Hailing from the land of frigid winters, Prince, Rhymesayers and a quickly blooming hip-hop scene, Minneapolis, Minnesota native Rocky Diamonds is quickly developing into one of the Internet’s most promising young rising stars. Just three years removed from high school, this young spitter has already dropped a collaborative mixtape with Diamond Supply Co. and he just recently got off tour with the Sneaker Pimps. Now Rocky has the majors in a seeming bidding war and its clear that he is primed for a major debut in the future.
With pending songs with Kendrick Lamar, and the who’s who list of up and coming artists right now, Rocky Diamonds is putting the city of Minneapolis on the map for good. But while some hip-hop heads may not be familiar with what kind of sound to expect from Minnesota, or if Rocky has street cred coming from a relatively obscure Minneapolis, it hasn’t seemed to slow this kid down. With plans for a several month long Midwest tour and a few select dates around the country. Rocky Diamonds has big plans for 2012. Welcome AllHipHop.com’s newest Breeding Ground Artist, Rocky Diamonds.
AllHipHop: So tell me a little bit about where you’re from a little about your upbringing, we don’t have a ton of rappers from Minnesota.
Rocky Diamonds: Well basically I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the worst part of the city, the hood of the city. Ummm…. shit… Its just like any other city, its just real small. Every city got the hood man, and me growing up was just on some normal kid shit. Me growing up - I didn’t know my pops, but I was living with my Mom and played basketball. That’s what I really did for the most of my life, but senior year of high school is when I really started taking the music seriously, and that was like three years ago.
AllHipHop: Explain to me your role in the Minnesota hip-hop scene and explain to me what the Minnesota hip-hop scene is like.
Rocky Diamonds: There’s definitely talent there and I know a majority of the talented artists and most of them are my friends so…. We all homies and there’s talent there, its not big and exposed to the world yet, and I think that’s my role, and I’m not gonna say who is the best, or nothing like that but I think that’s my role to open up the door to everyone else. So its like, with that being said, it’s like what I’m really trying to do, is to show that Minnesota is not just a fuckin… you know what I mean, whatever they think it is. My role is to show that there is actually talent here, and be the first nigga to do it.
AllHipHop: How did your relationship with Diamond Supply develop, and how you linked up with them.
Rocky Diamonds: Well at first, last year my stage name was Young Rocky, and I when I had turned 18, I was like, “I want to drop that shit,” because I wanted to drop the “Young”. So I didn’t know who my homies was at Diamonds Supply Co. was yet, Nicky or Brock, so I was just going to the store and buying it and wearing it . Then one of my friends was just like, “You should be Rocky Diamonds,” and I thought it was cool and so that’s what we ran with. I had a shirt and it said “Diamond Life” on it and I was like, “Ima name my mixtape that shit.” But me being blind to who Nicky and Brock was, I didn’t know it was a movement already because I was all the way in Minnesota. So I got on Twitter and someone asked me if I knew who they were and I kind of freaked out because I didn’t want people to think I was trying to take their stuff and I reached out over Twitter and luckily they liked the music and shit and they told me to hit them up whenever I got to LA. I flew out to LA a few months ago and I spoke with Nicky and Brock and we just mapped everything out with the mixtape and how its supposed to go and now I am working on the next “Diamond Life” mixtape and it worked out and it just happened and out of all the people that hit him up he hit me back and I just thought that was dope.
AllHipHop: How do you pick out your beats? Who are some producers that you like to work with?
Rocky Diamonds: I’m a huge J Dilla fan, I think he is the best producer if not the one of the best producers ever. His beats were a super chill vibe and that what I look for musically. But I find when I really go in, I rap on those types of beats and then you have the “Ballin Track”, then you got “Number One”, then “Get Yo Ass Out” and its all about how I might be feeling and its all a vibe about how I’m feeling that day and when I record a song an shit.
AllHipHop: Since your success with this “Diamond Life” mixtape, explain how this has brought on more work with other artists and how it has helped your music.
Rocky Diamonds: It definitely was a steppingstone for me, just because it was kind of out of nowhere. I put out mixtapes back home, but I never put them out nationally and when we put this out, we promo’d it to a different crowd, like a larger crowd I would say. And kind of built up respect through other artists and being a part of Diamond Supply, its really serious though and now I’m working with hella producers and artists and on the second one, its going to be bigger than the first one. We put this one out just as a stepping-stone and its great and exactly how we planned it to go.
AllHipHop: Any tour plans coming up for the winter?
Rocky Diamonds: I just got off tour with the Sneaker Pimps and I did a few dates with them and I’m setting up this Midwest tour with this booking agency called Moodswing, they do work for LMFAO, Travie McCoy, Kevin Rudolph and a whole bunch of other pop artists. We had a meeting with them and we got everything set up right around when my next project drops and we are just setting that up and I’m just doing small dates here and there that I am posting on my Twitter and Tumbler.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from the next project?
Rocky Diamonds: Man! The next project is just more complete songs and better production and just taking more time to work on the mastering, really going in on the quality of the song and just better music I would say. Same feel just an upgrade of that, more professional and I think fans can expect a better quality of production.
AllHipHop: Def looking forward to seeing how the sound evolves, who you working with going forward…. Any talks with labels at this point?
Rocky Diamonds: I had a meeting with Jive, a meeting with Def Jam, Atlantic, Sony in a couple of weeks, my managers met with Universal. Now we got them all watching and we have had some deals tossed out there, but we are just taking out time and we are good just chilling, making music, doing shows and we aren’t anti-major or anything like that but we are just waiting for the right deal.
AllHipHop: Do you think that you will stick on the independent route or major?
Rocky Diamonds: I don’t want to remain independent, because I don’t feel like independent artists are put on the same stage as the major artists and I want to be one of the greats. All of the greats are major artists, so I don’t want to just be ….. I want to get as big as possible and I want to keep doing what we do on a commercial scale. If you are a true artist you can stay yourself and still put out commercial music. Look at Jay-Z… we def aren’t trying to be small.
AllHipHop: Where do you get inspiration? Who have you been listening to recently?
Rocky Diamonds: I listen to a lot of Meek Mill and Kendrick Lamar. I listened to Watch the Throne recently and I get inspiration from all of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s albums. I listened to all those albums, Section.80, Kendrick Lamar. That’s what I have been listening to recently.
AllHipHop: How about Prince and Purple Rain?
Rocky Diamonds: Hahahaha, people always ask about that… hahaha
AllHipHop: What kind of presence does Prince have on the hip hop scene out there?
Rocky Diamonds: Not only on hip-hop, but the state period.
AllHipHop: And what about Rhymesayers?
Rocky Diamonds: They are huge out here, underground indie, out here doing their thing, they have one of the largest outdoor festivals in the country, I think now called the Minnnesota Soundset Festival, but they are huge.
Contact Rocky Diamonds here @RockyDiamonds