Durrty Boyz Stuey Rock is Reshaping the Culture
You cannot successfully navigate through the Atlanta music scene without crossing the right of passage. Durtty Boyz Radio is that bridge that is able to transport artists from one dimension to a higher plateau. Stuey Rock is the captain of that ship, navigating through spaces that dreamers escape in order to make it. He has been a force in the lives of many artists when they were still on the rise and he has collaborated with Future, 2 Chainz, Yung Berg (Hitmaka), Yo Gotti, Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Lil Scrappy, K-Camp, T.I and many more. Despite entering the game at a young age, Stuey has been instrumental in shaping the new Atlanta. Atlanta is the new New York, new Hollywood new everything. Everyone in film and music has transplanted to Atlanta and Stuey Rock is the quiet gatekeeper in music who is shaping the culture in his own way. Making silent moves beyond the show that has become a centerpiece of hip hop culture; he is becoming what Barry Gordy was to Motown in a young fly way. The St. Louis raised DJ is more than a DJ. He has an executive, manager and influencer in his own right. He is more than the person who might get your song played on the radio; he is a career changer who is skyrocketing to immeasurable heights. We sat down with Stuey Rock to learn more about his life, motivation and what’s next for Atlanta’s hottest DJ.
Who is Stuey Rock?
Outside of me being a Dj, I’m a father, I’m a friend, I’m a son, I’m a cousin, I’m a nephew . I’m really family oriented. I have three kids and I love em’ to death. I also take care of my goddaughter, so I would say four kids. I’m always pushing the in music and that’s one thing that I always stress when I talk to artists. I tell them how important it is to make sure that they are in their children’s life because that’s very important. We are raising the next generation. The way I was raised, my thought process and work ethic were affected because I had both of my parents in my life. Not saying a single-parent home can’t be successful, but it helps to have both components. So I think to strengthen our culture we have to keep our families strong and together.
What was it like growing up in St. Louis?
It was difficult, just being in the Midwest period. A lot of gun violence and not a lot of people really making it out of the city. I was always ambitious at a young age – if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll turn around and do it. It might not be done the way you want it, but I’ll figure it out and make it happen. In St. Louis you have to make it happen or you’ll sink.
With you being exposed to the harsh realities of growing up in a relatively difficult environment, how did resiliency play a role in molding your career?
I just didn’t want to lose, I’m a natural hustler. You can make as much money as you want if you’re a hustler, because you can make money off of everything. It’s a different drive, I never took “no” for an answer. “No” to me means let me figure out how to make you say yes. Any negative thing that ever has happened in my life it makes me go harder because I feel like I’ve got something to prove.
Tell us about your business and management imprint?
My business and management imprint started with me – I did a collaboration with Future, 2 Chainz, Yung Berg (Hitmaka), Yo Gotti, Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Lil Scrappy, K-Camp, T.I etc. When I got to a point where I got older and didn’t feel like I wanted to compete with the music industry, jumping in crowds and doing stuff for clout, I was just like why not give other artist opportunity so they wouldn’t make the same mistake I did. That’s where I got my imprint Fresher Den U (FDU) Management, Fresher Den U Entertainment, I also have Fresher Den U Cuts and Styles, The Cook Up FDU Studios, so anything dealing with the entertainment industry I latched on to my main imprint of Fresher Den U. My management company consist of client One Play – he has a single out right now with DaBaby called ‘Camera Bag’. I also have a kid by the name of Freaky Boulevard – he sings R&B, tattoos all over his face and he looks different, the way he puts records together is different. I also have an artist by the name of Young Alpo, very promising writer and artist. He’s super dope, he has the whole country-town on smash. That’s pretty much the whole gist of Fresher Den U Entertainment.
How did you get involved with being an on-air personality?
I started radio when I was sixteen, I’ve had the opportunity to see so many artist – being the youngest DJ out there in St. Louis, which is difficult because St. Louis is such a rough city to come through. I did radio my way. I did my shows, my segments the way that I wanted to do them – it wasn’t a situation where someone taught me how to be a personality, how to be me. That was a big component behind me coming to Atlanta. Just seeing how the radio stations supported local talent – you never know who would become that next star, so I thrived off keeping that alive and that’s where my heart is at.
What’s one of the craziest experiences you’ve had throughout your career in the entertainment industry? I’m not going to lie, BET shitted on me (haha). From the taxi drivers to moving around the city – New York was just a crazy experience in general. One particular time I just so happened to be in LA with David Banner, Lil Boosie and Roy Jones Jr. for that song they had. They were supposed to shoot a top 10 countdown for BET and the damn host didn’t show up. The whole camera crew there, the producer, everyone is there. So, they called New York and was like, “the country cat, the dude that auditioned, he here” and they were like, “well shit, let him shoot it”. That’s how I got the job.
I noticed that initially you were referenced under the moniker J.Nicks, but today you’re acknowledged as Stuey Rock – what inspired the name change?
I’ve always had a passion for music and just felt like my name (J.Nicks) just didn’t resonate, because as long as people knew who I was they would never give me a shot. Stuey Rock came about because I started singing and writing my own music. What has been one of the most challenging obstacles you’ve encountered throughout the different phases of your life? Caring enough to be in a relationship – taking the time out to fulfill somebody or cater to somebody. I’ve never cared for a white-picket fence, I want to create something different, wealth for my family, wealth for the culture.
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