Rick Ross continues to build his Maybach Music empire, and though his latest signee, Rockie Fresh, may be new to some fans, Rozay assures those unfamiliar with the Chicago MC that he has more than what it takes to wave the MMG flag.
"Other than, of course, his ability to make music and write choruses and putting visuals together, it's like when I was just sitting there talking with him and connecting with him, I saw that he's a reflection of every man," Ross told MTV News of Fresh, who he officially announced as a Maybach Music artist on July 12. "Everybody can see a little bit of themselves in a Rockie Fresh, and that's how he presents his music."
The 21-year old has been riding high off his most recent mixtape, Driving 88. And it was the "Back to the Future"-inspired video for the tape's intro, "Into the Future," that first attracted Ross and his MMG A&R Spiff. "Spiff saw the video, hit me up on DM and asked, 'Are you signed?" Rockie recalled.
That direct message on Twitter led to a phone call, which then led to a flight out to Los Angeles where Rockie and Ross met for the first time on the set of DJ Khaled's "Take it to the Head" video. "That was a part of just touching bases as men before business, before money, before any of that," Ross said, noting that he and the young MC connected on a personal level.
It didn't take long after the initial meeting for Ross to figure out that he wanted to add Rockie to his MMG roster, which already includes Wale, Meek Mill, Stalley, Gunplay and former B2K frontman Omarion. "He puts it on a plate and gives it to you just so clean," Ross said of Fresh. "I like to say he has a system and I'm sitting back and I'm watching all his videos, his virals and I'm like, 'Yo, this kid is ready for the majors right here.' Because this is major, what I'm looking at is major and I just wanted it to be organic."
Check in with MTV News all this week for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, when rap's biggest names give you an in-depth look at some of the year's most anticipated albums. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MTVHipHopPreview!