Tic-tock...the seconds pass like hours, minutes pass like days how much more can we take as we wait for Emilio Rojas to assume his rightful place in the royal kingdom of Hip-Hops future. Emilio Rojas is the quintessential creator of musical braveness. Emilio has not reinvented the wheel when it comes to touching on raunchy or radical depictions of life, but he certainly has refined it to spin with well-timed grace.
Emilio is a rhyming strategist that has trained himself to debate the innards of this culture. His records paint such imagery with songs like Sympathy For the Devil and Live for the Moment. He steps up and steps out with playful tunes Bold and Arrogant and keeps the ladies swooning as he poetically lets them know Weve Only Just begun, or Breaking Me Down. The list is anything but short, when it comes to Emilios baggage of hits. His agenda is that of the people, and he is driven to deliver on an appalling scale. Emilio speaks to AllHipHop.com and sheds light on the making and projection of his banquette of recordings.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about the moment you knew that you had enough talent to turn rap from just a hobby to a career?
Emilio Rojas: We were doing open mic events in Rochester it was just like a cipher where everyone would get a chance to pass around the microphone and freestyle. Just being caught up in the energy of that and feeling how creative, positive and fun it was I just wanted it to continue. I wanted to keep that feeling because it made me feel at home so I knew I had to do this. Thats really what inspired me to pursue it.
AllHipHop.com: Now you went to the University of Rochester, but as your hip hop career began to accelerate you made the decision to drop out. Now as you reflect back how tough of a decision was that for you because you were on an academic scholarship. And are there any regrets over your decision at all?
Emilio Rojas: I mean everybody is different. I was forced to go to school. My mom was basically like either you get your ass in college, or get out the house. So I had been putting it off and only ended up applying to one school, which was the University of Rochester. I drove my application there the last date that it was due. I got accepted and went there for about a year. Midway through the second semester of my second year I left. I was spending more time in my dorm room writing and recording than in class with my teachers. It was like f*ck it I gotta go.
AllHipHop.com: When you first moved to Brooklyn how was your acclamation as one man with a dream in a city with many men who have dreams of making it in hip hop? Was it fierce as far as the competition, were your attempts every stagnated?
Emilio Rojas: I didnt and dont really pay attention to what the other emcees may be doing. I just try and grind it out and stay focused. Its easy to stay motivated when great talent surrounds you, and you have the right team around you. I was blessed to already have certain relationship, and by me moving to Brooklyn it just put me around those people more.
AllHipHop.com: So when you did Recession Proof Im sure you were happy to see how well it was received, but most artists are perfectionist so did you ever feel like I should have done more or changed this around?
Emilio Rojas: I have that feeling about every single project that Ive ever done in my life. I think that when you stop having that feeling is when you stop progressing as an artist and as a creative person. As a creative person I know I have a certain standard set that I will be sort of graded on and I want to make sure that I exceed that standard each time.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that the Recession Proof established you as an artist because it was your introduction?
Emilio Rojas: It didnt really establish me I had a lot of hard work still left to be put into it. It helped people to get to know me and my music a little better which helped build my fan base. I have a lot further to go before I can say that that Im established though, I feel that with my team and my music we are on our way.
AllHipHop.com: You made Recession Proof in ten days flat so how long did it take you to do The Natural.
Emilio Rojas: Ah maybe three months. I had a lot more time to work on the songs and make sure everything fit. We didnt want to rush so there was no pressure to just put something out. We were able to put a little more time into this project. Me and Green Lantern are both from the same city so he reached out, and it was wonderful to be able to work with him on The Natural. Im working on some new recordings right now. Im about to go to Atlanta and do some things with Green Lantern. Our relationship is growing with the music, so hes going to be executively producing my next album. Were going to start throwing some more records out there to the blogs and websites real soon. I dont like to be one of those artist that throws a record out there every week because then people kind of get tired of you.
AllHipHop.com: I know the Internet has been very generous towards many hip hop artist including you, but what I want to know is how hands on are you with all of your internet marketing? Are you actually the man behind the Tweets, and are you actually running your own Facebook account, or do you have an intern or assistant that handles that?
Emilio Rojas: Yeah its really me. All the things I say on Twitter are actually me sending out those tweets. Im really thankful for all of the support to I try to communicate with the people as much as possible. Im not really on Facebook too much though because its kind of an enigma to me and I dont really get it [laughter]. I do have a Facebook though so when somebody does make a post on there it is me; its just not very frequent. As far as the deeper levels of marketing, my manager handles and oversees those aspects. All of the bloggers have been mad supportive and I have mad love for them because of that.
AllHipHop.com: You have so many great singles how did you go about selecting which ones would get a full promotional push? I mean it must have been super hard to choose because they all had so much potential to be big.
Emilio Rojas: We kind of just had the people on the team select them; its as simple as that. We tried not to put too much thought into it whether this track would go good with radio, or that track would work best online. I trust my team a lot I have a really capable group of people around me, and Im lucky to have them.
AllHipHop.com: I know youve worked with a lot of people one of my favorites is Court Dunn. How did that relationship come together and how has it benefited you?
Emilio Rojas: Oh Court is my homie; hes actually a good dude. Court and I have the same manager and thats how we really started working together. We have so many videos shot some of which will probably never come out. We kind of just work strong around each other. Hes a good friend of mine and I really trust his vision. Hes an incredible talent.
AllHipHop.com: I know you perform a lot. Are you currently out on the road, and when are you going to tour on a bigger scale like crisscrossing the U.S.?
Emilio Rojas: No were working on getting some tour dates set up now. Last night I was suppose to be in Pittsburg, but they denied me entrance onto my flight. The U.S. Marshals escorted me out of the terminal like a terrorist which is always fun. It was crazy I told the guy not to put his hands on me and all hell broke lose from there.
AllHipHop.com: Wheres your favorite place to tour overseas?
Emilio Rojas: I really like Switzerland, I love Venezuela obviously, those are some really great places. I like Germany, its great and so very beautiful.
AllHipHop.com: I have to know why are you not signed? I know for a fact labels have to be banging on your door? Is it a money situation, or the terms havent been to your liking, I mean whats the deal?
Emilio Rojas: Im in a good situation right now. Im talking to a lot of labels and entertaining my options. I think that what has been preventing us from crossing that line with these companies is just landing the right situation. I am in discussions with a couple of different people, and right now were just looking to see what happens and who is going to make the best home for Emilio.
AllHipHop.com: Lets get into the writing. Do you write the things that you mostly want to talk about, or is your writing ever influenced by the topics you think the people want to hear about?
Emilio Rojas: I think its a little bit of both. I think Id be lying as an artist if I didnt say that yeah I try and cater to my fans taste a little. I try to deliver as best as I can while maintaining an authenticity and remaining true to myself.
AllHipHop.com: You write on subject matter that is not often touched on by your fellow emcees and its bold, honest, and daring. Do you ever find yourself wanting to touch on a subject, but having to hold yourself back because maybe the public isnt ready for or cant handle what you may have to say?
Emilio Rojas: Umm well I do have a couple of records that we didnt put out yet. We chose to hold them back for a reason but I dont think that its because the people arent ready to hear them. Those types of subjects definitely need a voice and people want those voices to surface. If Im lucky enough to be that voice, than thats great. Im not really scared to touch on anything. Its controversial because its provocative enough to force people to think. I think that being shocking and offensive can be a good thing if it gets the people to have a conversation that centered around a topic that may be taboo.
AllHipHop.com: What its like for you when you write and share a personal story and see that people embrace it as their own because they too identify with it?
Emilio Rojas: Thats just great. Ive been overwhelmed with all of the positive responses from the people. Its great when someone tells you that your record helped him or her to just get through their day. Im blessed to know that people are moved by my music.
AllHipHop.com: Why is Emilio Rojas lyrical? Describe how your lyrical ability is a part of your identity.
Emilio Rojas: I dont really know any other way to be!