EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: StaySolidRocky speaks about going platinum with "Party Girl," working with XXXTentacion's manager, and how he linked up with Lil Uzi Vert.
StaySolidRocky went viral on TikTok before he even knew what it was. The social platform has been huge for the growth of several artists over the last year. We've seen already-established characters, like Roddy Ricch and Doja Cat, get their first #1 records off of their virality on TikTok. We've also witnessed the tremendous introduction of artists like Flo Milli, 645AR, and others through the video-sharing app. StaySolidRocky fits into the latter category but he's not interested in letting TikTok define his career or his success.
Signing to Columbia Records, the San Antonio and Richmond-raised artist wants to be known for his versatility at the end of the day. "You’re gonna hear a bunch of different shit," he says about his future work, priding himself on being a malleable artist.
With "Party Girl" spending fourteen total weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #21 and earning the artist his first-ever platinum plaque, StaySolidRocky is ready to tell his story. He started to do so with his debut project Fallin and is fixing to continue his rise to the top for years to come.
Read our interview below, edited for clarity and length.
Photo credit: Hadas
HNHH: What’s up Rocky? How’s it going bro, you in the studio right now?
StaySolidRocky: Yeah something like that. A little something-something, you know.
I see the plaque on the wall, you going crazy right now!
[StaySolidRocky's manager Solomon]: That’s not his plaque, his is coming soon.
Oh, okay. You went platinum the other week. “Party Girl" is going crazy, Fallin is going crazy. Congratulations on everything.
I appreciate you, man. I appreciate it for real.
Absolutely. The remix just came out for “Party Girl”, how did you get in touch with Lil Uzi Vert?
They say he heard the song on SoundCloud and he loved it.
Was there anybody else that you were thinking of for the remix?
Yeah, 'cause I ain’t gone lie, I wasn’t expecting Uzi to get on it. So yeah, we were thinking of other people, but when that happened they kind of just tore up the list.
Do you think you might end up doing more remixes for it?
I don’t know, I don’t know. Just can’t overdo it, can’t overdo it. You never know, someone might send us a crazy verse, I don’t know.
That’s how it be sometimes, you just gotta play it by ear. How did you initially get started in rap?
I’ve been rapping ever since I- I don’t know. I’ve been rapping ever since I could speak for real. It happened naturally but I just fell in love with music and started freestyling. Back in Virginia, I started writing- no I started writing for real for real probably in like eighth or ninth grade type shit. Then I moved to Virginia and then I just kept writing and then I found out where studios was at and I was in there.
Did you always want to be a rapper when you were growing up?
Man, all I wanted to do is rap.
I respect that.
For real, bruh.
What were you studying in school?
I was just in college for a little bit. I majored in psychology then I switched it to business. Then I tried to go back to school as undecided, but then I got signed.
That takes precedence, I feel like. It’s like, you get the deal and then you can just focus on music. You can go back if you want, but I feel like-
I was trying to go to school just to get out the house. Just to live on campus type shit like, I ain’t fuck with it, you know what I’m saying.
What were the parties like on campus? Are you much of a partier?
No, I don’t go to parties. That’s crazy like, I don’t be- I don’t know, I don’t be in the mix too much, shit. I’ve been to a couple though. I don’t know, I don’t like being around too many people in my area.
I feel that. I read that your mom was a rapper too, is that true?
Um, yeah. Mhm. A little something-something though, a little something-something, nothing too crazy.
You ever gonna have her on a song?
Maybe, I don’t know, I don’t know. She tryna cop the feature?
You’re gonna have to charge her for that.
I’ma charge her.
What does she think about everything that’s happening in your career right now?
She happy with it, she happy. I ain’t seen her in a minute, but I’m gonna see her soon.
Tell me more about your family. What was your upbringing like? Were your parents still together growing up?
No, I lived with my mom. I used to see my dad every now and then and shit, but it’s just like family issues and shit like that.
You were between San Antonio and Richmond, right?
Yeah, I used to come up to Richmond, to Virginia, to visit for the summer. It wasn’t every summer though, it was like every now and then type shit. I mean I seen my dad, but yeah. He was just grinding, doing his thing you know what I’m saying.
What does he do?
He dropped out in seventh grade. He hustled, he was selling cologne in the mall.
After that, he became the manager in the jewelry store cause they saw him selling cologne. So they hired him, he worked his way up to manager at the number one store for twenty years, and then basically, he got fired from that and then he opened up a barbershop. Actually, he opened up the barbershop right before he got fired. He didn’t know what to do cause he didn’t have no diploma or nothing, so he learned how to cut hair.
That a hustler’s mentality right there. Where are you living now?
Still Virginia. I ain’t move yet.
Are you thinking of moving? You gonna make your way out to L.A.?
Nah, not yet. I might slide, but I don’t know. I gotta see, I gotta look. But I mean, I might- I fuck with L.A., so I might slide up there one day.
Photo credit: Hadas
I feel that. You've seen a lot of success recently, which was kind of bolstered by TikTok. Was that your strategy or did it just kind of happen like that?
No, I wouldn’t- I mean for real for real, if anything I would say I blew up on SoundCloud or YouTube first, and then just trickled over to TikTok and then it just went crazy on TikTok. But I mean I never knew what TikTok was, I was just making music.
Word. I wanted to ask you about your name, StaySolidRocky. What does that mean to you, what made you decide on using that?
Cause stay solid means like loyalty, and I’m big on loyalty.
Your manager Solomon was here before. He used to work with XXXTentacion. How did you guys meet?
From the DMs.
Were you a fan of X?
Yeah, I listened to-- see, with me, I be listening to rappers, and then after they get a certain amount of fans... or like they get too famous for me and it’s kind of done. I was listening to him earlier and then he really blew up blew up and I just kind of fell back.
So you were listening before “Look at Me” type shit?
Yeah, like the first song I heard it was “Yung Bratz,” I think.
That shit’s fire though, I think I heard him perform that shit live, it's crazy.
Yeah. Oh live, I know that shit be crazy.
Why is it that you fall off of rappers once they get big? You're kind of on that hipster type wave?
I don’t know, bruh. It’s kind of like, when you got an artist that people don’t really know, you kind of brag like, “yeah y’all don’t know who this is,” but when everybody knows who it is, it’s not special no more. But I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the success, but it’s kind of like damn, like now I gotta find another underdog.
That’s the fun of being a music fan. You’re always finding shit and being like “damn." Everything seems to have happened to you so quickly. How long have you been working seriously as an artist?
Since I was fifteen. It happened fast as far as “Party Girl,” but I wrote so many songs that I didn’t put out. I wrote so many songs that flopped. I took so many losses with this music shit, it seemed like I just started, but nah, it’s just the first win.
What made you want to keep going?
I don’t know. I don’t watch TV, I don’t play video games, I don’t do nothing like that, I just do what I do.
It’s your calling. That’s beautiful, I love to hear that. As far as Columbia goes, what made you want to sign with them?
Everything was just smooth, bruh. It was like, everybody showed me love. I met everybody, got good vibes, and it just fit like a puzzle for real.
Going back to music discovery, when it comes to your music, if there’s somebody who’s like "shit, I was into StaySolidRocky before 'Party Girl'", what song are they talking about?
Before “Party Girl”? I don’t know, man. My music-- every song sounds like a completely different person. Cause, first of all, I wasn’t even in the studio that much to have a lot of songs. Second of all, I was still trying to find my flow, so it was like I might be rapping on one song, singing on the next, and then it was just a lot going on. Before “Party Girl” I would say “Driftin & Drivin” on SoundCloud.
Talking about “Party Girl”, the girl that you wrote that song about, does she know it’s about her?
I wouldn’t say it’s about nobody, I would say like, I got the general idea off of somebody type shit, and then I thought about like-- matter of fact, I know a lot of girls that are into stuff like that. And then really it’s just, I started writing the song and threw in some different emotions from relationships and shit, and then yeah, add a little pizzazz on it, and then you got you a little something-something.
Describe the perfect girl, what’s wifey type for you?
Man, I mean ain’t nobody perfect, but I just want somebody to understand. If they don’t understand, if they don’t comprehend, then y’all not gonna be on the same page. Y’all gotta understand what y’all got going on.
Photo credit: Hadas
I rock with that. As it stands, like you said, you don’t have too much music out. You just put out Fallin, obviously “Party Girl” is going off. How would you describe your sound to people that are unfamiliar with you?
Versatile. I don’t know, it depends on the beat, for real. I kind of make myself fit the beat, so you’re gonna hear a bunch of different shit.
Is that your studio process? You go in, hear the beat, then you adapt to it?
Mhm, find the flow, mumble a couple things and then start rapping.
Are you more of a freestyler or a rapper?
Writer all the way. I can freestyle, but I don’t like to freestyle in the studio.
I feel like freestyling is something you acquire along the way.
Yeah, but you gotta practice it though. I got a couple n***as that don’t rap, but just from them being around me and my brother Big4Keezy, from just being in the studio with us, just freestyling with us, they actually know how to rap, they pretty good at it, so it’s just practice though.
Keezy is on the project a few times. What can you tell us about him?
Oh, he gon’ go crazy. I mean for real, he was kind of in the same situation as me. Like, he’s been grinding with me every since- I mean for real for real, I think I was rapping like a year without him and then that’s when we really got cool, found out he could rap, started pushing him to go to the studio and he been going crazy ever since. But outside of music, that’s just my brother, you know, we argue like brothers, we live in the same neighborhood, you know what I’m saying, that’s just my dog all the way. And he can actually rap! Like he can actually make good music, so it’s like that’s just a plus. He a real n***a and he makes good music, so why not link up?
How’d you guys meet? Were you in school together?
We lived in the same neighborhood, then we went to school with each other for a year. But for real for real, when we went to school we weren’t even that close, like that was before we started rapping. It’s just I knew him, like that was my dog.
Yeah. Obviously right now we’re in a pandemic, it’s a weird time to kind of blow up in music. You can’t perform, you can’t do much press. How has the pandemic affected your music plans?
I can’t perform, I can’t travel, so it’s kind of like I’m living the rapper lifestyle, but I actually got time to plan my shit out. Like, I’m not in different places every night, meeting different people every day, so I actually got time to sit back and come up with a game plan with my team.
You say you’re living a rapper lifestyle. What’s the flashiest purchase that you made in the last few months?
Man, I don’t know, I ain’t really wild out. I bought my brother a car. The 2017 Infiniti Q50.
That’s love. I like that! You get you a chain yet?
Nah, I ain’t get no chain-- I was just talking about that like I gotta get a chain.
What you gonna get on the chain?
I’m not really into all that bruh, I be chillin, like. You see me? I got on the white tee right now, you know, I’m casual man. But what imma have on the chain? Hmm, I dont know.
You could always just go with something simple, just get your name, you know.
No, I ain’t gon’ do that. I’ll spice it up. Imma get a Whoopi Goldberg chain.
Okay! That’s kind of fire! Why Whoopi?
I don’t know, that’s the first name that came to my head.
I like it. I’m gonna hold you to this. Next time I talk to you we’re gonna talk about the Whoopi Goldberg chain.
Thanks for the taking the time out to talk with me. I appreciate it.
Of course, bro.