Growing Up In Chicago
Rockie Fresh: “It’s real regular. I’m super chill dude so I chilled in the house. Watch movies and be creative. No matter what part of the city I lived in. That was the lifestyle I chose to live. I didn’t really see a lot of stuff that was going on in Chicago that a lot of people my age did, but I knew about it. And I knew the people that was in it. But for me, that’s just wasn’t my thing and it’s still not to this day. It’s just real regular, creative life. [Laughs.]
“I lived all over the city but I really take credit to the South Side suburbs home in Illinois. That’s where I went to high school at and that’s where I started to become a man and form my style of music. Just gaining an appreciation for different things because the high school I went to was real diverse.
“I lived all over the city but I really take credit to the South Side suburbs home in Illinois. That’s where I went to high school at and that’s where I started to become a man and form my style of music. Just gaining an appreciation for different things because the high school I went to was real diverse. There was people in there that was listening to rap music. It was people that was listening to punk rock. There was people that was listening to alternative. It was just one of those things where instead of being negative to it and shunning it, I really embraced it. It turned out to work out for me so it was cool.
“I was super low-key in high school. My first two years of high school I was trying to be popular and shit. I don’t know, just being extra you know? But then as I got a little bit older—I skipped a grade too—so it was one of them things where the first two years of high school I really showed my age. That’s all young men, we all go through that phase of some goofy shit.
“But then, my junior year I started to take life more serious. I started to becoming more of a reserved person. Just real off to myself, just to try and figure out how I could not work in corporate America and still be successful. At that time, it was tough for me because all around from my friends. A lot of my close friends, they went away to these big colleges and shit like that. I really didn’t have the grades to do that kind of shit. I was always a good student but I never liked doing homework. I never liked studying.
I was just trying to figure out how be myself in such a way that damn near get paid for it and live conformable off it. That’s been my dream since senior year just really becoming comfortable with me.
”I was just trying to figure out how be myself in such a way that damn near get paid for it and live conformable off it. That’s been my dream since senior year just really becoming comfortable with me. When I graduated, I turned into somebody that I was happy with. From the way that I was dressed, to the way that I was looked at, and my class, it was cool.
”I became real with myself. I think the trained me was like, ‘Yeah, I want to go to college and be lawyer.’ Nah, that ain’t for me. It takes age and experience to be able to explain that to your loved ones. My freshman year of college, just due to the way the situation worked, me going to a junior college, the type of setup it was, it really gave me the lifestyle to be able to explain to my people why I didn’t want to be doing this.
”The thing with that is my pops did work for the Chicago Board of Trade when I was young before high school, I definitely had a good life. I wouldn’t say that I was spoiled, but I got good grades, and with that I was rewarded with things such as Jordans and stuff like that. That’s why I kind of created my own fashion sense. But what people don’t know is my dad quit the Board of Trade to start his own business. With that, he started taking some crazy hits. It was at a time where at that age I didn’t understand. I thought my father was selfish in a way.
”I went to a grammar school where we wore uniforms. It wasn’t essential for me to like dress a certain way, but I was getting that type of stuff then. But when it went to high school where that stuff kind of matters more and that kind of got taken out of my life. I didn’t know how to handle that. Just me being young or whatever. Yeah, we definitely went further away from well off when I started going to school in the suburbs. But, it just made me humble man. You know, a learning experience.”