G-Eazy and MMG’s Rockie Fresh are, at first glance, on complete opposite sides of the spectrum in hip-hop. One is a budding rapper born in the Bay Area who looks a little like The Fonz. The other is a Chicago native signed to Maybach Music Group who delivers smooth music with his patented stoic delivery. Yet when on a record like “Been On (Remix)” it sounds like the two have been rapping together since middle school. Opposites do attract, and that’s the case with these two artists. They both are fans of each other’s music, and are both at the same place in their rap career: introduction time. So when G-Eazy and Rockie Fresh swung by the XXL offices last week, the excitement about the duo’s joint These Thing Happen Tour—which launches tonight (Feb. 21) in Dallas—was evident. We sat down with the Rockie and G-Eazy to discuss the tour, how the two met and what they have planned for the future. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
XXL: How excited are y’all for this tour?
G-Eazy: I get hyped for every tour because when you’re on the road, it’s the culmination of what you’ve been working for. Every night is Saturday night; you always have a reason to celebrate. You lose track of days and get into this lifestyle on the road. But this one, more than any before in a number of ways, is going to be special. We have Rockie on it; it’s going to be a moment. People looking back on it will say, “It’s crazy they did a tour together.” So it’s going to be good; we’re playing good venues, the whole thing is almost sold out, it’s going to be crazy.
Rockie Fresh: It’s going to be a brand new experience for me. We both got real dope fans and they are very different. We make different kinds of music. That appreciation, that different kind of range that’s in the building is just different. I think each year we’ve both been getting bigger as artists and just to see the growth, it’s a blessing. Where I come from [in Chicago], not a lot of artists tour. You really got Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa that’s actually touring and doing shows. For me to be a part of that is dope. I love representing my city in that way.
GE: It’s going to be a lot of whiskey bottles.
I heard “Been On (Remix)” and y’all symmetry was impressive. How did y’all meet?
RF: I think it’s just us being a fan of each other’s music. We just recently actually met in person, but we been doing shows for a long time. I started with this show in New Orleans called BUKU Festival and he was one of the artists that was performing. That’s when I really got to see him live and catch the crowd’s attention. I think you really don’t know an artist until you see him live. I saw a performance and it was crazy; the way the people was reacting to it, the songs. I got into his music and found that he was a fan of my music as well—it was a real recognize real situation.
GE: I’m all about collaborating in any type of way, making sure it’s with somebody that makes sense. Making sure you’re a fan of what they doing and creatively come together to make sense. For the “Been On” song, I wanted to pick out the right song for us to trade verses on. That’s just some classic, me and Rockie going back and forth.
Let’s talk about upcoming projects. G-Eazy you have an album coming out this year, and Rockie, you have a project in the works, correct?
GE: It’s something that we have been working towards for a long time. It’s pretty much my whole career; my proper debut album, my introduction into the world. We put the work in. Every time we thought it was done, we’d go back and look for more creative ideas, fine-tune the songs that we did have and keep adding to it, because at the end of the day you can cut all the fat and have something really to be proud of. I’m excited for this album and this tour. Everything is going to be crazy.
RF: I’m working on my debut album now and just getting that together. The Fresh Veggies [with Casey Veggies] project, [I] ain’t really consider that work because me and Casey have a brotherhood. The records came together so easy, but it also gave me the practice as an artist to continue working on being able to turn out material. I tell people, I grew up listening to Lil Wayne heavy. I remember downloading mixtapes where he was dropping 30 songs at one time and he couldn’t make any money as far as individual records. With that it just made him a better artist. Now you can’t turn on the radio without hearing one of his verses.
GE: Rap is just like anything else; you got to keep your chops up. Like he said with the Casey Veggies project, if you just practicing and going in and just working every day and creating, that’s how you stay fresh with the ideas. I think Wayne showed that.