We caught up with long time journalist turned rapper Rocky Rivera and talked to her about her sophomore album ‘Gangster of Love‘. For those who haven’t heard it.. Its incredible, straight rewind material coupled with nice beats and searing lyrics. Rocky has definitely stepped up her game..
She explained the album builds off the concepts of her first one with an emphasis on War and Love. She noted that she wanted to take time and really explore those concepts from a variety of angles.. Stand out cuts that underscore her desires are ‘Wake Up‘, ‘Call to Arms‘ and ‘Fallen Soldier‘ which is ode to 2Pac and features vocals from his mother Afeni Shakur.
Rocky noted that her journalism roots are still in tact and manifested themselves in the fact that each song there’s a sense of urgency to speak on social-political situations impacting the community…She noted that she feels like a reporter delivering important information or giving voice to points of view that are often marginalized. Once a journalist always a journalist..
During our interview we talked about her recent headlining performance in Brooklyn at Rock the Belles which was a play on the popular Rock the Bells concert. At this show there was an all female line up. Rocky talked about the importance of deejays and promoters making space to include more women. She also talked about her appreciation for the love she was shown in the East Coast.
Rocky talked about her recent move from her native San Francisco to Oakland and how gentrification has uprooted many communities, in particular communities of color. She noted that she’s happy to be in Oakland and that the energy here is good, but gentrification is still an issue that must be addressed. It reflects income disparity and a continued pattern of mass displacement. ‘That has got to change’ she noted.
We conclude our conversation by talking about her relationship with her partner Bambu who is a dope emcee in his own right.. She assured us the pair do not walk around the house battling or trading barbs with each other, but if we’re lucky they may get together and do an album called Drunken Freestyles.. With a smile, she cautioned that we should not hold our breath…