It’s been a while since we heard from singer [artist id="12684"]Monica[/artist]. After a platinum-spiked career in the 1990s with hits like “Angel of Mine,” “Don’t Take It Personal” and her duet with [artist id="678"]Brandy[/artist] on “The Boy Is Mine,” the 29-year-old singer has struggled to regain momentum after a series of setbacks that included the 2000 suicide of her boyfriend, Jarvis “Knot” Weems, and the reported clashes with her label over her 2006 comeback attempt, The Makings of Me.
According to a Vibe magazine profile, though, 2000 was also the same summer the Grammy-winning singer reconnected with her former boyfriend and current fiancé, rapper Rodney [artist id="1214961"]“Rocko”[/artist] Hill Jr., the father of her two sons, Rodney III and Romello, and the co-star of her new BET reality series. The show, “Still Standing,” debuted on Tuesday night after the BET Hip-Hop Awards. It chronicles her latest comeback attempt while recording her fifth album and dealing with domestic issues alongside Rocko.
Rocko dropped his debut, Self-Made, in 2008, featuring the top 10 rap hit “Umma Do Me,” after years of honing his skills writing, producing and developing songs for artists including Sammy Sam (“Step Daddy”), Young Dro, Dem Franchize Boyz, Lil Flip and Pastor Troy through his Rocky Road production shingle.
The Atlanta-based rapper told MTV News on Wednesday (October 28) that he’s finishing up work on his second full-length album,One of One, which he’s targeting for a February release. Among the producers on the set are Cool and Dre, the Runners, DJ Toomp and the Justice League, though Rocko said he’s also hoping to get a song from Kanye West … if he can get him on the phone.
Though Rocko said he’s not planning on having a lot of rap features on the disc, among the guest MCs who’ve contributed so far are Jadakiss and Gucci Mane, who was rolling in the car with the rapper when he called MTV from Atlanta. “I’m not all the way done with it, but I’m not doing as many rap features, but there will be some R&B ones, like Lloyd, Trey Songz and Monica, of course,” he said. “I’m also working on a movie called ‘One of One.’ It’s my life and me breaking out — what I mean when I say they broke the mold when they made me. There’s no one in this entire galaxy like me.”
The 35-millimeter film, which Rocko is co-directing and funding through his Rocky Roll Films, is slated to feature cameos from Gucci and Shawty Lo and will be released separately from the album. The rapper also has two mixtapes ready to drop, Finesse, which should hit within the next few weeks, and another in January.
As for his cameos on Monica’s show, Rocko said he agreed to participate not for his own career, but for hers. “It’s a really good thing,” he said of the show. “For the most part I’m just there to support her in her whole movement.”