Romen Rok  


I was very happy to have mastered this project for Romen Rok, an artist who could basically give two shits about the rap game; an Artist who is doing it for all the right reasons, not to "make it big". I could tell immediately from listening to the mixes when I got the project - the care that an Artist takes to make sure their project is not only solid, but also solid-sounding is apparent here. He's also an artist that appreciates other artists' talents and instead of keeping himself in a bubble, like many artists tend to do, this cat seeks out to collab with people and build. That's a Hip Hop fundamental that in my honest opinion, doesn't get practiced as much as it should. I hope you appreciate the simplicity and sincerity of the tracks (which sound great even in the low kbps that I encoded them in). I seriously had a tough time picking out which ones to put, as the whole album is dope.

Romen, it was a pleasure working on your album. It is a very original composition that flows well from track to track; how long did it take you to put this together?

Thanks brother, it took me a loooong time. I would say I was serious about this record for the last two years. I’m not the fastest writer, and I feel when I write, I have to stay interested in what I’m doing. If I feel that I’m losing direction of a song, I’ll step away from it for a while. I don’ like rushing shit, especially with music. Some of the songs had been in motion for a few years. The track about one of my main influences - Lou Diamonds, who passed away, was made in 2006.

The album was mixed by another dope artist from Providence, Symmetry, who also is an MC. I imagine having a fellow MC help with the engineering duties adds more dimension, how was that like?

Symmetry was real easy to work with and we never butted heads. He has a good ear. It was cool to work with him, he’s a good dude and a prolific musician. It was good to have his insight in helping shape the sound of the album. Overall, the whole thing was a collabo with a lot of great local artists. I recorded almost the whole album at my boy Esh the Monolith’s studio, he also produced a few of the tracks, not to mention working with long time homies and producers like Al Bums, Joe Beats, DJ Real and Paul Quo.

One of the tracks features a crew from Argentina, “Iluminate”, how did that collab come about?

My girlfriend lived out in Buenos Aires in 2006 for almost a year. She found out about them at a show and became friends with the group. When I returned with her last year to visit, I linked up with them and chilled out, ate some empanadas, drank some Mate and got down in the studio with them. My homey Joe Beats and I rocked a venue there with Iluminate and got nothing but love from the crowd. Argentina has a small but real supportive Hip Hop following. I plan to go back down early next year and do some more music with them. Those are my brothers right there. La Posta!

I know you’re also very busy with school. What are you going for?

I’m in school for an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts at the Community College of Rhode Island. I got hurt at work and a great Federal program called “Occupational Rehab Services” provided me with the finances to change a career path. I could of went for an education that might be more lucrative, but I’ve always excelled in the arts. I went from being a High School drop-out to a Honor Roll student in college. It only took me ten years to realize I had focus like that. I don’t think I would be pushing myself so hard to achieve if it wasn’t for my lousy experience in High School, LOL. I used to hate on Community Colleges, but I would never bad talk them now, since I’ve learned so many things that have helped me in my life. Now, I just hate on the big universities who be robbing everybody blind. It’s never too late to go back to school, don’t let nobody tell you different!

How about the rap game? What do you know today that you wished you knew 10 years ago about it?

I pretty much still don’t know anything about the rap game. I kind of like it like that. All I hear in interviews is rappers bitch about how much they hate the rap game and how much they’re all set with the industry. If it was up to me, I would like to continue to sell CDs out of my car and out of my crib, without the hassle of dealing with a bunch of fakers and swindlers. Rap music is an angry world, and I enjoy smiling so fuck all that. I just wanna make music, perform and sell shit. I’m a pretty simple guy.





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