RoQ’y TyRaiD Interview & Video: “Can’t C Me”

MyCLickUrban sat down with RoQ’y TyRaiD recently following a panel discussion on Black Music Month with Radio Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.

RoQ’y TyRaiD (Rocky Tirade) hails from Phoenix by way of Southern California and possesses an uncompromising sound deeply rooted in the 90’s heyday of unadulterated, raw Hip-Hop; with a contemporary edge needed to stand at the creative forefront of his age bracket.

While the title of “lyricist” is often misused in the Hip-Hop industry, anyone whose ears are blessed with the opportunity to hear this young man’s unique mixture of wordplay, wittiness, originality, brazen yet smooth delivery, controversial subject matter, and charisma will proclaim RoQ’y TyRaiD a serious contender without a shadow of doubt! National Tours and show dates under his belt, multiple appearances at festivals such as SXSW, and a myriad of internet media placements, let’s keep an eye on this young man…

MCU: Describe your music.

RoQ’y: Passionate, complex, opinionated, pseudo-political, introverted,  intrinsically dope!! [laughs] I mean, my music is the essence of golden era with a razor sharp contemporary edge. With my name RoQ’y TyRaiD, you can encounter different versions of me, on a human level. Certain songs are introspective, smooth, lighthearted; other songs are highly energetic, aggressive testaments to the competitive spirit. In short, my music is about mastering and balancing lyricism with the art of song writing.

MCU: Who are you biggest musical influences?

RoQ’y: So many influences! First, I’m a creative product of the 90’s / early 2000’s, so I’d have to say almost any display of creative genius during those eras. My song “Under New Management” off of The New Millennium Man breaks it down. I’d say people like Common, Pharoahe, Wu, Slim Shady, Rage Against The Machine, Chino, Crooked, Planet, Beans, Jay, Nas, Busta — definitely Bus in some aspects, Black Thought, Little Brother, Blackstar, and Slum Village to name a few. It’s crazy because As the creator of the music, you tend to hear certain influences from different artists within your own craft. That never takes away from you though, it just says you come from the same school i.e. Rakim, to Nas, to Elzhi.

MCU: Your stage performance is energetic and captivating, who influenced your approach to live shows?

RoQ’y:  Thank you, I think my main influence is just my own personal bottled up energy [laughs]. I do and have, however, always kept an eye out on masters of ceremony with incredible energy. Artists or groups such as Rage, Bus, Chi, Tribe, Roots, and Pharoahe all seem to master turning raw energy into captivating “shows”, not just performances. Even Earth, Wind, and Fire influenced my outlook on shows. You don’t just go up and “perform songs”, you give them your experience.

MCU: What legacy do you want to leave via your musical catalogue?

RoQ’y:  That I was an artist who represented the everyman. I want to be recognized as someone who contributed greatly to the culture and to show that, while it may not be as glorious as Hollywood portrays, you can in fact do what you love and know best. I’d like to be recognized as the type of person who wasn’t afraid to be labeled as socially unconventional, off-kilter, different, or speak his mind. To be seen as “organic”, whether right or wrong at the time.

MCU: What inspired the video concept behind Can’t C Me?

RoQ’y:  [laughs] To be honest, last year I went on tour w MegaRan , DN3, and Willie Evans, Jr. During one of the lengthy drives, we stopped at a Walmart / Subway to grab supplies and a bite to eat. I was recording the trip on video and had a camera in my hand, by my waist while walking in the store. Long story short, the manager of the sleepy town Walmart decided to call not only the local sheriff, but the state troopers who literally surrounded us at the Subway.

I walked outside and the woman, named Jean jumped out of the car ranting and raving with all sorts of odd papers and claiming I was somehow “harassing employees.” A few “you’ve gotta be kidding me” looks from the State Troopers and a few well-timed witty remarks from myself later, I was subsequently “banned” from Walmarts, worldwide. Including China. Especially China, for some reason.  Despite never getting my name or visible picture. Yeah.

So, inspired by the hilarious event, I decided to create a fun guerrilla-styled video in the location of my first job and subject of my work-related song “I Quit”.

MCU: What is something that you want music lovers to know about you and/or your music that you’ve never had a chance to address in an interview?

RoQ’y:  The name RoQ’y TyRaiD  is a celebration of duality and  my music is a testament to my life in that particular time. A lot of artists get into certain forced  moods to create music. While I like doing that at times, when creating as genuinely introspective as a personal project or album, I like to let my current mindstate create the music of that particular period, as my music serves as a timepiece of specific eras in my life.

For instance there is a hidden theme to my first project, The New Millennium Man which was the directions of a specific relationship I was involved with at the time. Maybe not so obvious in the subject matter or songs, but in the varied energy of the project , as a whole. It wasn’t the purpose of the project, nor a driving theme, but more of a “featured element”. My upcoming work has a song about that, as well.

There are multiple thematic “layers” in my music; surface level with lyrical content, the foundation level with the beat, structural level which is the theme or purpose. The hidden theme such as what was described about NMM is comparable to the earth surrounding the structure, its presence and influence never surmised or taken into account by those discerning the “blueprint” of my music.

MCU:  Tell us a story that will sum up your life as an artist.

RoQ’y:  Whether regional or on the road, on a show day, I wake up, search for beats or pull up a specific beat I’m suppose to write to; put on my trademark headphones; complete non-creative tasks while consuming a non-traditional meal; and spend the next hour or so mentally constructing music. Afterwards, I take up cardio exercises in preparation for the evening’s show. Following a quick rehearsal, I clean up then engage in other rituals I keep to myself as ya’ll can’t know everything [laughs]. Quick second non-traditional meal, merch check, and it’s off to the races. Usually after shows, I spend that night sending emails to the new people I’ve been connected with, which takes a few hours to personalize.  This is one example of a day in the life of an indie artist.

MCU:  Appreciate you chopping it up with us for a minute.

RoQ’y:  No doubt!


For more of RoQ’y TyRaiD’s music and to purchase singles, visit Connect with RoQ’y at the links below:

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Follow on Twitter: @RoQyTyRaiD

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