Do you believe in second chances?
If this week’s Indie Pick of the Week, Rocky Banks did not, he wouldn’t be chasing his dreams today. The Houston rapper still remembers the fateful morning he woke up depressed in his home. That morning he took several drugs in hope of freeing himself from the depression and pain he suffered so badly from.
The mixture of drugs, coupled with a couple dab hits resulted in Banks losing all sense and feeling in his lungs, shutting them down as he hopelessly gasped for air.
“I remember waking up in the hospital and the doctor telling me, “On a scale from one to 10, 10 being completely healthy and one being dead, you were at a two,” he recounts. “It was right then and there I was like alright, God has favor over my life.”
Struggles with drug addiction began early in Banks’ adolescence. Throughout his teenage years, he dealt with a lot of conflict at home and began turning to the Houston street life as an alternative. That’s when things took a turn for the worst.
“I kept getting into fights, got kicked out of school and said fuck this shit I’m gonna just burn out,” he said. “I started getting into shit, started selling petty grams and shit just to get by.”
It was at the age of 17, that Rocky got more involved with drugs. He would take “anything that anybody offered him.” The drugs he consumed ranged from cocaine to Xanax bars and “everything in between.” However, his drug of choice was painkillers.
“I would steal Vicodin from my mom after she would go to the dentist and they would give her the shit after getting a tooth pulled or something,” he said. “I was really into the painkillers a lot, I would do them and just be just chilling.”
Nowadays music has become his new drug and escape. He’s turned dope lyrics, catchy hooks and symphonies into the painkillers he once craved. Music has became a major contributor for leaving drug addiction behind him, with the exception of marijuana, which he doesn’t consider a drug.
On his most recent project, ‘In Other News I Don’t Do Drugs Anymore,’ (I.O.N.I.D.D.A) he discusses his previous addiction and what his life was in full detail.
The ability to blatantly express his emotions on a track came from his poetry writing which he picked up in high school. Poetry helps him explicitly draw his thoughts and emotions out.
“Whatever the emotion is that day or that week rather, I’m going in making songs straight like that,” he exclaimed. “If I’m pissed off about something Ima unleash and spit fire on it, if it’s some type of shit I’m going thru Ima make those storytelling, serious records.”
On the song, “A lot” he pairs his futuristic style with that storytelling he described, while thumping on the hook in a Kendrick Lamar-esque manner. Check it out:
The comparison to Kendrick Lamar is often brought up to Banks and he doesn’t mind it at all, as he views the Compton MC as one of his major inspirations.
“I get told all the time I look like him or I sound like him,” he said. “I know one day Ima run into him, talk about it and just laugh about it.”
Rocky has always been a fan of West Coast rap, growing up listening to it and admits to getting his style from N.W.A. Aside from N.W.A. and K. Dot, his other inspirations are Anderson Paak, Andre 3000, Kanye West, 2-Pac and Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson isn’t only an inspiration musically for Banks, he his also a huge fan of MJ’s choreography skills.
“My family is really big on Michael, so I came up on him,” he proclaimed. “I started doing all the fucking choreography, so that’s when I knew I could entertain people and keep a crowd.”
He’s been preparing to showcase those choreography skills at SXSW in Austin, Texas next week and has been spending a lot of time in the studio working on his next EP, expected to drop this summer.
“Ima keep making this music for the youth, the kids that really have something to say but really don’t know how to say it,” he says. “I’m really tryna go global with it.”
Listen to the full I.O.N.I.D.D.D.A EP here:
Follow him on his socials – @TheRockyBanks.
WRITTEN BY: BRYAN MELARA – @IamBNyce