see how some of the top professionals – Jeremih, YG, Big Sean, J. Cole – move and operate from city to city. Being on the tour helped me figure out the type of music I want to make as an artist and allowed me to become comfortable with the messages I’m trying to convey in my music, whether the hottest music for your party, or music that is more conscious.
Q: Your latest single is called “Faygo,” what is Faygo?
A: Faygo is soda (we call it pop in Chicago), that’s popular in the Midwest. If you go to any corner store in the hood, they sell all of the different colors and flavors.
I put the record together with Asa2Times. There are only two hip-hop stations in Chicago, and we have DJs on both stations putting the song in rotation – it’s a vibe for sure.
Q: What can we expect next (album, touring, etc.)?
A: I just got added to this HBCU college tour for Coors Light with T.I. and DJ Envy, hitting different cities in the South. It kicks off September 9th in Memphis, check me out! I also just released the video for my other single “Solo,” and the video for “Faygo” is coming out soon!