Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco—the Windy City’s three biggest rap names of the last 10 years. However, the Chicago superstars of the last decade may soon be getting some company in the hip-hop spotlight. Over the last three years, Chicago rapper Rockie Fresh has emerged out of the woodwork, making waves in the music industry with a more alternative approach to rap.
Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Donald Pullen was dubbed with the stage name “Rockie Fresh” by his friends during lunch-hour freestyle sessions at his local high school. After dropping two mixtapes in 2009, Pullen began to gain some recognition in the hip-hop community, landing performances with Rick Ross, Big Sean and Twister. After continued success with his mixtapes, in July of 2012 Pullen signed with Rick Ross’ music label, Maybach Music Group.
His mixtapes provide catchy tracks and lyrics listeners want to rap along with. Pullen largely embraces alternative rock, going so far as to sample Coldplay in his recent work. He has given credit to both Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte for directly inspiring his musical style.
This more unconventional approach to hip-hop contributes a new dynamic to the already well-diversified Chicago hip-hop scene. In a city where Common and Lupe Fiasco’s prominent focus on social issues and the extravagant and powerful showmanship and production quality of Kanye West can quench fans’ thirst for rap music, the entrance of a rapper inspired by alternative rock only seems fitting.
On Sept. 15, Pullen launched his Electric Highway Tour, which will make its way to the Bay Area on Sept. 26. Tickets for the San Francisco show at 330 Ritch are currently available online.
With promising freshman beginnings in the rap game, listeners are eager to hear what’s in store for the emerging artist. In the coming weeks, Intermission will be sitting down with Pullen to hear firsthand of Rockie Fresh’s plans for the coming years.
Intermission will be giving away tickets to Rockie Fresh’s SF show and hosting a meet and greet with the man himself. To find out more, check us out at StanfordDaily.com. Isaac hails from Chi-city, where he skateboards with childhood friends, Wendy and Roxy.