StaySolidRocky is your new favorite rapper. The Texas-born, Richmond, Virginia-raised native thinks of his music like an art canvas, focusing on quality over quantity. At 19 years old, he’s already caught his big break with his viral hit “Party Girl,” which currently has over 11.6 million views and counting.
The song originally took off on TikTok, a hilarious yet innocent video seeing a driving mail lady video bombing while dropping off mail. The record itself quickly entered Spotify’s coveted Rap Caviar playlist, while reaching the #14 spot on the US Spotify Chart.
Born Darak Figueroa, StaySolidRocky describes himself as “a normal person, I make music like everybody else. You might get some happy songs, you might get some bad songs. I never know myself. I don’t want to pick up a certain flow and overuse that flow or melody. I try to keep things different, keep trying to refresh and better myself.”
Growing up on the likes of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Drake, and Kevin Gates, he always took a liking to love songs — a lane that he’d soon embody on his own. While “Party Girl” is still running its numbers up, Rocky reminds you this is just one of his many hits in the vault.
AllHipHop caught up with the Columbia Records signee who was enjoying some outside air in the backyard of his home in Virginia. Read below as we discuss his upbringing, the making of “Party Girl,” why he’s not a fan of Tik Tok, and more!
AllHipHop: You’re currently in Virginia, but you’re from Texas right?
StaySolidRocky: I’m from San Antonio, Texas. I lived in Texas for 13 to 14 years, then I moved to South Carolina for 2 to 3 years. I finally came to Virginia when I was 15 or 16. I went to high school in Virginia.
AllHipHop: What was the household like growing up with 6 siblings?
StaySolidRocky: Well when I lived with my mom, there was only 4 of us. It was a normal everyday struggle, surrounded by poverty and all that s##t. My mom did what she could. We relocated when I was in 6th grade. We moved out of San Antonio to a small little town in Texas called San Angelo. That’s really my first time getting out of San Antonio, travelling and experiencing different things. It opened my mind up more rather than being stuck on one side of town. My mom didn’t have a car so we couldn’t go anywhere. It helped us experience new things.
AllHipHop: When did music come into play?
StaySolidRocky: I’ve been rapping for as long as I can remember. I really started freestyling. Once I got to Virginia, that’s when I started writing for real. I don’t know why I started writing, I just picked up the habit of writing in Virginia. I wasn’t able to go to the studio how I wanted to at first. As soon as I got older and got more money, then I started being able to access the studio.
AllHipHop: How did the culture compare from Texas to Virginia?
StaySolidRocky: It helped me because I had family in Texas, then I moved to South Carolina. Made friends in South Carolina so now I have people in South Carolina. I came to Virginia, made friends in Virginia. That helped me because through social media and keeping in contact with everyone, I let everybody know I’m making music. Keeping everybody connected from all different places really benefited me, moving around and meeting different people. Make new connections.
AllHipHop: Your biggest influences are Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Drake, Kevin Gates. That’s an interesting mix, why do you like them?
StaySolidRocky: Bone Thugs was really my mom, because she used to play Bone Thugs growing up. They used to rap fast, have melodies. I really picked up from my mom. Of course Lil Wayne, that’s more my mom but I fell in love with Wayne’s music. Once I got older, I started to listen to music on my own. That’s when Kevin Gates was coming up, Luca Brasi 2. The storytelling, the pure emotion, he’s not afraid to say anything. He put it all out there. Anything that’s on his mind, he might talk about some random stuff. I fell in love with the music. I got a different vibe from Kevin Gates that I didn’t get from any other artist, that really drew my attention.
AllHipHop: When’d you pick up your name?
StaySolidRocky: Alright so my real name’s Darak, that’s my government name. Ever since I was little, my mom would call me Rocky. When I started rapping and getting in the studio, I was using my real name because I never met another Darak. I was going to use my real name for the music but I had an Instagram page, the name was the pronunciation of my name. It was @duh.rock. That page got deleted, so I had to make a new page. One day, I thought of the name StaySolidRocky.
AllHipHop: Who or what inspired “Party Girl”?
StaySolidRocky: I was on the phone with this one girl. She was into all the wrong things, so that’s where the idea came from. I took that idea and ran with it, then I pulled emotions from my current situation. From my relationship problems. I mixed it all in there.
AllHipHop: Did you think it would go up like that?
StaySolidRocky: No. When I wrote the song, before I recorded it, I showed it to BigKayBeezy. He’s a brother to me, he makes music too. We really show each other our songs, our ideas. I showed him the song, he said “hell nah, you better not make that song.” He didn’t say it’s a bad song, he feels it doesn’t really fit me as an artist. Who I am as an artist, so it’s out of my box. He said “it’s not a bad song, but I don’t think you should make it.” I told him “nah, I’ma make the song because they’re loving it on Instagram.” Because I posted it.
I’d post Instagram videos of me saying it with the beat in the background. If they liked it, if it gets a lot of good feedback, then I record the song and I drop it. When I posted “Party Girl,” it went crazy on Instagram. He’s telling me “don’t make it, don’t make it.” I’m like “nah, I gotta make it. I have to.” So I go make the song. When I make the song, we switched. I was listening to the song in the studio like “nah I don’t like this.” That’s me though. When I make my songs, I don’t like them. But I listen to them, listen to them, I usually warm up to them. He’s like “nah you trippin’, this aight.” [laughs] After the studio, I’m posting the snippet on Instagram. Every time I post the snippet on Instagram, it flops. It’s getting no feedback. I posted it multiple times. The last time I posted it, I typed a little paragraph like “you all begged me for this song, dah, dah, dah.” Saying all this stuff. That time, the snippet went crazy and I knew we had to drop it.
AllHipHop: How’s it feel to have it go up on Tik Tok?
StaySolidRocky: Honestly, I have mixed emotions about Tik Tok. I’m getting a lot of views off Tik Tok and it’s helping most definitely, but also a lot of people are starting to call it a Tik Tok song. I don’t really like that. They’re saying “oh, you’re only blowing up because of Tik Tok.” They don’t understand before the label put any push behind it, before the TikTok started going up, I had 2 million views on the music video in 4 months. I already had 2 million views. Tik Tok helped me get a lot of views and a lot of promotion naturally, but I didn’t put it on TikTok.
I didn’t even know the song was on Tik Tok. I started getting text messages, that’s when I made a TikTok account. But at first, it was just on YouTube and SoundCloud. That’s when it started taking off on TikTok. My thing with TikTok is I feel it devalues the song. It takes all the meaning away from the song. A lot of people are focused on the one sound that the TikTok was focused on, but it’s a whole song. It’s a whole song and it has deep meaning if you really listen to it. It’s more than a fun party song.
AllHipHop: What’s the deep meaning?
StaySolidRocky: If you listen to the song, you can take it from 2 different perspectives. You can either take it from the girl that I’m singing about’s perspective, or you can take it from my perspective. My perspective is I’m trying to get this girl, but she’s not even worried about me. In the song, I’m listing all the bad things that she comes with. But at the end, I still say “I love you.” The meaning of the song is if you really like somebody, if you really love somebody, you should be willing to put up with all problems that they come with. You should be willing to make that sacrifice and really love them for them. You don’t really get that from TikTok. They made it like a meme, like a joke.
AllHipHop: I don’t think there’s any negatives…
StaySolidRocky: It’s not negative, but a lot of people know the song because of Tik Tok. Their first impression isn’t “oh this is a great song,” it’s “oh I want to make a TikTok to this.” It’s not “let me sit back,, vibe, really listen to what he’s saying.” I don’t want to demoralize or pull the meaning away from the song, but I appreciate Tik Tok most definitely.
AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot?
StaySolidRocky: Honestly, I hated the video shoot. I was mad, too much s##t going on. More people were supposed to come, we only had 2 days to get ready for the video shoot. The way I set it up, everything’s just ugh. But my best memory? This is my first video shoot ever. That’s my only one so he said “alright, what I like to do is start off with the artist and get some solo shots. We go from there.” He said he was going to have a photographer with him. We start shooting the music video, got the music playing. He’s like “go sit on the couch to get some solo shots.” So I’m thinking he’s taking pictures. Whole time he’s recording me, the music playing and he’s like “why you not moving? Why you just sitting there?” I’m like “oh s##t, I thought you were taking pictures.” [laughs] That’s the funniest part.
AllHipHop: You’re rocking a shirt that says “drugs are bad.” Do you not smoke or drink?
StaySolidRocky: Nah, I smoke. I don’t drink though, I don’t like drinking. It makes me feel sluggish and sloppy. I like music videos to where you have to catch, you have to rewind, go back and catch that. The whole point of the song is the “Party Girl, drugs, dah dah dah.” So I thought why not wear a shirt that says “drugs are bad”? On the shirt, the character looks high. [chuckles] Just a little comedy.
AllHipHop: Your IG bio says “I’m on my 9 shi.” What’s that mean?
StaySolidRocky: Alright so my best friend, he went to jail not too long ago. Probably a few days ago. His name is Kevin, my nickname for him is K9. It’s a tribute to him.
AllHipHop: How does he feel that you’re putting him on like that?
StaySolidRocky: He feels good, he’s getting a lot of support. He’s going through some tough times right now. I’m glad it’s happening right as I’m finally being successful with music, right before all this s##t. But everything happens for a reason, God got a plan.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about your journey to Columbia, how did that happen?
StaySolidRocky: Oh, it was fast. It wasn’t fast because I’ve been making music for a long time, but the process and how everything got set up? Real fast. What happened was, I hit a million views on my song. I already had labels contacting me, but I was dragging my feet with it. I hit a million views on my song, then I went into work the next day. I lost my job the day after I hit a million views.
Some Hulu s##t. A customer support type s##t, some s##t on there. I lost my job, that’s when all of this quarantine, stay in the house stuff started kicking in. Virginia went on lockdown, so I’m at the house. I don’t have anything going on. That’s when I look at my DMs and I saw Solomon, he DMed me saying “yo I think you can be huge. I want to help you get a huge record deal.” I ‘m thinking it’s some bulls##t. I don’t open the DM for the first couple days, then I finally go back to it. Look at his page, see who he’s working with. I thought “hmm, let me talk to this guy.”
From the jump, he’s been making every promise that he says. It is a big step cause really I was signing with them in the first few weeks. It didn’t take over a month to get the vision, it probably took 2 weeks. Everything was happening so fast. I got a solid team around me. My lawyer is very trustworthy. Of course Solomon showed me that he’s trustworthy. Looking up with Columbia, seeing who they have on their roster, weighing my different options. I saw how they have successful artists, so why can’t they do the same for me? That’s why I chose Columbia. the process was real fast. [snaps]
AllHipHop: What’d you do w/ your first advance?
StaySolidRocky: I didn’t get it yet. The first thing is buy a car. I want to go big, but I don’t want to go too big. I want to be smart with my money. I’m still debating. I don’t want to go too crazy but at the same time, I worked hard to achieve this. I want to give a gift to myself.
AllHipHop: What can we look for next from you?
StaySolidRocky: I want more music videos. I’m working on a body of work right now, trying to get everything together with that. Surprises, I don’t even know what’s in store for me next. I might go to the studio and make a hit song tonight. Everybody stay tuned, we’re going to see what’s next.