Sunday, September 10, 2017
Milwaukee Rapper "Rockz"
“The only chick you see puttin’ on for the Mil.”
That is a line from the song Pressure by Milwaukee rapperRockz, AKA Raquel Aleman. Nicknamed “Rocky”, Aleman began her quest as a rapper in her early teenage years and it quickly became apparent that she had a talent that set her apart from the others.
She is no doubt the Queen of Milwaukee Hip Hop and she takes her crown VERY seriously. She is a mother, a hustler, and community activist. She is always looking forward and grinds as hard as anyone in the business. In this two part interview, Aleman talks about her life, her loves, and her passion. Part two of this interview will include a review of her brand new album, “VersaStyles.”
What is going on in the life of Rockz?
What isn’t going on in the life of Rockz is a more accurate question, lol. I am a full-time mom of 3 kids, my youngest has many needs. I work 40 hour full time weeks from home and I write a lot and try to record at least 1-2 times a week. Between baseball games, school conferences, and running my kids around I rock shows on the weekends and sometimes weeknights.
How did you get started with Brewed Fresh Records?
I started the label, Brewed Fresh Records, LLC. when I opened up my first studio in 2011 at the Lincoln Warehouse on Milwaukee’s southside. My goal in the label has always been to assist others in finding their voice and confidence, especially through music. It has been a bumpy road with the label as I have fallen back from music periodically due to my sons needs but I am ready to go full-force with this album and I am operating under my label once again.
The story behind “VersaStyles,” is pretty deep actually. I feel as though I have always been perceived as a “backpack rapper” or a conscious underground hip hop head which I am, although there is so much more to my skill. This album is a display of my versatility as a recording artist. I am singing on this album, I wrote every word besides the features and the production choice and concepts are distinctly different. My goal was to show I am beyond a hot verse-- I can structure a song, I can sing a hook, I can format a conceptual project and make it flow together. My engineer, Omar, and I are confident the sound we were aiming towards will be displayed.
Describe your music.
My music is very personal to me, especially on this album. Also, it is versatile as one song may be conscious and righteous while the next might be about throwing a cheating boyfriend out of the house. At the end of the day, my music is real. Anything I have ever rapped about I have lived through, done or will do.
Best performance you ever gave.
The best performance I ever gave was for a Halloween event at Club Mangos in Milwaukee when it was Club International I think. I really had a lot of fun and was able to be my goofy self on stage. I love being able to talk, or get silly, turn up, and have fun with the crowd.
WORST performance you ever gave.
The worst, in my opinion, was a performance I recently did for an organization that did not want me to use any profanity so it was hard for me to overlook a few words and stay on track with my newer songs.
What are some of the GOOD things about the music in this area?
One of the best things about the music in my area right now, is that I see a lot of artists completing full projects instead of just dropping a song here and there. Also, I see a lot of artists supporting one another and sharing/promoting music and events they’re doing. I’ve noticed seasoned artist have more respect for one another and seem to group together more.
What are some of the things that need to be improved?
First and foremost are the events in Milwaukee. I feel like a lot of promoters are just trying to throw a bunch of rappers on a show to get their crowd and entry fees. The shows are unprofessional with laptop djs, broken mics, and poor promotion. I feel like too many people are trying to do everything on their own and not giving 100% to what they’re actually good at.
How would YOU change the music scene here?
If I had the time and energy to strengthen the scene here, I would start by forming some type of coalition of artists/producers/djs/promoters/videographers that all have the same goal in mind. We would be able to pool our networks and also assist one another with anything we could.
Who are some of your musical influences.
My musical influences are hilarious. I listen to a lot of country music, I love Miranda Lambert and Sugarland. As far as Hip-Hop, I am a huge fan of Rah Digga and Remy Ma. New Era artist, I love Snow Tha Product and I have watched her grind since the beginning.
Talk a little bit about your work in the community?
My full-time job is community work with elderly and disabled people. I have a real soft spot for elderly people, disabled individuals, and children. I have done a lot musically in the community as well. I wrote a domestic violence song for our county supervisor, I also co-wrote a song on racism and co-wrote a song on latin arts in the community. I performed at True Skool’s event which was community-geared. I also performed at two car shows and block parties in the community.
What is your goal for the community?
My goal for the community is to encourage people to find their outlet and their voice. I think that if we could encourage youth to plug into sports, music, and arts it would be beneficial to our society.
Tell me about “A Female Perspective.”
A Female’s Perspective was a blog that I started when I stopped doing music because I still love to write. The blog is no longer active, but when it was, I covered hip hop, art, and events from a female’s perspective. The blog was mainly my opinion on new music, events, and issues in our music scene. I really enjoyed blogging but I love writing music more.
If I could Colab with any artist it would have to be Common. I really enjoy his music and his mentality. I think we would make an organic, real, classic song. Also, I have a huge crush on Common.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a grounded artist. An artist who was always true to herself and un-wavered. As long as my music lives though, I live on.