Chosen from a pool of over 5,000 applicants in BET’s nationwide search, Rocsi stood out for the producers from the start. Her bubbly personality, confidence and zest was sure to keep 106 & Park interesting. Replacing the immensely popular 106 & Park host Free was no easy task, but this beautiful Latina – who is just the second ever non-Black host on BET – is creating her very own fan base along with her co-host and partner in crime, Terrence J.
Raised in New Orleans, Rocsi has garnered nationwide appeal on the TV screen. We nabbed some time from her busy schedule to discuss her success on BET, charity work, her thoughts on being a role model and those pesky rumors that just wont go away.
AllHipHop.com: You modeled for AllHipHop Week fashion show a while back.
Rocsi: Yeah, I did. I modeled the Adidas line. It was a lot of fun. Actually the whole AllHipHop Week was a lot of fun. I had a great time.
AllHipHop.com: Is that something you want to get into, modeling?
Rocsi: Ive always liked it but Im short [laughs]. Im 52 so I dont think I will ever do catwalk for real, but Ive always been interested in modeling and Ive always thought it would be a lot of fun. I like taking pictures; actually I tell everyone that one day they will see me in the Victoria’s Secret catalog even though I dont have the body for it [laughs].
AllHipHop.com: So lets get the rumors over and done with. There were rumors that you and 50 Cent had a disagreement recently
Rocsi: I think people assumed that because of the show when Terrence and I picked sides in the album battle; he picked 50 and I picked Kanye. People kind of read too much into it, but I love 50s music actually. Hes my favorite work out music; I work out to 50s music all the time.
AllHipHop.com: 50 expressed anger at BET because he was not told that Jay-Z would be a guest [on the 50 vs. Kanye face-off], and had he known he would have brought a guest also. Do you think he had a right to feel that?
Rocsi: No. I think its not true. I think it didnt matter. Kanye did what he did and 50 could have brought out anybody. I dont know what the show totally entailed as far as what they were told they could do and what not to do, but I dont think there were any restrictions on who they could have brought out; if 50 wanted to bring out Robin Thicke he could have done that, but lets be honest its kind of hard to top Jay-Z so thats probably why 50 felt that way. I didnt even know Jay was there, it was a surprise for me too. 50 may not have known he could bring someone. but then again if you dont know then ask!
AllHipHop.com: Have you heard of a woman called Adrienne Curry?
AllHipHop.com: Shes this women whos been on quite a few reality shows including [winning the first season of] Americas Next Top Model.
Rocsi: Oh, is she the person whos been talking about boycotting BET?
AllHipHop.com: Yep. She wrote a blog where she said that channels like BET help segregate race/ cultures and therefore helps aid racism what do you say to that?
Rocsi: Id say that I am a female Latin on an all Black network so how can she even say that? How can she even assume that? She doesnt even make sense I cannot speak for the network as far as what the network stands for, but speaking for myself and for 106 and Park; we stand behind Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop embraces all cultures.
If there was any type of segregation or racism linked to BET, would we be in talks with other countries? Were in shown in Japan, we have all types of colors, cultures and races that come to 106 and Park every single day. The network is actually looking to expand to other markets; like London and South Africa, and like I said were already in Japan. The comments she made are just mad to me, she probably tried out for a job at BET and didnt get it.
AllHipHop.com: Youre obviously a very attractive woman. Have any of your guests on the couch ever tried to step to you?
Rocsi: I mean Terrence and I most of the time are friends with everyone who comes to the show, and I did radio for seven years before I did 106 and Park so usually everyone who comes, Ive already met them before through radio. So theyve come across me and they know me so its not like, Hey lets hook up. Its more like Where you and Terrence hanging out tonight, were going to hang. No one tries to get at me or anything like that.
AllHipHop.com: Ive always thought its harder for females than men in this industry. People are always quick to say, Oh shes only in it to get with a rapper. Do you think you have it harder than say Terrence has it?
Rocsi: You always have those stereotypical double standards, and its something women just have to deal with, I guess. I mean I just dont let anything like that get to me. I dont entertain things like that.
AllHipHop.com: Were you ever worried about doing that King [Magazine] shoot, and how you may be perceived?
Rocsi: I was more nervous than anything, because it was my first time doing a cover and it was my first time really posing for any magazine. King kept my shoot very classy, very sexy I loved the pictures, I mean my mom loves the pictures, so if my mom likes the pictures; I have nothing to complain about. They kept it classy, they didnt make me do anything that I didnt want to do, no compromising positions or anything like that so I was very, very, very happy with the pictures. I got positive feedback, and I also got some negative feedback like, I cant believe you did that – but most of the negative feedback were from guys who were like my big brothers.
AllHipHop.com: Another reason you may have it harder than Terrence; is because how popular Free was. Has that been difficult your end to hear things like Bring Free back
Rocsi: Its definitely some hard shoes to fill, but you know it takes time for people to get adjusted to new things. My audience is not Frees audience. We have a new, younger audience and Free gives me nothing but advice. I love Free, shes a beautiful person for what she stood for, I love her shoe game and she is a real woman at the end of the day, a great woman. I have nothing but respect for her.
AllHipHop.com: Do you and Terrence ever argue?
Rocsi: We argue like any other brother and sister would argue. We may argue about things like, Im too dressed up and he looks casual next to me. Thats our arguments. We never argue about anything major.
AllHipHop.com: Youre nothing more than friends?
Rocsi: No. Were not dating. [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: I read rumors that you once dated Tyrese.
Rocsi: [laughs] Not true.
AllHipHop.com: Are you single?
Rocsi: Yes, Im single.
AllHipHop.com: You come across very outspoken. Does that ever land you in trouble with the producers or the artists?
Rocsi: Never with the producers or the artists. I just keep it real, you know? Im not going to sugar coat stuff, and if theres a question that I want to ask and people want to know then we just ask. One thing me and Terrence wont stand for is; if someone comes to 106 and Park and tries to disrespect our house or try to play us or anything like that. This is our house you know?
Ill let no one walk over me. Thats one of the things that stood out for me with [BET] when I did originally try out for the job; the fact that I wouldnt stand down and Im not going to let anyone punk me. At the end of the day were all human beings. Most of the time its not even intentional, most of the time you just get caught up in the moment and Im like, Hold on for a minute, let me check you real quick. Ive got no problem checking anybody.
AllHipHop.com: Whats been the hardest interview youve had on the 106 and Park couch?
Rocsi: Hardest ever interview Ive had was with Danger Mouse, because he doesnt talk. So were trying to talk to him and he doesnt talk. [laughs] I thought it was a practical joke and a set up, but he really doesnt talk. Thats his thing I guess; his character. Just who he is.
AllHipHop.com: And your favorite interview?
Rocsi: My favorite interview has been [pauses] Denzel Washington was very pleasant to have, it was fun to have Denzel. I honestly like it when 50 [Cent] is here at BET, because I always know that hes going to be entertaining. Hes going to say what he feels and hes one of those artists that I like interviewing, because you can ask him the real questions and hell answer just the way you want him to answer them.
AllHipHop.com: There does seem to be some kind of chemistry between you and 50 Cent
Rocsi: Umm. Well 50, T.I., Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne I can say they are like real artists that just tell it like it is. Theres no sugar coat. You dont have to worry about what youre asking or saying? Those are artists that you dont have to worry about their publicist telling you, Dont ask him this and dont ask him that. You as a journalist; if my publicist asked you not to ask me something, that makes you feel like, What kind of interview is this? Its like we got little kindergarteners who you cant ask certain things.
I like artists who you can ask whatever and theyre going to tell you stuff. T.I. for example speaks his mind. Keyshia Cole, man, she tells you the way it is, shes like, This is how it is and I dont give a f*ck. Im still ghetto. [laughs] You have to respect the realness and the way they still stay true to themselves, even in this industry.
AllHipHop.com: Thats all true but you didnt exactly answer my question. Is there a special chemistry between you and 50 Cent?
Rocsi: No. No personal chemistry between us.
AllHipHop.com: When you have specials at 106 and Park, say like the recent Jay-Z outdoor interview in Brooklyn; is that more nerve racking?
Rocsi: No. Actually its more exciting, because we know its going to be a big show and we know more people are watching because its big.
AllHipHop.com: Youre involved in a lot of things outside of TV and radio including charities. Tell us about that.
Rocsi: I have a non-profit organization that helps to re-build the schools in New Orleans, because Im from New Orleans; its my hometown. and it means a lot to me to see the re-building process of the city. Not only that – I help out a lot of different charity events, really whenever something involves speaking to kids and giving them advice then Im there for them. Also I work closely with Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. So Im involved in a lot of different things.
AllHipHop.com: Are there any other business ventures or projects you want to get involved with in the future?
Rocsi: I see acting in my future. Definitely see acting and films. My friend and I are also starting a events company, and basically it will be events for foundations and putting foundations together. Like putting on a celebrity basketball game together or bowling tournament – things of that nature. So it wont just be parties, but parties for things that will make a difference and that have a purpose. Partying for a purpose is what we say.
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on the internet? Do you search yourself? People can be pretty harsh.
Rocsi: I do, just to see whats out there. Im not going to lie. I really dont pay it no mind though, because you get positive and you can get negative; they say all press is good press right?
AllHipHop.com: Does it not ever hurt when you read someone saying something negative about you say as a presenter or person?
Rocsi: No, because its usually haters. If I worry about what a hater thinks then Ive wasted my time and my energy that I could be putting towards something else.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of kids look up to you and see you as a role model. Does the title role model put pressure on you?
Rocsi: I think it helps me knowing that I have young kids who watch me and may look up to me. I think it keeps me staying a positive person and helps me stay focused. Im aware of my surroundings, and so I know how to act. Its something Terrence and I always keep in mind when we go out. Yeah, we can do our thing but you have to change your lifestyle when you know people look up to you. Its not a problem for me because I try to be a good person at heart anyway. Its nothing I have to go out my way to do.
AllHipHop.com: Last words?
Rocsi: I love everybody that loves us and I love everybody that hates us. Were here to stay.