Is it just me, or has San Diego been on the rise lately? In case you’ve missed it, the city – who’s mostly known for the Chargers (RIP), Sea World and Tony Gwynn – has been on fire musically. After signing with RCA records, native Rob $tone reached platinum success with the record, “Chill Bill” which was followed by a breakout for his whole 1207 camp and a spotlight on the SD scene and it’s exuberant group of local artists. Never the one to miss an opportunity, already buzzing South Bay rapper Rossi Rock dropped, what I believe, to be the most underrated project of 2016 in, Agassi. Now, the TanBoys affiliate is back with a new deal, new swank, and an improved sound on his freshly released EP, Pony.
Boasting only six tracks, Pony is a quick but highly enjoyable ride into the mind of a man in his late 20s realizing his worth. “Did it outta love, now I want the check,” rhymes Rock on the projects opening track, “Kelly Green”, which caught a strong buzz on the internet prior to release thanks to some enjoyable vlogs from the Suav City crew. In this song, Rock sounds more confident than ever before, seemingly staring his impending success straight in it’s eyes. The SD native also takes time on the track to address comparison that many – including myself – tried to box him into, “This ain’t Wale folarin, this ain’t Dom I’m recording,” silencing any talk that he was a knock off combination of the two. Rossi then transitions into two new tracks, “Scarface” & “Smile”; both of which showcase a new style to the, “Suav City Pt. II” rapper. On the prior, he captures the essence of feeling good and runnin’ up a check in Vegas, and on the latter, he takes more of a “suav” approach, if you will. “I don’t got no car, but she love me like I got a benz/ I don’t got no money but she love me like I got a deal/ I do this on my own, but she love me like I got a mill,” flows Rossi in a silky smooth cadence that’s accompanied by a perfectly placed ninetyfivetill instrumental buoyed by dusty drums and dormant soul samples. The EP then transitions into, “Fitty Flow” – a track laced in Latin melodies and prophetic bars – and, “That’s My Lady,” a reprise from his, Agassi, tape that was one of the most catchy, yet topically dense tracks of 2016.
The money maker on this project, though, has to be the 24hrs assisted, “Tell Me”. This is the song where Rossi puts everything together and reaches his final form. On what sounds like the sequel to, “Never Sure” from Agassi, Rossi flexes his effortlessly charming cadence, “The club private but you got inside, and now I’m talkin’ to you face to face now,”; his improved ability to stay in pocket, “She hopped up popped up/ Living in L.A./ tryna do real, B.I.G. and stay away from all that drama,”; and shoutouts out his city in a really clever way, “Ride through the city, gettin’ bop on the 8/ girl I get around like Tupac in a way,” all to the tune of a geniusly crafted 24 hook that hasn’t left my head since it dropped. With the song at 30K plays and counting in less than 72 hours, I think Hip-Hop agrees with that assertion.
Pony, hasn’t been the only thing keeping Rossi busy, though. The 26-year-old recently confirmed to RESPECT. that he has inked a deal with 24’s label Private Club Records. To anybody watching, the move isn’t surprising as the Private Club crew – Noah Wood$, MadeinTYO, etc. – have been promoting the SD native heavily recently. Having already aligned himself with NYC boss, Bodega Bamz, this move to Private Club seems like the perfect chess move for Rock and his team. With his Suav City imprint adding Saucalini & Sebby — of “Ball Cap” fame — to the mix, Suav City really might be taking over. I guess he really did just get off the phone, talking money with 24 as said on, “Fitty Flow.”
Check out, Pony, below and get familiar with the San Diego rhymeslinger.