Saroc The MC: The Goddess of 21st Century Hip Hop

A guest post by Madam CJ

saroc-closeup

Saroc the mc hails from the southeastern area of Washington DC, a city that’s a mashup of poverty stricken hoods, a strong radical movement, and a fierce loyalty to cultural preservation. This is the cocoon from which Saroc was birthed and bred.

A product of Afrikan-centered parents, Saroc developed a rebel mentality from an early age. She grew up on the music of Jimi Hendrix, Gil Scott Heron, and Earth,Wind & Fire. Her musical soundtrack was a klash of sounds, from gogo, to rock, to hip hop. This foundation began an aural quest for different sounds and concepts in music.

It wasn’t until 2002, when Saroc met Atlanta producer Sol Messiah, that she began her love affair with the mic. Armed with the lessons and musical genius of Sol Messiah, she developed a sound that was 1 part hood poetry, 2 parts otherworldly, and totally new and fresh. From subject matter ranging from melanin to pyramids, Saroc spits metaphysical ideas over melodic hip hop beats, seeking to fuse knowledge of self with great music. She seeks to create not just a couple of albums, but a full-fledged musical movement. A cultural griot, Saroc intends to reinstate the art of emceeing to its former glory, passing down the legacy 1 sixteen at a time.

Goddess Lament – YouTube

Nebuchadnezzar. Why did you name your current album that?

Nebuchadnezzar was the name of the ship manned by Morpheus in the movie The Matrix. Its captain and crew had freed themselves from the delusions, slavery, and illusion of prevailing reality and dedicated themselves to freeing all people from the same bondage. That’s exactly what I think this album has the potential to do.

What does SaRoc mean?

My birth name is Assata, so growing up, family and friends called me Sa or Sa-Sa. I wanted to incorporate some element of my name, hence, “Sa”. Sa is also the Kemetic word for protection, which I thought was very fitting as I use my words to protect, defend, and teach my people through music. The Roc signifies how hard I spit! It’s also symbolic of myself as an element of nature, more specifically as a gemstone, with the ability to channel great power and energy.

Who did the Nebuchadnezzar album cover artwork?

The art was originally done by Emhotep Richards the owner of Nuwbia Apparel. The final cover art was an interpretation of Emhotep’s cover by an artist name Skam. He has done the cover art for some very notable artists, including A Tribe Called Quest and Eminem. Both artists did an amazing job.

When did you know you had the gift of writing and delivering fierce rhymes?

I didn’t discover I could really rap until about 6 or 7 years ago. I have always been a writer, but never tried to rap until my Dj/producer Sol Messiah listened to something I had recorded for fun in his studio and told me I had potential. Coming from him, who has done work with Dead Prez, Nappy Roots, etc, I knew that he wasn’t just patronizing me. From that point, I just started writing and recording. And the rest is the future!

You have collaborated with David Banner, how did this collaboration come about?

I collaborated with David Banner on “The Who”, the second single off the Nebuchadnezzar album. Sol Messiah has collaborated with Banner in the past on music and they recently reconnected in the studio. Sol started playing some tracks from Nebuchadnezzar. Once Banner heard the “The Who” track, he wanted to jump on it.  Any collaborations I’ve done have happened off the strength of my skill as an emcee and the quality of my music.

Where do you see yourself as SaRoc THE MC in the next 5 years?

In five years the Sa-Roc brand will have diversified dramatically. From fashion, to television, and of course in music, I plan to have solidified my name and sound in the minds and hearts of people all over the planet. God Hop will be a household name. I would love to establish institutions and programs in our communities that help to cultivate creative expression in our youth early on. Whether it’s to be used further develop math and science aptitude or to simply be used as an outlet, I think it’s important for our children to have access to strong arts programs, since they have diminished so much in the school system.
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