Southside Chicago native, RO$$ MAC is more than your ordinary rapper. For instance, he is the first artist to have a career on Wall Street, subsequently graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’ Wharton School of Business school, selling out shows, and has a story unlike anyone else in the music industry.
RO$$ MAC debuted on a collaboration with his brother, award-winning songwriter Sayyi called “What We Doin”, a track by Grammy-nominated producer Soundz. He is also co-founder of the brand DRILL, hosting sold-out events across the rural area and attracting crowds in New York, Philly, Atlanta, L.A., Miami, and of course Chicago.
DRILL events have become a platform for Ro$$ to perform in front of sold-out crowds across the country and test new, unreleased songs find out if people are supporting the movement.
When it comes to distributing music and content, DRILL maintains an e-mail list of over 40,000 people across the country.
RO$$ MAC has the opportunity to be on tour with T.I. And DJ Envy, Juvenile, Twista, Jeremih, Fat Joe, The Cool Kids, Madeintyo, and many more. Performing shows in Memphis, Birmingham, Orlando, and New Orleans. His singles are in rotation on Chicago’s top hip-hop stations 107.5 WGCI and Power 92.3 with his latest single Faygo featuring Asa2Times. He will be featured on Chicago WGCI’s Home Turf Artist Showcase, where he will perform in January 2018 alongside fellow emerging Chicago artist Famous Dex.
His hit single named after the famous soft drink “Faygo” featuring Asa2Times is the drink of choice to go along with Chicago’s famous Harold’s Chicken. Faygo was featured on the FakeShore curated “The Drive” on Shade 45 Radio by both DJ Milehigh and DJ Commando.
Can you tell us what inspired you to come up with the concept for your smash hit “Faygo” featuring Asa2Times?
I’ve known Asa for a while, but it was his manager, Steve, who DJ Khaled’d the whole operation. He kept saying that Asa and I need to get in the lab together. After a late night in the studio, Asa and his manager, who I’ve known since we were kids, pulled up to my house, where I have a studio. After that, it was instant synergy. Asa brought a melodic flavor and our wordplay back and forth just made it work.
Faygo is one of the Midwest’s favorite pops that you get at the local hood corner store. For us, we tend to grab one at Harold’s Chicken Shack to go with the mild sauce and wings. We made a song to describe that good feeling – just having fun.
You were a featured artist of Coor’s Light HBCU Classic Tour with T.I. and DJ Envy, performing shows in Memphis, Birmingham, Orlando, and New Orleans. What was that experience as an artist like for you?
It was a real eye-opening experience and has helped open up a lot of my perspective as an artist. When you make a song, it’s one thing for it to sound great to you, but to see people across the country embrace your music too is dope. Being on tour allowed me to see how fans interacted with my music and get their reactions. I also learned a lot from just being around T.I. And other artists who came out to support along the tour, like Young Dro, Lil Scrappy, and KCamp.
Your new video is scheduled to be released soon. What is the concept of this project?
The song itself is all about having fun, and the plot is that I am working in Harold’s Chicken and Asa comes through, and he let me know that we have to get out of here. He has a party bus, and we are about to grab some Faygos, and we head to a party. Asa and I are in the corner store buying Faygos, and then we head out to the club. There are a lot of cameos from the whos who as far as, artists and DJs making appearances in the video.
Have you thought about work with some of your fellow Chi-Town artist such as Jeremih, Chance The Rapper and Kanye West at some point?
I would love to – I was just in the studio with both Jeremih and Chance while they were finishing up their holiday album. I actually went to elementary school with Chance, and it’s great to see how he and Jeremih are putting on for the city of Chicago in a major way. I’ve known Jeremih for a while and have always admired the high-quality music that he creates. I had the opportunity to go on the road with him a few years ago, and I learned a lot from watching sold-out shows night after night. It definitely inspired me to take my music to new levels.
I would love to work with Ye. I think he’s one of the most talented individuals in the music industry. He is probably one of the best marketers in the game in music, fashion and himself as a brand.
Do you plan on releasing more music singles or an EP next year?
I spent a lot of 2017 working on music and finding my pocket. I feel good about my music and the creative space that I’m in and plan to release an EP on my birthday – January 5th, 2018.
You are an Ivy league graduate that has had the opportunity to work on Wall Street. Which Ivy school did you attend and what was your major?
I went to the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Wharton School of Business with a degree in Finance.
How does your experience on Wall Street translate into the Music industry?
Working on Wall Street has been an experience that has definitely helped me with my music, and it gives me a different perspective from most artists. I can discuss more in my music content – you’ll hear me rap about investing, traveling, just enjoying life too. Having a career also means that I’m not a starving artist, and it has helped me know how to manage my money and finance my own music career.
You co-founded the brand “DRILL” which is a promotional and events company. What are some of the events that we can expect from the “DRILL” heading into the first quarter of 2018?
DRILL brings together people, artists, music, and brands – we’re not promoters, we just create experiences for our network of young, educated Millennials all over the country. The next DRILL on my birthday January 5th in Chicago. It also allows me to perform my music in front of a thousand of people, as all artists know that being able to get booked for shows can be difficult. DRILL creates the opportunity for me to perform across the country and gain new fans in every city where we have an event.
Are there any other businesses that you are currently involved in outside of the music industry?
I’m also co-founder of a start-up called “The Up Next.” Our app allows you to build your best virtual record label with artists, similar to fantasy football. It also helps you discover new emerging artists like Tinder, but instead, you are swiping through audio clips. We’ve had a couple of features in Business Weekly, Forbes, and we spent some time in an accelerator in Nashville.
You named your hit single after the famous Mid-West soft drink“Faygo” Have you thought about partnering with the company in some form or fashion?
Yes, I have and would love to, it just has to be the right situation. I have a licensing deal where someone is efficiently shopping my music for various projects for a television show, but I want to partner with the Faygo company one day.
As of late Bitcoin is receiving a lot of attention. Can you tell us your thoughts and is this a good investment?
Cryptocurrencies are unexplainable – the market doesn’t know if it is a currency or commodity. Wall Street is still trying to figure out the best way to classify it. Because of this new blockchain technology, I think it will be around for a while in some way or form whether it is Bitcoin or a different cryptocurrency. I have personally made money on it, but most people think it is a bubble more than an asset. I would rather be able to look back and say I took a chance and it paid off or at least that I took a chance on it.