Atlanta Dirty South rapper Rocko's music career always had been a side note to his romantic relationship with R&B singer Monica until he signed with Def Jam in 2007. Born Rodney Hill, Rocko started in the music industry as a producer and ghostwriter in his cousin's studio around 1999, then afterwards for small indie Triple A Records. Based on his success with label act Hitman Sammy Sam, he decided to venture out on his own, establishing Rocky Road Records in 2002. Under the imprint, he had a hand in developing artists like Young Dro and Dem Franchize Boyz before they graduated up to the majors. In 2003, Rocko tried penning rhymes for himself and released his first mixtape, NWA (No Wack Artist). However, the attention-grabber was his second mixtape Swag Season (2007), which boasted features from 2006 breakout rap stars Jim Jones and Rick Ross and sold all over Georgia and in neighboring states. After a front-page feature in Southern rap magazine Ozone, Island Def Jam signed Rocko and his imprint for an exclusive deal, which was helped along by an acquaintance of his (through Monica), IDJ urban division president Jermaine Dupri. Taken from Swag Season, the semi-successful "Umma Do Me" became the lead single for his major-label debut, Self-Made (2008). ~ Cyril Cordor, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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