Rochester Interview

rochester juice Pictures, Images and Photos
Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here at the Stylus Awards with Rohecster. Just a reminder to the listeners out there that you can catch this again on the podcast or you can read the transcript on my blog. So, how’s it going man?

Rochester: “Whats up, what’s up? I’m chilling. Having a great time.”

Chase: “Yeah, it’s pretty nice that we have this award show honouring the DJs and the producers and all the behind the scenes things.”

Rochester: “Definitely.”

Chase: “But you’re on the mic too right?”

Rochester: “Yeah, I’ve been rapping since I was about 18 years old.”

Chase: “Excellent. So do you do any DJing or producing?”

Rochester: “I try to but I really suck. That’s why I’m like, ‘Let me just leave it up to the DJs man,’ because there’s some things that people are meant to do and some people are just not meant to do them. I think DJ was one of them for me. I like picking and selecting music, ya know what I mean, but I could never blend or scratch really, really well but I appreciate the art, definitely.”

Chase: “Awesome! So are you here supporting some of your producers?”

Rochester: “I’m more here for the DJs because you gotta show love for the DJs because it’s the DJs who put me on. Rochester would never be where he is right now – Did I just use my name in the third person? Oh my God-”

Chase: “We’re radio though so it’s not like we’re seeing you image.”

Rochester: “Okay cool.”

Chase: “We want people to know who you are right?”

Rochester: “True, true, true. So Rochester, myself, wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the DJs. They really spun my music on the radio, on the mix shows, college mix shows, in the club, and really helped mew get my stuff out there. So, I always show love, always.”

Chase: “Yup, that’s what we do here at DOPEfm. We’re an overnight show, Saturday overnights. We spin your stuff. Definitely.”

Rochester: “Beautiful.”

Chase: “That’s what’s really cool to see this because usually there is more of a focus on the MC rather than the DJ. So we’re here showing love to the DJs.”

Rochester: “I’m glad they started this 5 years ago because it is crucial to the game. And you can see how important it is because it brings everyone together. We all realize how important the DJ is.”

Chase: “Yeah, there’s quite the turnout today. It’s packed in here.”

Rochester: “You see how important the DJs are. Everyone has shown up, even Drake showing some love. Every artist is here. Every DJ is here. Driving out from Newfoundland out to BC, so it’s good.”

Chase: “Could you tell us something about the 411 Initiative?”

Rochester: “Yeah, What’s the 411 is my non-profit, not necessarily mine but I’m an artist in it and I work hard in it. It was created by Tamara Dewitt and she hollered at me about 5 years ago and asked me if I wanted to do something a little bit different when it came to teaching kids about different topics. Topics such as domestic violence, gun violence, crimes against women, HIV and AIDS, Black history, Asian history, women’s rights, and things like that.

Because you know when you go to high school, the assemblies are so boring. I remember falling asleep in class, I was talking to girls, I was doing whatever else I could be doing during these assemblies. So I wanted to do something cool and she wanted to do something cool and that’s how What’s the 411 got started. We’ve been touring across Canada about 5 years now and we’ve hit up every single, almost every single high school, even Native Reserves out in Calgary and different Community Centres. We’re working with a Community Centre called Brookside and that’s in Coburg.

We started an actual record label. It’s called the Rebirth Project. It helps kids that are aspiring to be musicians or artists actually figure out what it is they want to do. Everybody wants to be a rapper, right? But sometimes maybe that’s not your niche. Maybe you’d be better as a graphic designer, or maybe you’d be better as a producer, or just a writer, or something like that. So there are other options in music and that’s what we’re giving them the option to do.”

Chase: “That is so cool! I just talked to Boi 1da and I asked him how he got into production and he said because he couldn’t rap or he wasn’t so good at it. So you know that there are those other elements. I myself tried to get a rap career going.”

Rochester: “How’s that going for you?”

Chase: “Well, now I’m on the radio, so-”

Rochester: “That’s okay. We all find out, eventually.”

Chase: “Yup, we all find out. I tried to get that popping but ya know, I love hip-hop so much that I’m still involved in it. I’m writing and blogging and all that stuff. But I still rap and I’m a teacher so I appreciate this What’s the 411?”

Rochester: “You need to love the art form enough. It’s not just about making money all the time. I really feel truly in my heart that if I wasn’t doing this for money or going on tour, seeing the world or whatnot, I’d still be doing this. If there wasn’t a dollar in my pocket, if there wasn’t any ambition to move forward. It’s something within you that you love to do. Hip-hop is not just a music. It’s a lifestyle. It’s who you are. And once it’s in you, it’s like a virus, you can’t leave it alone.”

Chase: “Yeah, I still beatbox and I teach so when I erase the board I usually beatbox and do a vocal record scratch like duffa-dufa-duffa.”

Rochester: “Sick, sick! Your students must love you, man.”

Chase: “I bring hip-hop into the classroom. We did a Run-DMC song for choir. I got this rap choir thing going.”

Rochester: “That’s amazing.”

Chase: “I teach Grade 3 so it’s the little kids.”

Rochester: “What’s your last name?”

Chase: “March.”

Rochester: “Mr, March. I wish you were my Grade 3 teacher man. ‘Mr. March, you’re dope bro! Mr. March is ill!” Yeah man!”

Chase: “I can’t help it. I go around beatboxing sometimes in class and the kids remind me I’m beatboxing and I’m like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even notice I was doing it.’ Because hip-hop is inside you and it’s just something that you love. It’s cool that we can all come together and celebrate it.”

Rochester: “That’s what the Stylus Awards is all about. I wanna see all the DJs out here doing there thing man. Did you see the awards at all?”

Chase: “I’ve been stuck backstage here all night so unfortunately no.”

Rochester: “Well, I gotta get back, man. I gotta get back and see all these guys and stuff like that.”

Chase: “So what can we look forward to from you in the future? Are you coming out with an album?”

Rochester: “Yeah my new album is called ‘Genreless.’ Any other past material from me, you can find at So anything you haven’t heard or if you’ve never heard me before, just go to the website, check me out. My stuff is on iTunes as well but it’s also at Check it out!”

Chase: “Nice! Are you on Twitter?”

Rochester: “@Rochesterjuice, always gotta plug the Twitter.”

Chase: “Alright, well thanks a lot. It’s been a pleasure sitting down and talking with you.”

Rochester: “Thank you man. Thank you. Bless!”