J. Prince - The last name “Rock” has become a huge last name in the comedy world most notably for the comedian Chris Rock. Tony Rock is the Younger Brother of Chris Rock and continues to carry on the Family name. Rock has joined the new wave of triple threat comedians; He does Television, Movies and Stand Up. If you think this hard Working Comedian is looking to get fame of his big brother then you got another thing coming! Rock has quickly become one of the top Comedians In the Country. I was able to sit Down with Tony To Find out where he is coming from and where he is going. For those who have been under a Rock this past decade let our readers now who Tony Rock Is? Tony Rock is the 4th born son of Julius and Rose. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I am a Comedian and Actor, A true ‘Rock’Star.
N54: What was it like at the Dinner table with such a Big Family; I imagine it was non-stop jokes? We always said our childhood could be a sitcom and my brother actually made it happen. Growing up in such a big family was normal to me. I learned patience, the art of debate, teamwork and to eat fast. Unfortunately I still always cook way too much.
N54: Where does the Comedic quality come from, were your parents and grand parents funny people? Just about everyone in my family is funny in their own way. My Grandfather was hilarious. I have uncles that I believe have missed their calling as comedians. My mother always stressed education and I’ve always thought the better comics were the smarter ones. It went hand in hand with my family’s natural abilities.
N54: Who were some of the comedians you looked up to early on? Early on I looked up to Richard Pryor only. I would sneak and listen to his albums then recite them at school the next day. He was and still is a comic I can listen to over and over and laugh as if it’s my first time hearing him. When I started going to comedy clubs I was a fan of everyone because of the many different styles.
N54: What made you want to get into comedy? I’ve always been attracted to stand up comedy before I even knew it was a job. If I had to credit someone it would be my brother Chris. He recognized my attraction to it and nurtured my talents. He would let me listen to comedy albums all the time (Woody Allen, George Carlin, Pryor, Murphy, Kinison). He was Dr. Frankenstein and I am his creation.
N54: Did you ever feel any pressure while pursuing comedy being the younger Brother of Chris Rock? None. That’s something people create. We’re brothers. Big brother does everything first in every family. Regardless of whether I did stand up or not we would still be brothers and out paths in life would still be our own. Plus, I’ve always known I could exceed expectations.
N54: At what point were you like hey “I can really do this”? You have your moments. A great set or a standing ovation always makes you feel you can really do this. Then there are the nights you leave the club thinking ‘maybe college isn’t a bad idea’. If it’s in your heart nothing can deter you.
N54: When did you get you first break? Your whole career is a series of ‘breaks’. When I first got into the regular rotation at the NY clubs that was a huge break at the time. My first road gig, first audition, first TV appearance are all big breaks. I couldn’t say one was bigger than the other. I’m happy for them all.
N54: What Challenges Did You face early on? Glad you asked. The challenge, I had the distinct honor of facing all alone was, when I started , most black comics wouldn’t talk to me. They felt I was being passed along and being shown preferential treatment because ‘he’s Chris Rocks brother’. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I started my brother and I had discussed this and we agreed the only way to truly appreciate the journey would be to take it alone. He never got me an audition, a meeting, agent or gig. I did it my way!
N54: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage? I’ve been thru it all. I’ve been booed off stage, had guys throw things on stage, and threatened after shows. It comes with the territory. I don’t embarrass easily.
N54: I know that you were able to land roles on a few sitcoms. How did those opportunities come about? I’m constantly working. If you’re constantly working you’re putting yourself in a position to capitalize. Some of the sitcoms and movies have come along due to someone seeing me on stage and thinking ‘this guy would be good for this project’. Hard work is its own reward.
N54: You have been a few movies as well. What were they? Life Support (Queen Latifah), Homie Spumoni (Donald Faison,Whoopi Goldberg,Paul Mooney) 3 Can Play That Game (Vivica Fox, Jason George) Think Like a Man (Romany Malco, Megan Good, Kevin Hart)
N54: Was it a tough transition for you getting into film and movies, being that you have a stand up background? No. Staying consistent in one area will open up opportunities in another because they respect the work. I’ve probably been the most consistent comic over the last few years as far as quality material and performance. No one works as hard as me.
N54: Do you think you will ever leave stand up and just do TV and Films? Never What was the best advice that you have received in this business? I’ve been blessed to receive so much advice from so many great people. The thing that has always resonated with me is ‘Stay the course’. My brother told me that damn near 20 years ago. It’s become a Rock family mantra.
N54: What are your thoughts of the younger comedians that are coming up? There are some really talented young comics that I see daily. If they understand the discipline, and work ethic it takes they should be fine.
N54: What Advice would you give to upcoming comedians? You can have anything in this world. If you’re willing to work for it, there are no obstacles and your only competition is you.
N54: In Your Opinion how has social Media helped your grind? Tremendously. You can reach a fan base you might not have even known about before it’s the greatest asset to comics in years.
N54: So far you have accomplished a lot in the comedy world TV, Stand Up, and Movies. What else would you like to achieve in this business? I’m just getting warm. I want to produce another TV show, write a movie, star in a film with my brother, and write a book. Stay tuned.
N54: What projects are you currently working on now? I’m touring with the Royal Comedy Tour, new movie Mar 9th, David Talbert play in May, Co starring on Let’s Stay Together. I’m always working
N54: If you could direct a Movie with an all-star cast of comedians, who would be in the Movie? The comedians can be Dead or alive… Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, and the Rock brothers. That would be fun.
N54: When it’s all said and done how do you want to be remembered? Funny dude
N54: How can Fans and Promoters get in contact with you? TonyRockComedy.com
N54: Final Thoughts? If the game shakes me or breaks me, I hope it makes me a better man’. Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way
By: Jason “Prince of the City” Prince
New York City is known to breed talented young emcees that have great lyrical content; Jimmy Billions is an up and coming rapper that is keeping the NY standard intact. The Young Brooklyn Emcee is quickly making a name for himself both virally and in the streets. I was able to sit down with Jimmy to find out about his story and how he plans to turn up the heat in 2012.
N54: Let our readers know who you are? Jimmy Billions, a young philosopher from Brooklyn
N54: How did you get your rap name? Being in the city with a friend of mine, we were just leaving the bbc store and started debating rap names.
N54: How long have you been rapping? Been rapping a little over a year now.
N54: What made you want to become a rapper? Knowing I can speak to every and any person through the power of music was something I fell in love with.
N54: Who were some of your influences when you were coming up? Of course the king himself Biggie Smalls, Jay-z my all time favorite, Jimmy Spicer (he was the influence behind the ‘Jimmy’ part of my name), Big L, Nasty Nas - The list goes on.
N54: Do you feel the pressure of being a lyrical emcee being that you are from Brooklyn? Not in the least, every MC is gunna do their thing feel me? I’m just an addition to the game, but at the same time I am gunning for the throne. The industry might feel more pressure then me. The industry has become extremely competitive with talented young Emcees.
N54: What do you bring different to the table? One of the many things I can bring which I feel a lot of these lyricists lack is versatility. I can pretty much get on any track and make it better than the last.
N54: How would you describe your style? I definitely think I have a unique style. I tend to play around with a track (test flows, freestyle) before I actually start writing. My flow is kind of new and bouncy with but you can definitely hear my musical influences through my lyrics, I’m sorta like a mime with my own distinct flow.
N54: I see you are very active on twitter and facebook. How has that helped your grind? Social networking has definitely helped the grind. Being able to get sound out is a blessing, I just gotta keep attacking.
N54: Are you signed to a label or management company right now? As of now I’m unsigned, I am however working on a deal with an upcoming label called Official Hitz. Big expectations.
N54: What is it that you want to accomplish in the rap game? Short term, I just wanna make an impact. I want to feel like my music matters and isn’t perceived as just one of the bunch.
N54: What is your writing process like? I like to vibe to an instrumental for a while. I find myself mumbling over a track to get my flow right. Before I write I have to make sure I have the best possible flow, when that’s established, I take my time constructing the lyrics to make a hit.
N54: What has the response been like with your mixtapes and viral videos? No mixtapes yet but all of my singles and videos get positive feedback. I take pride in my craft.
N54: What Projects are you working on right now? Currently working on 2 mixtapes, “RIP City”, which is basically my introduction to the game is set to drop some time between now and February. You’ll be able to hear the raw underground of me, all of the tracks are industry beats. Following that is “The Bambu Vol.1”, this is more of an album mixtape, still raw but then you get the original side of me and how I actually put art together.
N54: If you could work with any artist dead or alive who would it be? Jay-z, definitely.
N54: Do you have any final thoughts? Shout out to Nine5Four, Prince of the city, DJ TopClass and the whole BilliGang following!
Nine5four magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with the versatile up and coming artist JQ. In this exclusive Interview JQ speaks about his background how he plans on setting the industry on fire with his unique sound.
Let the People Know who you are and where you from? My name is JQ hip hop/pop/dancehall music artist from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Eastiside) and have been doing music for a long time and still have the passion for it.
How did you get the name JQ? Back in the days early 89 when the movie Juice was big, my homeboys called me JQ instead GQ(Omar Epps character) so I took the name and gave JQ a meaning and called it Jaquell
How long have you been making music? Since I can remember about 4 yrs old
When did you get your first break? In 2002 with Eddie Mix(formerly from Power 96)
You have a very unique style, what made youincorporate reggae into your music? Well I grew up on Dancehall music because majority of my friends were Jamaican
Who were some of your favorite artist growing up? Snoop Dog, Lost Boys, Wu-tang Clan, Michael Jackson, Beenie Man and Bounty Killa, I was basically listening to all types of music such as rock and jazz
How would you describe your sound? My sound is mostly melodic and diverse
What is your writing process like? I don’t write on paper it’s a thought process I listen to the music and get a vibe then I go in
What sets you apart from other Artist. what do you bring different? What makes me different from everybody else is that I don’t sound like everybody else. And I bring more energy swag but most importantly I bring myself and my sound.
What Projects are you currently working on? Currently working on the Album with producers like Bigg D
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Music Business? I actually like what’s going on in the music industry b/c everyone is not following the what’s in at that present moment and a lot of artists including myself are taking risk.
If you could collab with any artist Dead or alive, who would it be? Michael Jackson, and the usual suspects (Jay Z, Wayne, Kanye), Lady Gady, Katy Perry, my list goes… There’s a lot of talented artists that I would love to work with
What Producer would you like to work with dead or alive? Bigg D, Jim Johnson, Timberland, David Guetta
What is the best advice you have gotten so far while in the business? Never burn a bridge
What do you want to accomplish in the music business? My legacy, My story, and Most of all Respect
How can Fans or Promoters get in contact with you? You can contact my team P- Manager at 954-556-0923 Hudson- PR at 786-251-2652
Any Final Words? Listen out for new music with a fresh new face and fresh new music coming straight out of Broward County. Shout out to everyone out in Broward and all the artists in Broward and everyone doing it. Much Love and Respect…
1. Public Service Announcement (Interlude)
2. Run This Town (Feat. Rihanna & Kanye West)
3. ‘03 Bonnie & Clyde (Feat. Beyoncé)
5. I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)
6. Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
7. D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)
8. 99 Problems
9. Empire State Of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)
10. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
11. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
12. Show Me What You Got
13. Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)…
14. Big Pimpin’
1. Young Gifted and Black
2. Pump It Up (Freestyle)
3. My President Is Black (Remix)
4. Go Hard Remix (Jay-Z, Kanye West & T-Pain)
5. Most Kings (Feat. Green Lantern)