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Album Review

Before dropping Self-Made, Rocko spent years in the background, writing and producing hits for others while developing the careers of Sammy Sam and Young Dro. After shopping around the demo of his solo single "Umma Do Me," he was snapped up by Def Jam in a swift — maybe a little shortsighted — manner. "Umma" is a hook-filled monster with just the right amount of cocky attitude bumping against a royal Drumma Boy production. It sounds great at a party, a club, on the radio, or any other place where it's the chorus that matters. That Rocko's style is an unoriginal mix of Young Jeezy, T.I., and Shawty Lo didn't matter much as the four-minute jam climbed the charts, but when he creates anything less than "Umma," it's detrimental. Past the hit, Self-Made's first half is plagued by empty, everyday party numbers, the most shameless of them all being "Old Skool," where "Umma"'s mediocre line "My ol' school cost more than your new school" is blown up into a full song. Fortunately, things pick up once the convincing club track "Like This Here" hits. The story-song "Snakes" is interesting as a Dirty South alternative to R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet," while the hood fantasy "Thugs Need Love Too" features some steamy Monica and Rocko interaction, which shouldn't be too surprising since they're a married couple in real life. As evidenced by the guest appearances of Monica, and even Lloyd, Self-Made would be much better if it gave some more of Rocko's high-profile friends an opportunity to put some flavor on the tracks. Instead, it stubbornly tries to present him as an all-around artist and limits its appeal to forgiving Dirty South fans who don't mind fishing for highlights.

Customer Reviews

Rocko-Self Made

Yet another rapper out the ATL, Rocko has gained street success through his hit, "Umma Do Me". Married to singer, Monica, he delivers his debut, Self-Made. Dis Morning: Marvelous J brings some top notch production, very bouncy synths that work real well, with a rockin guitar. Rocko's flow is slow and drawled, similar to Young Jeezy, as his hook goes, "This morning I woke up, felt like money" that shows exactly what Rocko is. 3/5 Umma Do Me: Drumma Boy says, "Listen to this track b****!", as the synth banger with high intensity hi hats, features Rocko's hit single in the streets. The hook is the typical gangsta trapper of "you just do you, I'mma do me," over and over. Rocko's swag isn't that convincing, as his lyricism tends to get repetitive and the lyrics are extremely elementary. The beat is banging, but the substance is weak, focusing on a catchy hook. 3.5/5 Hustle Fo: R&B singer Lloyd is brought to soften up this hustle hard anthem. Marvelous J is back with another solid southern production, but the track is way too similar topic wise, to fellow southern rapper, Huey's "When I Hustle" that also featured Lloyd. That track was softer, this one is much harder but Lloyd's hook is similar and the topic is pretty much the same. 2.5/5 Busy: Drumma Boy's anthemic synths bleed, as Rocko's hook is mildly catchy, not quite a banger. Definitely one for the streets to rock to, but his flows are really cliched, "Fernando down in Orlando, que pasa chico, gimme whateva I can handle" or "I'm like Snow White you met me in Disneyland". The track is decent. 3/5 Tomorrow: Drumma Boy brings in some horns, as Rocko's hook is the typical repetitive type aimed at catchiness. Rocko uses a different tone, but the lyrics sadly aren't improved. The track is really repetitive and its a monotonous listen. 2.5/5 Old Skool: Decent production, as Rocko uses his line in "Umma Do Me" by saying in the hook, "my old skool costs more than your new skool". Obviously a line referring to his cars, the topic is extremely cliched. It is really dull and the lyrics really aren't anything catchy, inventive, as Rocko simply says "we get money in the south, if you don't like it f*** you n***a". 2.5/5 Priceless: Shawty Redd has some banging production here, as Rocko sounds exactly the same on the previous track. Simply bragging about his swagger, the track comes off as a repetitive and really non focused track. 2/5 Like This Here: "Hey!" chants in between a dark piano riddled production, the hook is straight wack. This is pretty much the same old as the previous tracks put together. 2/5 That's My Money: The Runners continue the streak of the previous producers, banging production for Rocko to talk his smack on. Rocko here simply talks about his money and carelessly throwin it at the h**s. Real inventive....not. 1.5/5 She Can Get It: High profile, Cool & Dre try and resurrect this repetitive and boring album so far, delivering a strong production. Dre's hook isn't bad, and Rocko's verses aren't as bad as the previous. The track is a better one on the album, especially for Rocko. 3/5 Snakes: The hook is very weird and odd, seemingly very out of place. Rocko tries to display his storytelling skills, but the track is really weak. He says man at least 8 times in his first verse, rhyming that over and over. The second verse is slightly better, but the way its delivered just isn't intriguing. 2.5/5 Meal: Drumma Boy switches up the production using strings and organs, with less synth than previous cuts on the album. Rocko goes for an emotional track here about how he's trying to get a meal. The problem is, he brags so much about the money, the ice, the swagger, cars, girls and now he's talking about being broke and trying to get a meal. Whatever, its something that finally shows Rocko with some substance, reflecting on his childhood, but it serves as too little too late on this record. 3.5/5 Thugs Need Love Too: Wife Monica joins her husband for a duet that hopefully adds some variety to this debut. Rocko is sympathetic and the track comes off nicely, as Monica croons soothingly. 3/5 Karma: J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League deliver some strong production here, as the boom clap with clanking keys and strings make this a nice ender. The track is better than most of the bangers and much better than his supposed storytelling track "Snakes". 3.5/5 Wow, what is rap coming to? "Umma Do Me" was the typical street banger that got street buzz, and I thought that wasn't even that great. Especially when he spits, "I'm from the old school, you from the new school, my old school cost more than your new school" which is then coincidentally sampled in "Old Skool", a track dedicated to his many cars, but is generic and extremely weak for a car banger. The album is filled with street bangers aimed at getting the hood pumped, but sad to say Rocko is a one hit wonder. His style is so played, a trapper/hustler/dealer from the hood that shipped the drugs, brags about his swag, talks about money, ice, and the typical cliched lyricism of gangsta rap. If your gonna do gangsta rap, I advise those to come with something pretty dang inventive or else don't even try. His style is a mix of Young Jeezy, T.I. and a little Yung Joc, having a charismatic persona, but drawling out his words like Jeezy, elementary flow like Joc and at times T.I.'s swagger. "Umma Do Me" really is where his lyrics are at least bearable, because around track 6, the album you see is heading into a redundant collection of banging bass, typical braggory and just dull. His lyrics rarely have metaphors and when they do, they seem corny or cliched. "Meal", "Thugs Need Love Too", "Karma" and "She Can Get It" are all the other decent picks, each having top notch productions and strong guest appearances, more guests would have helped this album, because it is evident Rocko can't carry it on his own. Rating 4.5 out of 10

Another Robot

Just what we need, another cat who wants to look and sound like everyone else. When will it end? This generation of hip-hop music is nothing short of depressing. Def Jam 1988: Public Enemy Def Jam 2008: Rocko Sad, very sad... damn, I miss hip-hop.

real ATL hip hop

this is some real hip hop down in the ATL, although i do believe that rocko sounds kinda like young the chorus of umma do me, i picture jeezy instead of rocko singing it...LOL

Self-Made, Rocko
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Customer Ratings