Having recorded with the likes of NE-YO, Miguel, Kurupt, Devin the Dude, MC LYTE, Erick Sermon, C-BO, etc., former Black Ice Records/Universal Records recording artist iRoc Omega is ready to resurface and gain the popularity that previously eluded him.
Born in Chicago, iRoc would move to Columbus, GA and Far Rockaway Queens, NY before settling in Anchorage, AK. Little did his family know what the future would have in store for them. "My family fell the F*ck apart!" he would state in a recent interview. "My dad started using drugs and f*cking with my new best friend's mother who also happened to be a prostitute. At the time, we lived in Mountain View which was and still is one of the town's poorest areas and it was quickly spreading around the hood that my dad was a pimp. Come to find out, it was true and my mom would soon ask for a divorce."
For the next 10 plus years, life was hard and would only get harder for the soon to be rapper. After the divorced finalized, he recalls what would happen next and in the coming years. "After my dad didn't win custody of me, the man stopped picking me up and just disappeared from my life more and more. I remember going to him and his new family's house about a year later and seeing that my old best friend had the whole upstairs to himself! I was like, damn! Me, my mom and my brother damn near starving and they’re over here livin' like stars or something. By this time, my mom had pawned or sold all of our most valuable possessions and we were reduced to watching a 13" black and white tv that my aunt had let us borrow. I would go opening mail boxes with my other poor friends looking for anything that looked like it could have some money or a check in it. I used to forge and alter checks so much that it got kinda fun! Until I got caught. I was still a kid and tried to alter a refund check from the telephone company. I think it was only for like a dollar and change, but I changed it to a thousand! I got to the bank and the teller held it up to the light. She ain't say nothing except, I'll be right back. I knew she was taking a little too long and just when I tried to leave, here comes the police! They asked me where I had gotten the check from. I told them from my dad. I really hadn't even seen that man in a long time. Not for a few birthdays and Christmas' or so. I was about to see his ass now though!"
Soon after, he started rapping at an early age with some of the other kids in school as just something to do. iRoc's new best friend's sister had a boyfriend that was a dj. Soon, they would all start a group called Prohibited By Law. That name told more about the group than the songs. "We started out as a real rap group. We were like 10 Rakims and Big Daddy Kanes! As we got older, some of us had gotten exposed to street activities. We started wanting to rap about street life and things of that nature. The others still wanted to keep it hip hop and though I remained friends with most of them, the group had gotten downsized to me, another rapper named KJ, our beat maker Julio and we picked up some dancers. Our dancers weren't regular dancers though. N*gga's would try to test them since they were dancing for the town's hardest crew. Even they had got into the same kind of lifestyle, so their mentality changed with the surroundings. They started fightin' and gun totin' more than us!"
Years later Iroc would find himself going back and forth in the streets. His on again, off again life in the fast lane would lead him to experience some things that would change his life forever. "Man, I started to see friends going to prison and killed out here. Lives taken away for either 10 years or just forever. I even got myself into some trouble when I tried moved to another state. Me and my boy agreed, maybe it was time to raise up and we came back to AK."
Nearly going to prison wasn't enough to stop him though. He went back to Alaska and right back to the streets. Some things stayed the same, but a lot had changed recalls Iroc. "New players had entered the game and they were serious wit' it! They were hungry! One of the new crews had befriended my boy, caught us slippin' and robbed our asses! I ended up in the hospital wit' a broken nose, stitched busted lip, operations on both eyes, stitches in two places on my head and nerve damage to the left side of my body. It must've made me retarded, 'cause it still didn't stop me from doin' what I thought I had to do. After the incident with my hospital visit, I had kinda stopped f*cking with everybody and my partner was now in prison. My road dawg. We had just finished a demo that our manager was about to shop when he left. I ended up doing a solo. Almost had a deal but for whatever reason, it fell through. I did a song for a soundtrack to a movie called "All or Nothing" and never got one damn check!"
Bitter, he left the rap game for what he thought would be forever. He had a son and shifted his priorities to taking care of him. "I had kinda grown accustomed to living a certain way, but I got a job working at a construction company doing sub-contracted railroad labor. I hated that sh*t and wanted to quit everyday, but makin' $33 an hour was as close to gettin' some REAL money as I was gonna get! I would also buy cars from auctions and sell them on the side. When I would see people in the mall or whatever, they would always ask me "What's up with the music?" When I told them that I had quit, they would either say "Man you can't do that" or wouldn't even believe me altogether. Some would even get mad! After running into enough of those type of folks, I decided that maybe I should give it one more shot. I hooked up with some of my old friends in the music business and the rest is history. I guess it was my time and everything just fell into place." Now with his new cd's “The Coldest FIRE Ep” and "The Coldest FIRE" out now, in addition to another full length release entitled "On Everything I Love" due out soon, we will all get to experience the weight of his world...
"It's rare to find a band as young as [Maroon 5] were who play drums and guitars but aren't a stereotypical rock band. My thought was their music was advanced for its time, but when the album came out it would be where music was going. Sure enough ..." Interview with Ben Berkman, EVP at A&M/Octone for Maroon 5