Rick Ross was so excited to reveal the addition of Rockie Fresh to his label that the MMG CEO tweeted the announcement around 4 a.m. Thursday (July 12) along with a photo of the signing, taken just minutes earlier.
The 21-year-old Chicago rapper, who dropped his most recent mixtape, Driving 88, in January, told MTV News that he flew to New York to meet up with Rozay and, after a night on the town, they put the ink on paper.
At the end of June, Rick Ross shouted out Rockie during a radio interview, but he also added that he hadn't been signed yet, hinting that it was coming soon. Less than a month later, all the details have been sorted out and things are official.
Rockie said he and Ross have been in touch since his "Into the Future" music video caught the eye of Rozay's right-hand man Spiff and got things moving. "Spiff saw the video, hit me up on DM and asked, 'Are you signed?' At that time, I was taking meetings with a couple of other labels, and he said, 'Ross wants to meet you and he's gonna fly you out on Monday,' so he flew me out and I kicked it with him for a couple of days.
"It was so chill and organic that I didn't think he was going to sign me. We really didn't talk about business or anything. The next day, we went our separate ways and they let me know they were interested in doing a deal, and we've been working it out since then," Rockie continued, explaining that it took about a month and a half to finalize things. "I had some other offers on the table too, but I didn't want to ruin any relationships. I wanted to make sure that I handled everything as smoothly as possible and gave everybody a fair shot."
Besides interest from Ross, the newcomer also fielded an offer from Diddy's label. "Bad Boy was interested; I definitely had a lot of talks with them. Same thing with Columbia and Universal and RCA as well. But it was just one of those things where, when I met Ross, it clicked," he said. "It was some real n---a sh--, for lack of a better term. I felt more comfortable in that setting than in any other meeting I had."
Rockie is the latest addition to an all-star team that includes Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley and Gunplay, and he doubts he'll have any trouble fitting it.
"We all represent different parts of the country, and we kind of define our age brackets too. I'm the youngest one right now, so I'll be repping for my age group and for my city Chicago and our way of life; I feel like that separates me from everyone else," he said. "We were talking about it last night, and Ross really views this as a sports team, where every player has to have their own lane and their own way of doing things, but in the long run, it all helps the team. I've got my own sound and my own way of getting my records done, and he respects that and feels it benefits the entire team."
Even though he's the youngest in the crew, Rockie has had some prior experience with two of MMG's biggest talents. "I was blessed to tour with Wale before all of this went down, and just to see the way that he became comfortable with the MMG situation, it was dope," he said. "I also actually got to perform with Meek a long time ago when he was with Grand Hustle, and to see his progression, it was something I admired."
It's been less than 24 hours since Rockie signed his name on the line, so the reality is still sinking in, but make no mistake about it, he's primed and ready to go. "It was a long time coming, and I'm really ready to show the world what I can do."
Rockie's Electric Highway mixtape is due this fall.