Published on October 31st, 2022 | by MuzikScribe


Bobby J From Rockaway: BARS!


Let’s hop right into this latest single / video, “Round Here,“ — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

This song was brought to me by the producer, Krohme, who I’ve had a collaborative relationship with for the past year or so. Originally, it was a Serch solo record that was in the stash. Krohme sent it to me, and I put a hook and a verse on it, Serch heard it and loved it, and the rest is history.

Of course “Round Here,” comes courtesy of your still forthcoming official solo debut — What all can you reveal and / or divulge about upcoming said body of work?

Well, I actually have several projects out as an artist since 2019. My first album is called Summer Classics, and it features production from Kwamé, Jake One, Statik Selektah, DJ Wonder, Nef and features from Lil Fame, Killah Priest, Michael Fiya and Vivian Green. My second EP is called Endless Summer, and it is a collaborative project between me and Statik Selektah; with 2 bonus songs produced by Nef. I also have a joint project with drummer Daru Jones [Jack White, Thirt33n, Pete Rock and the Soul Brothers] called One Mic & Drum that came out on Fat Beats in 2020. This year, I dropped 7182313, a collaboration album with Detroit artist / producer, Hush, and I plan to drop my next solo EP titled Radio Days, with producer Nef at the top of 2023.

How then does this new material(s) either differ and / or compare to previous Bobby J From Rockaway entries?

I feel like with every album I get better, not only as an emcee but as a songwriter. This next project has more versatility in terms of styles, concepts and subject matter. My main goal as an artist is to introduce the younger generation to “traditional” sample-based, lyrical Hip Hop by making it accessible by mixing lyricism with catchy beats, hooks and melodies, while also satisfying the older audience that came up listening to the same music I did.

What particular string of events actually led to your initial linking up with Michael ‘MC Serch’ Berrin, and what’s the exact role that he plays in your flourishing career?

Serch, for obvious reasons, was somebody whose attention I was always trying to get. My manager, Greg, had him on our mailing list and would send him everything I released. However, it wasn’t until my Endless Summer project, with Statik, that I really got his attention. From there, he had me as a guest on his “Serch Says” podcast, and we began a friendship. Over the past two years, he’s shown me nothing but love, publicly shouted me out on major platforms, and now we have a record together, which is his first single as a solo artist in 27 years. Our relationship isn’t a business one, it’s built on mutual respect for each other’s craft.

You also have a collaborative effort, 7182313, with Hush, currently available — Tell me a lil bit about this project…

The inception of 7182313 started at the beginning of Covid lockdowns. Me and Hush have known each other for years, but had just gotten reconnected through social media. He started sending me beats, and 1 song turned to 2, which turned to 4, etcetera. Once other artists started coming into the fold; like Guilty Simpson, Kwamé, Marv Won, Lil Dee, Daru Jones, etcetera, we had to take a step back as the record started to take on a new life. We realized we had a project featuring incredible talents from both N.Y.C. and Detroit, which is where the title 7182313 came about. It’s a fusion of the best (of) both cities’ Hip-Hop scenes have to offer.

As an emcee, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?

It can come from anywhere. A lot of times it can be just a simple word or a phrase that’s stuck in my head that I’ll build a rhyme scheme or song concept off of. I collect ideas and write them down from time to time, but most of my writing is done on the spot in the studio as I’m recording. Instead of physically writing them down, I like to use the microphone/ Pro Tools as my “pen and pad” and record the bars as they come to me so I can work out the flows and hear how they hit in real time. It’s still writing, but I’ve eliminated the middleman, which is the paper / phone notes, etcetera, and it’s helped elevate my songwriting because I have less opportunities to second guess myself.

Tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Bobby J From Rockaway?

I’ve always loved music from when I was a little kid, as my parents were always playing music in my house. My mom was raised on Classic Rock, and my father was as well, but he also had more eclectic tastes like Funk, Soul, Disco, New Wave, etcetera. However, it was my older brother who was probably my earliest influence as far as putting me on to music. He was a MTV junkie, and that’s all I would watch in my house growing up. So I witnessed the Grunge movement, Yo! MTV Raps, etcetera. By the time he was a teenager, his focus shifted entirely to Hip Hop as his CD collection was basically Rap 101 for me, as he had all the ‘90’s classics. I would go in his room and steal them and study them. Everything from Big Pun, to Jay, Nas, Wu-Tang, Canibus, etcetera. Once I started to understand the technique, I began writing my own rhymes to see if I was capable of putting words together the same way my favorite rappers did. Since 12 years old, I’ve been obsessed with the writing process and making words rhyme and haven’t stopped since.

Now you’re a native of Queens, New York, correct? So growing up in ‘The World’s Borough,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

Classic music in general is the backdrop to everything I do. From a Hip Hop perspective, guys like Big Pun, Eminem, Canibus, Chino XL, Big L (and) Kool G Rap, all played a huge part in teaching me the fundamentals. However, as a songwriter I draw inspiration from artists across all genres, whether it’s somebody like Billy Joel, Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest…it’s honestly whatever I’m feeling at the moment. I try to incorporate it all into what I do.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

At the end of the day, I strive to make music that a 14 year old me would enjoy. That’s who I’m constantly trying to impress. It’s at that age that most kids develop their tastes and when they decide who their favorite artists are. If I can make music that inspires the next generation of kids to rap the same way my favorite rappers did for me, my job is done. I’d describe my style as “Neo-Classic” Hip Hop; clearly inspired by the sounds / greats of the ‘80’s / ‘90’s, but updated for the modern day. I want to make “big” records using the sound N.Y.C. is known for because a lot of artists are either using a sound popularized by another region or are making niche music. I want to change that.

Photographer: @likeamacheen

Switching gears here…

What do you feel will be the key to your longevity?

Honesty, genuine love for the culture / music, and authenticity.

What do you want people to get from your music?

I want my music to inspire the next kid to want to rap that ends up taking what I do, expanding on it, and ultimately doing it better than me.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

On a mainstream level, no! 98% of what’s shoved in our faces nowadays has toxic messaging, and it’s becoming increasingly harder to defend it. However on the flip side, there’s more great music being made now than ever; it’s just up to the listener to seek it out, which is the hardest part. Unfortunately, most causal listeners aren’t willing to put in that effort and (settle with) what’s spoon-fed to them, whether it’s on social media, streaming platforms, radio or TV. That’s gotta change.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Movies, stand-up comedy, TV; I’m a pop culture junkie in general.

To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

Several: rapping on stage for Jay Electronica at Brooklyn Bowl, hearing DJ Premier play my record for the first time / meeting him in person and him telling me my music is dope, hearing my joint with Serch on Flex’s show / Hot 97, doing an album with Statik Selektah, rhyming on Shade 45. All amazing highlights!

What’s an average day like for you?

Outside of music, I live a pretty boring life. I’m a homebody. I’m either spending time with my wife or hanging out with family / friends on the weekends.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

Instagram is my most direct connection to fans. I try to respond to all DM’s / comments I get because those personal connections are what matter most. My IG is:  @bobbyjfromrockaway.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part is the creative process. There’s nothing more fulfilling than writing a dope song. My least favorite part is the marketing side, and the industry politics you have to deal with. It can be taxing at times and can mess with your head, make you want to quit, etcetera.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Get started. Practice, practice and practice! Keep people around you that aren’t “yes” men and will give you real constructive criticism. Perfect your craft. DON’T GIVE UP. EVER.

Lastly, what’s next for Bobby J From Rockaway?

The Deluxe Version of  7182313 with Hush dropping on November 4th that features 5 previously unreleased songs, and then an EP with producer Nef called Radio Days, dropping in early 2023.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

Nope! You were very thorough. Thanks for doing your research!

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

Thanks for listening to what I have to say and if this is the first time you’ve heard my name, I humbly ask you to check out at least one of my projects I’ve mentioned. I think I got a little something for everybody. If you like what you hear, follow me on IG: @bobbyjfromrockaway, Twitter: @bobbyjrockaway,, and on Spotify: “Bobby J From Rockaway.” Peace!


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