“…Retro slips in clever asides too, like a sly reference to Rick Ross getting dropped from Reebok after his molly-all-in-her-champagne debacle.” – The FADER
The edgy track combines some off the wall production with an unorthodox flow in carving out a total experience for new listeners seeking alternative hip hop freshness.” – Earmilk
“[We] can assure you that Retro and the rest of the Rocket Team are gonna be the new faces of Hip-Hop.” – Fly Little Things
One could say that RETRO is built to succeed in today’s music industry. Growing up in the shadows of Detroit’s public housing, he watched as his favorite rapper Eminem fought through the dregs of the trailer park on the other side of town to become one of rap’s greatest. In his own household, RETRO was exposed to the passionate flow of Tupac as well as the expressive foundation set by Motown‘s greatest to include The Supremes and The Temptations, giving him some soulful influence. By the time his family set roots in Atlanta, the young artist found that the bounce of the southern metropolis resonated with him as well. Building from the melodies of his mother’s soundtrack and the lyricism of his dad’s, RETRO the musician was born, ready to bring a whole new sound to today’s hip-hop.
“I’m influenced by albums like the ones Michael Jackson made,” RETRO shares. “The type of albums Erykah Badu makes, where you don’t have to skip anything. You can let it play.” When he was nine years old, his mother — fed up with her kids knowing every lyric to her albums — forced her six children to come up with their own song. “Y’all have two hours to go and make up your own song or I’m beating y’all,'” he recalls. “We all had to write our own verses. That’s why I’m never scared to perform because that first time, the pressure was on. She took us to a professional studio to record the song and I have it to this day.”
RETRO, the youngest of his siblings, was in a position to absorb everything that happened around him. “The good part about being the sixth child is that I could be a sponge,” he starts. “They were already aware of music at an early age, so I just soaked up what they listened to and it was all good music. The bad thing is that you always come up on the short end- sometimes there’s not enough food, sometimes you can’t sit in the car to go to the grocery store because there’s not enough room. It was a struggle but we made due with what we could do.”
RETRO has a deeper connection to music than most artists his age — it’s the reason he took on that name. “‘Retro’ is classic,” he explains. “Whatever I drop I want it to be classic, not to be forgotten. I’m sure when most people get in the car, they don’t always listen to what’s on the radio. You’ll throw on your old jams… I just feel like an old soul.”
An old soul indeed. The social commentary of Tupac Shakur moved a young RETRO to recite the explicit lyrics of “Brenda’s Got a Baby” while taking a ride with his father. He’d been stealing the tape from his dad’s car for weeks and returning it before anyone noticed. “Out the corner of my eye I see him looking at me like, ‘What the hell is this boy saying?’,” he says. “He’s like, ‘How do you know this song? When you get home, I want you to rap this to your mom so she can hear what you’ve been listening to.’ I was scared because I thought I’d get in trouble.” Instead of being punished, his mother was thoroughly amused by her son’s ability to connect with music, absorbing every line and sound.
These days, RETRO is hoping to give hip-hop fans the same experience through his newest project The Six. Drawing inspiration from artists like Biggie, Drake and even Michael Jackson, his aim is to make the masses feel something meaningful through his work. From the art to the sound, the rapper wants listeners to be able to find something inspirational. The Six will feature six different covers that can be opened up to form a poster for fans. He and his Rocket Team — a crew of 15-plus — came up with the idea of including uniquely coded tickets in each of the 5000 copies that will be pressed, making the release an interactive experience. Listeners will be prompted to go to RETRO’s website, RETROthakid.com, to enter a code. Six winners will be rewarded with a special edition Rocket Team jersey.
It’s beyond fame for RETRO, his goal remains being the one to evoke a change in music. “I know that once I get on with my project, I’m reaching out to the best producers from Kanye to Timbaland to Pharrell,” he says excitedly. “I know that sounds impossible but I know I want the best beats for my flow.”
“I feel like I can present good music, something you can cruise to, make love to, play with your kids to, because I believe a whole album should hit every season, whether it’s summer or winter.”
Following The Release of His New Mixtape, The Six, ATL Rapper RETRO Premieres Visuals For His New Single, “Dangerous,” Via Stupid Dope
ATL-via-Detroit Emcee RETRO Releases Mixtape, The Six, Premiered by DJ Booth
RETRO Teams Up With Taylor Gang’s RMB Justize and Detroit Rapper Coda For New Single Off The Six Dropping Tomorrow
ATL Rapper RETRO Heads to Compton for Visual of 2pac-Inspired Single From The Six Mixtape, Premiering via HipHopDX
RETRO Drops Jazzy Single From Forthcoming Mixtape,The Six via Potholes In My Blog
Atlanta-by-way-of-Detroit Rapper is Blessed with Hennessey in First Visual From Forthcoming The Six Mixtape via The Smoking Section
22-Year Old Atlanta Rapper Drops First Single from Forthcoming The Six Mixtape, Premiere via Earmilk