Independent artists have it hard. They are not only competing with the pristine sounds of pop radio, they also have to handle burden of supporting a career. It can be a daunting task, especially in the crowded world of hip-hop. Some believe that the culture is dying in a cesspool of DJ Mustard beats and poor rapping. Others, like Jacob Raiford, a.k.a. RoQy Tyraid, believe that they can find a way to reach the masses while remaining true to the culture. He hopes that his long awaited debut release, The Dichotomy of RoQy TyRaiD can do just that.
“The people of hip-hop absolutely love dope music. It’s not always about what the radio station spoon-feeds to the consumer,” RoQy says.
The challenged comes from navigating the hardened and forever expanding underground hip-hop circuit, which can have its highs and lows. The goal of tapping into a true fanbase becomes both easier and more difficult with the rise of social media and the lowering of the bar of quality hip-hop in general. As the co-host of 99.1's The Clean Up Crew and host of the monthly underground series The Hip Hop House, Tyraid has been exposed to a lot of local talent in the music circuit and truly believes that over-saturation and quality control are a major problem.
“Unfortunately, the music circuit is so inundated with rappers, emcees, and such, that initially coming across the average individual’s radar is a bit more difficult than one would expect,” Raiford says.
Not one to back down from a challenge, Tyraid has already gotten some national attention with his intricate rhyme schemes and heavy drums. With unique sample flips and hot bars like "WooSaah!", RoQy has garnered attention from the likes of sites like AllHipHop.com. His appearance on The Wake Up Show Unplugged hosted by Sway Calloway is just one of the moments that he uses as a driving force.
“When you operate as an indie artist within the underground hip-hop circuit, each accomplishment is that more rewarding, especially if you are fortunate enough to track your evolution,” Raiford says. “Rocking a show you personally booked, a festival you secured through maintaining a great rapport, or witnessing supporters fall enough with the music you made available to them, it feels so incredibly uplifting.”
With his motivation clear, RoQy hopes to make a strong impact with the release of LP that is six years in the making. He describes the project as an "culmination of various life experiences and perspectives..." and hopes to reach a wide audience without crossing the line of pop music.
“My project took so many forms until it was finally fit for universal digestion," he says.
The anticipation for the project is high, as Tyraid was able to hit his modest Kickstarter goal of $1000 within a few days. Describing his music with a range that includes "riot music" and "odes to the pursuit of life," Tyraid purposely chose to leave all "turnt" music on the cutting room floor.
"Those aren’t necessarily my things. Ha!" he laughs.
The Dichotomy of RoQy TyRaiD is slated for an October release. You can find his Kickstarter campaign here.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.