Losin' It - R. City

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Hailing from the St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, ROCK CITY is preparing to CHANGE THE FACE OF MUSIC. Comprised of brothers Theron (aka Da Spokesman) and Timothy (aka Don’t Talk Much), this uber-creative duo is about to bring their brand of Caribbean spiced Hip-Hop with a Pop sensibility to the masses.

ROCK CITY was named after their native island, the lush but beautifully mountainous terrain of St. Thomas. After high school graduation in 2000 the brothers were given a choice by their parents. “We were real poor but our parents said if y’all go to college we’ll try to help you out,” remembers Da Spokesman. “But, if you two want to do music, you’ve got to be men. So we got two buddies passes and went to Miami and became men.”

Miami was their destination of choice purely because it was close and the tickets were cheap. But after six months the brothers decided the music scene was not “popping” in MIA. Fortunately, a year later a promoter offered them $350 and plane tickets to perform in Atlanta, and they never left town. In “The A,” the duo quickly made a name for themselves winning talent shows with their high energy performances. Besides showcasing their prowess in concert, it also provided income, for a while.

“We would win talent shows to buy groceries and pay bills,” says Theron. “We started to win so much when we came to talent shows people told us y’all can’t compete no more.” So the brothers got 9 to 5’s all the while continuing to hone their craft, waiting for their turn at the spotlight.

Their first major placement as writers was Akon’s “The Rain” from his double platinum CD Konvicted via a connect from their friend Benny D, who happened to be the Senegalese-American singers’ DJ. “Ever since then we’ve been getting a lot of work,” adds Timothy, humbly. He’s certainly not giving ROCK CITY enough credit, though. In a short time—they began penning songs for other artists in 2006—they’ve amassed a staggering number of tunes renowned artist including Mario, Usher, Eve, and Sean Kingston, to name a few.

Around the same time, ROCK CITY’s buzz became deafening thanks to their song “Bang It.” A drum soaked, relentless barrage of energy, it now fittingly features a guest turn from Busta Rhymes. “Bus heard ‘Bang It’ and Bus wanted to get on the record, no charge,” says Timothy.

Performing “Bang It” lead to the pair entertaining offers from the likes of Jive, Universal, TVT and Atlantic. Initially nothing manifested from these meetings. Returning home to Atlanta they found new management, Ray Daniels, and continued at their grind. Soon the likes of Lil Jon, Usher, Mr. Collipark and, of course, Akon were interested in signing up with their brand of riot inciting music. It just had to be on the brother’s terms.

That said, their eclectic debut Wake The Neighbors is anything but a work in progress. A listen to their work reveals a range of influences that extends from Steel Pulse and Bob Marley to Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z to song crafting peers like Johnta Austin and Sean Garrett.

While the laid back Timothy may sit in the cut while Theron is a bundle of energy that bounces off the walls, their dichotomy creates a splendid musical union. “We’re night and day but we mesh perfectly together,” says Theron, the soulful Yin to his brother Timothy’s Hip-Hop flavored savvy. The fact that their music is a genre bender isn’t lost on the siblings.

“It’s hard to explain our music because we are doing something that is rarely done. But if you’re going to try to classify it and compare it, if you had The Fugees without Lauryn Hill, you would have us. We sing, we do Caribbean vibe, but then again we rap raw, in our accent.” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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R. City