Written by: Kymmi Cee
Donald Pullen was born on April 16, 1991 in Chicago, Illinois. Pullen grew up on the South Side of the city until he moved with his family over to Homewood, Illinois and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School where he’d freestyle rap battle with others during his lunch-time. There, he was given the stage name most of us recognize him by; Rockie Fresh. At the young age of 21 he’s generated quite the buzz for himself so it’s imperative you get familiar with the kid if you aren’t aren’t. Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you Mr. Rockie Fresh.
While recording in 2009 Rockie met Andrew Koenig and Andrew Gertler, who became his managers and started APG Music Group, LLC. His debut mixtape “Rockie’s Modern Life” was released in December 2009 and followed by “The Otherside” one year later.
The success of both projects earned Rockie performances with greats such as Rick Ross and Twista. He was also given the chance to perform at the Bamboozle Festival, where he met Josh Madden, who would later introduce him to Joel & Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, but it didn’t stop there. Fall Out Boy lead-singer Patrick Stump also became familiar with Rockie’s music, growing to be one of Rockie’s major influences.
Since the release of his second tape in 2010 Rockie has been named one of Metromix’s “25 Hottest Artists Under 25″ and his music has been featured on The CW’s nationally syndicated television show Nikita. Finally, in 2012, Rockie released “Driving 88,” which ultimately led to his signing with Maybach Music Group on July 12.
Last Thursday I was able to attend a 3D listening session for his newly released “Electric Highway,” his first imprint under MMG. Yes, the session was 3D. In case you don’t believe me you can catch a photo and video recap [here]. It was pretty trippy and everyone received a souvenir cassette edition of the tape. Now all I need are some batteries for my cassette player…or a cassette player to begin with. You can download for free [right here], but remember to drive slow homie.
The 17-track ride includes features from Rick Ross, Curren$y and Nipsey Hussle along with production from the Gift, Boi-1Da, Big Jerm and Sayez. It’s got a soundtrack feel behind it that makes me wanna attribute a few tracks to some of my favorite movies, but that’s what I won’t do…or at least not right now I won’t.
“Electric highways are something that the government implemented for smart-car [owners] to be able to charge their cars on the side of the road without having to hit gas stations,” Rockie told Mixtape Daily of the tape’s title. “I just like the way the title kinda stuck out. With that I created my own meaning to it, which is basically, this is my point of progression, my different road that I’m taking, and I call it the Electric Highway.“
Prior to Rockie’s listening session I’d only been familiar with a couple of his tracks, but after a full tape I was rather impressed. It’s no wonder Ross snatched him up and that’s all I need to be reassured…Rockie. Fresh. Is. Next.
Joints to Check For (via (MTV)
» “The Future ” – “It’s the intro on the mixtape and it just really sets the tone for the vibe that Electric Highway is, so I really wanted to give people that first so they can really understand what’s goin’ on, and then after that it’s time to ride out.”
» “Superman OG” – ” ‘Superman OG’ is actually one of the singles that I released. It’s just a record with me rappin’ over the beat, no hook. Just goin’ straight in.”
» “Life Long” feat. Rick Ross and Nipsey Hussle – “I hear a lot of songs where it’s promoting people to die young and all of that. In the city where I’m from, that happens a lot and a lot of kids don’t get to see their dreams, don’t get to experience a lot of things that they should in a lifetime. So for me, I really wanted to make a song that motivated people to want to live long and try to be in the game for a minute and achieve some things.”