Carson, CA rapper Jerome Rockett better known as Roccett to his fans, made headlines a few years ago when it was announced that he had signed to Atlanta superstar Young Jeezy's CTE label. After spending several years on the label and the release of about 5 official mixtapes, Roccett had announced his departure from Young Jeezy's label via a song released this past August called Dear Jeezy, Dear Meech. Roccett reached out to AllHipHop.com to give us the story behind his departure from CTE and his upcoming plans including his newly released Free Agent mixtape with DJ Drama. Can this young artist bounce back from this recent set-back? Or was this his missed opportunity? Time can only answer those questions but what can't be questioned is Roccett's determination to succeed despite having the odds against him.
AllHipHop.com: A few years back you had signed to Young Jeezy's CTE West label but we found out recently that you are no longer under his label as of recently. What is the story behind this?
Roccett: I really felt like he wasn't doing everything that he could to help further my career like I thought he would. I thought that after 3 or 4 years of being signed to him, that I would have accomplished more by now. I thought things would be different. No matter what label you are at, there is a formula of success and I felt he wasn't taking the proper steps to make those of us on his label successful. I feel he could have done a lot more. I left, straight up. I've never been one to wait on another person. I don't know how he feels about it but to be honest, I don't really care.
AllHipHop.com: You two haven't had a conversation about this?
Roccett: Before I left we had many conversations so many that I can't even count. We've had conversations but nothing was ever done. I had to make my own moves.
AllHipHop.com: What was Young Jeezy telling you in these conversations?
Roccett: He was telling me that he got me to sit tight and we were gonna get it in. A year passed and then another year passed, then another and another. He kept telling me the same thing. For him to be dropping albums, a mixtape by U.S.D.A and an album by Blood Raw I felt like there were a lot more people on the label that he could have dropped albums from. I felt like I was one of them. He didn't do it so I busted a move.
AllHipHop.com: When you left, did you call him?
Roccett: I spoke to him. We were in Miami and I told him that I was going to do my own thing. He told me to hold on and give him a chance and that we would get in the studio once he got to L.A. I said ok, and he never hit me back. We never called each other after that.
AllHipHop.com: So you just had your lawyers deal with the paperwork?
Roccett: My paperwork was actually up. We were in the process of resigning.
Roccett: Im Getting Money/Bang Dat
AllHipHop.com: So you two haven't seen each other since?
Roccett: I was in Atlanta and I saw all of the CTE dudes. They all came to me and said, What's up? All of those dudes are my family Slick Pulla, Blood Raw, 211. I saw Jeezy and he didn't say anything and neither did I. I'm a grown man. I don't have time to worry about how the next grown man feels. That's a woman's trait. Men don't worry about what the next man is doing. You give somebody your best the two peace fingers and go your own way. I don't know if he's mad or if he isn't mad and I don't really care.
AllHipHop.com: These artist-led labels are really risky business because artists themselves are struggling to keep themselves on top let alone trying to help someone else get on top. Didn't that concern you at all when you signed your deal?
Roccett: No because he put out Blood Raw. Whether the fans bought the music or loved it, that was up to them but Blood Raw came out. I didn't need anything from Young Jeezy but just to come out. I felt like I could stand on my own two feet I just needed to have my record come out. I just felt the formula was wrong. He dropped albums but didn't have myself or any of the artists on them. Slick Pulla was on some but that's it. When you sign artists, you would think that the label would plan on putting that artist out. Maybe that was his plan, maybe it wasn't? You wake up one day and decide that you are tired of playing these games. Since I have left it looks like he might put my boy 211 out. Shout out to my boy 211 do your thing over there.
AllHipHop.com: So what's next for you now that you are a free agent?
Roccett: I just put out this mixtape with DJ Drama called The Free Agent. I wanted to give my fans and those that believe in me something to have. I feel it's my best work to date. I didn't have a lot of features on there because I just wanted to concentrate on myself.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have a lot of music that you recorded while you were signed to CTE?
Roccett: I did about 50 records over there, that's not even counting the mixtapes that I had put out. I took everything that I did. If it's mine I'm taking it! Even if I had to leave it behind there are still ways to take it with you. Songs get leaked online and float everywhere (laughs). So even if you have to leave stuff behind you can leak it and nobody will know where it came from. Come on man, this is the music business. You have to have your brain and thinking cap on at all times (laughs).
AllHipHop.com: Do you try the label route again or just create your own company and do your own thing?
Roccett: I don't know the route right now. I'm just enjoying the time being me not waiting on the next dude to see what he's going to do. Whatever Roccett wants to now do, he can do. I am putting out the West In Full mixtape and I'll take it from there. The one thing I do know is that I have a lot of fans and I respect them so much. We'll see where we go though. I might go the independent route and I might sign with a label tomorrow, who knows?
AllHipHop.com: There isn't a part of you that wonders if you should have stayed on the label and waited?
Roccett: Hell no! It looks like he's going to put 211 out just in spite but that's ok because 211 is my boy. I'm not a hater. I want him to sell and succeed. I even want Jeezy to sell. Like I said, I don't have time to worry about that stuff. If you are going to be like that, you might as well stay home and watch Oprah, Ricki Lake and Soap Operas all day. I wish everybody the best. If there's a problem, then let me know.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned the West In Full project earlier. Tell us about that.
Roccett: It's stupid! I've got Glasses Malone on there. I just spoke to Nipsey Hussle about it as well. Jay Rock, Taje', Spider Loc and so many others are going to be on it. That tape will be out on January 10th. All of the music is being done by Dae One and The Bizness. The West Coast is going to be happy to say that they are from the West Coast when they hear it.
CTE Respect the Shield f/ Roccett, Slick Pulla, 211 and Young Jeezy