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Pardon The Introduction: Chicago's Rockie Fresh

Rockie Fresh is the next best thing out of Chi-Town. The 20-year-old already has co-signs from up-and-coming favorites (Lil B, Casey Veggies), alternative rockers (Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden) and even Asher Roth. With a new mixtape Driving 88 dropping today (Jan. 23), Fresh’s career is accelerating at high speeds and he has no intention of slowing down. Fresh recently spoke to VIBE.com about his parents’ initial reaction to his rap career, his diverse range of musical influences and his upcoming project.

At 17, a young Fresh was studying to mainstream rap records and alternative hits at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School in Chicago but as a member of the debate team, he was set on another occupation.

 “When I was in high school, I was on the debate team and I was really trying to set up my life to become a lawyer. It was something I had a passion for but the problem with that is that I really didn’t like school itself,” says Rockie. “I definitely understood school but the whole time I was there, I knew it wasn’t for me.”

 It was a rap battle victory in his school’s parking lot that made him consider a music career.

 “In the last semester of my senior year, I had a rap battle with this kid in the parking lot and I won, which was lame, I would probably never do anything like that again. It kinda got people in tune with me that I was a rapper. And from there I just started slowly trying to deal with the idea of me becoming a real artist.”

 The rapper’s name was born from a combination of childhood idols including Rocky from 3 Ninjas and the red Power Ranger of the same name--mixed with his modern sense of style. But when it comes to his records, make no mistake that Rockie’s not just another artist to file under his Chicago predecessors Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco. He’s different and his diverse tastes in music are evidence to that.

 “I went to a very mixed high school and…got introduced to different types of music and instead of blocking out or you know being afraid of it, I really embraced it and some of these alternative songs have the best kind of lyrics and if you can get through the singing, there’s a message in there,” Rockie tells VIBE. “I just made it one of my guilty pleasures. You know I listen to Paramore, Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy just as much as any other alternative fan but I also still listen to rap music like crazy, too.”

 However, few can say that the bands they grew up listening to are fans of their music as well. Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte have toured with Fresh, as well appeared on his mixtapes.  “My fan base is all over the place because of my tour history and the different artists that I work with but it’s cool because Benji and Joel from Good Charlotte and Patrick, they’re fans. They don’t dislike rap music but it’s just not around them and so a lot of times, I’m their first introduction to rap and it’s coming from a vouch from an artist that they know and love to death and like for me to have those types of vouches and fans to give me a chance, to become fans of the music, it becomes a real beautiful situation.”

 Fresh also brings this eclectic flavor on his new mixtape, Driving 88, inspired by the DeLorean from the classic film Back To The Future. In the Michael J. Fox classic, the car is required to hit the speed of 88mph in order to reach its destination. The project, which features the Good Charlotte Brothers, Phil Ade, Casey Veggies and Skrillex samples, gave Fresh the opportunity to create a record for everyone, painting a picture of various human emotions that people can relate to.

 “I kinda want people to take from the project that it’s based off of real life and that also even if you don’t click with a record, you know at some point in your situation, maybe later on, that record may be instrumental to you because it was written for that purpose.”

Look out for Driving 88 to be posted on VIBE.com. --Adelle Platon


Watch Rockie's "How We Do" Video Below

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Romeo shared a photo of an email for a callback to the Bad Boys set on his Instagram Stories on Dec. 11. "When you get callbacks and opportunity to work alongside your idols, @martinlawrence and @willsmith, you go study and go ghost," the rapper-turned-actor said, mentioning stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith.

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As previously reported Will Smith and Martin Lawrence announced that the third installment of the Bad Boys franchise is finally happening after years of negotiating. The upcoming film, entitled, Bad Boys For Life, is expected to premiere in Jan. 2020.

Check out Romeo's post below.

 

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Looks like #Romeo May be joining the #BadBoys3 crew! Are y’all here for it, #Roomies!?

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:13am PST

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'Selena: The Series' Is Headed To Netflix

It's been more than 20 years since Selena Quintanilla's senseless death, but the singer's fans and family have done their part to keep her memory and legacy alive. With the hope of introducing the Grammy-award winner to a new generation, Netflix has ordered a Selena series to live on the streaming platform.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Quintanilla family will produce what is being described as a coming of age story for the model, actress and fashion designer. It's unclear how many episodes will be in the series and if it'll be 30 minutes or an hour.

"Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel great responsibility to do justice to her memory. With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives, Selena's sister Suzette Quintanilla said in a statement. "We are excited to partner with Campanario and Netflix to give fans a never-before-seen glimpse at our story and highlight why Selena will remain a legend for generations to come."

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In 1995, Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar who managed her fan club after it had been discovered she was embezzling money. Saldivar was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. The singer's life then made it to the big screen in 1997, with Jennifer Lopez starring in the principal role.

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A 'New York Undercover' Reboot May Be On The Way

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According to Deadline, ABC is not only rebooting NYPD Blue but also considering bringing back New York Undercover. Created by Dick Wolf, the cop drama starring Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo was the first series that featured two actors of colors as the lead.

Yoba and DeLorenzo played undercover detectives J.C Williams and Eddie Torres with New York's fourth precinct. Later on in the series, Lauren Valez joined the cast as a detective and Torres' love interest. Originally housed on Fox, the series lasted from 1994-1998, with the unsuspecting death of Torres who perished in a car bomb.

Wolf's agent spoke to Deadline and hinted about the reprisal. "Wolf  is reviving one of his shows from years ago – it’s a franchise you can redo” that “doesn’t necessarily have to have the same cast.” Reportedly there are multiple networks interested.

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