Ironically he’s late, as expected with rappers. One of his managers, Manny, is already here and we sit and listen to the new Boogie album, he’s rolling up and talking to me about beats. About 30 minutes later T-Rova arrives, beer in hand, talking about how many people he was waiting in line behind at the gas station hoping we excuse his tardiness. Beers are popped and we venture outside, everyone is making jokes, taking turns playing songs, it’s clear they’re all close as they joke and roast. We listen to the Tory Lanez and Don Q diss tracks and Rova yells, “I LOVE RAP BEEF”.
Nick de Almenara: What have you been listening to recently?
T-Rova: “First that new Future, not a bad thing to say about that. The YNM Melly album, love that Mixed Personalities joint, that new Boogie.”
ND: Coming off a big 2018, new album, new collabs, new videos, what the vibe right now?
TR: “You know the fuckin vibes (laughs) nah 2018 was good but I’m never satisfied. Lots of learning and growing, it was good but we want better. We have 30 songs done.”
ND: For 2019?
TR: “Yep. New video for Glass House soon too.”
ND: Whats the next goal?
TR: “Just pushing this album more, I’m not totally done with Without Further Ado yet, we got merch coming for the fans so just pushing that project more.”
ND: As you gain more followers and doing bigger things, do you feel that pressure is building for you?
TR: “Yeah, I mean I feel the pressure is in my head to be honest. Most of what I want to accomplish is my wishes anyway so I just always try to outdo the person in the mirror, growing and getting better for myself. It’s more than just putting shit out now.”
Up walks his other manager and well known photographer, Franks Been Dead. We all do our hellos and jokes go on. Frank is another member of “The Dead”, as they call themselves. They’ve all known each other for years and as they’ve grown they’ve teamed up merging friendships into working relationships, all pushing for each other. Frank is the ring leader of most of the group. He wears many hats from management, to organizing events, to being an overall hype man. He does all of on top of shooting photography, he captures all of the candid moments wherever they go.
ND: Who would you call your inspirations?
TR: “Definitely Kid Cudi, definitely Wiz , more so nowadays I feel some Wayne too lyricism wise.”
ND: Who are you working with this year?
Franks Been Dead: “Me.”
TR: “Yeah, and me and Sir Real are making a tape, its gonna be called Eyes Low Not Closed, on all platforms, but aside from that I cant really talk about it.”
ND: Is there a direction you want to focus on more? You have a lot of styles we’ve seen.
TR: “I feel not having a definite direction makes you a little more solidified in your own head, I feel like you can always branch out and do different things, just keep moving and keep making strides in every lane. I feel I put out mood music, any mood I felt at the time I put into my music. So no (laughs).”
ND: You guys keep the family so close, why is that important?
TR: “I feel everyone I do keep around me has out own passions that we have in our own lives, we all want to be the best that we are. Building a team you have that constant want to be better and that competitive spirit.”
ND: Whats the hardest part working with T-Rova?
FD: “He’s ugly, he stinks, he bitches a lot (laughs).”
Manny: “He’ll have his plan and its more like I’m just running it by you, it’s not like I can change it (laughs).”
ND: Whats the best part?
FD: “He really just brings a lot of energy, he’s just gotten better, he’s progressed so much since we started the Dead.”
M: “His stage presence, you go to one of the shows and it’s just fun. He makes me feel there isnt a doubt in doing this.”
ND: One word to describe T-Rova?
TR: I’m gonna shout out 2 Chainz, Different
(All photos by Franks been Dead @franks_been_dead)