In late 2006, DJs across the country started getting wind of a new cat hitting the scene out of the Lonestar State. At this point no one knew much about him except that he was reppin his block. Which block was unsure, but it was somewhere in Houston. A city which over the last decade went from a few founding fathers with the likes of UGK, Rap-A-Lot Records, and SPM working their fingers to the bone and rapping their vocal cords numb to make it in the game to a city where legends are bred. When the new millenium hit a new breed of lyricists began to hatch. Carrying on the traits of their predecessors but bringing new styles with a bold sense of swagger…..
You began to hear ballers throughout the Southwest working their way up through the states play a CD called Getcha Mind Correct. A deep voice of a guy apparently 6’6” tall was introduced. Countless more followed producing platinum records and tapping billboard charts. Unfortunately at this point a young Latino by the name of Roberto Gallinares had just got his diploma and only sought a future hustling as a D-boy on the streets. Until a drug deal gone bad made him decide to put full focus on a rap career he felt fit for the occasion. Growing up in Houston Texas, Rob grew up amongst all these rappers who had already earned recognition on a national level and had no problem rounding them up for his first project the “Reppin My Block” Mixtape. On it he featured Slim Thug, Lil Keke, Chamillionaire, and was even able to reach out to the west coast to get WC on a track just to name a few.
Rob was on a mixtape mission for the past couple years from the Reppin My Block Mixtape to Shakin Hands Kissin Babies which was hosted by Pitbull. Until the recent release of “Both Sides of the Fence” in which he collaborated with Trae Tha Truth, Rob hadn’t felt the responsibility of his own independent release. “It was a gut check to see if I could really get my CEO on,” he confirms and definitely, proud of the project which before released sold 5,000 copies the first week (February 17th) before it even hit the shelves and now over 10,000 units moved it has helped keep him relevant in the game. With no help from his label and all the money coming back to himself, Rob admits he doesn’t do it for the money. “But when you can’t make money and it hinders you as an artist you’re put in a box and you have to think a certain way like, damn I have to make a song that’s gonna sell.” Both Sides of the Fence has put him in a position where he can make music his way and at the same time keep building his buzz. With in store signings, club appearances, and radio interviews throughout Texas and across Houston where Rob and Trae’s fan base is already big, the turn out and reviews have been phenomenal. With an album full of bangers, this is only the first volume of many to come and Rob looks forward to the next one.
What kind of impact has it had with the black and the brown community coming together in the streets?
First and foremost, lets be real. The game is dominated by blacks to the point where there’s not a lot of latin rappers out there prominent just holding it down. Basically our people don’t have too many to grasp on to.
Not only is the message we’re pushing great being positive with the black and brown community coming together, we’re opening people’s eyes and letting them the know the movement from my side of the fence being hispanic “latin american” how I like to call it. It shows urban latin kids like myself as well as urban black kids we’re all on the same team. We’re all going through the same shit. Look at statistics. Any projects or low income neighborhoods are gonna be black or Hispanic. Same in the prisons, so we just felt we cappin what I rep and Trae’s reppin what he reps was a great opportunity. Just the content gave people a chance to hear more of what I do than just what they hear me put on radio. I got to showcase my skills and prove how well rounded of an artist I am which I say humbly. Trae’s a monster in the underground scene in Texas. He’s so well respected in the South he runs it to the point that mainstream artists fuck with him heavy heavy. It put me on another stage and in the words of Trae “I came through and I held it down.” Opportunities from this are gonna open up greatly for this. Hopefully, it gives the black and Latin kids the message that yo, these guys are out here doing it and we can do it to. My main message is to make latin american kids proud of who they are and proud of their culture. There’s so many with Spanish last names and don’t know a lick of Spanish.
How do you separate yourself from other Houston artists?
Really it’s just being me. I embrace my city, I embrace the culture, I embrace the South. It’s a big part of me growin up, but my passion for music isn’t because I like grills or slabs, that’s not why I do music. I’ve been different and its done nothing but benefit me. At first I heard, “He don’t rap like an H-Town cat”, but at the end of the day now it shows people I had the nuts to come out and do me and still scream Houston. I scream Houston everywhere I go. I will not wear a baseball cap with a team on it that’s not a Houston team. That’s like against our H-Town religion. I like breathe and shit my city but when it comes to the creative side of music,
I’m gonna do me. When it comes to the way I dress or anything, I’m gonna do what I like and not just what other people like. Anyone who embraces me now tell me, “you had the balls to come out and do you, be different, and say that you’re different and also call out other people for not being different and at the end of the day, I just do me.”
What you say your favorite gear out?
I like Crown Holdaz, LKG. I’m a Christian Artigier fan, Artful Dodger, True Religion jeans is my stuff. Sneakers are pretty basic, I stick to my white forces. I don’t like the loud colors. I like my skateboard shoes and some of the skateboard fashions. Whatevers hot. If it catches my eye, I’m a rock it.
You come out with a big name to carry, “The Freestyle King”, Any controversy over that?
I had a phone call from someone sayin they were Lil Flip telling me I had to stop sayin that shit. At first I thought it was Flip. So then I bump into Flip at the Ozones in Houston last year. He was coming down the escalator and wasn’t no one around. I had went outside to burn one. So first thing I do, I look at him and I’m like well I guess I’m a know now. So I look at him,”What’s up Flip?” Flip says, “Hey Rob, what up homie?”
We shook hands and it was good. So it was a fake Flip. Shout to the fake Flip.
The whole Freestyle King, I didn’t give myself that name. I do my thing and leave it up to the people to decide. I do my freestyle thing and humbly speaking, I’m good at it. I don’t proclaim myself to anything. What I do in this whole rap game is bigger than that but freestyle is one of the many things an MC has to be able to do.
I’ll always be on top of my freestyle game. Anyone who thinks they can freestyle better? I’m always up for it, but it’ll have to be worth it.
Pimp C Story?
I met Pimp on quite a few occasions, but one in particular is special to me. Most the times were out in public on industry shit but this one time I sat in a plane from Houston to N.Y. with him. We coincidentally got scheduled on the same flight in seats next to each other because of our last names. I was going for a photo shoot. He was going for a business meeting. As I sat down on first class and seen him walk up. I was like “Oh Shit! Pimp. What up?” We already knew each other. So he was like “Rob. What up?” That was our first real conversation really just talking. It was just so incredible, in the 5 hours that we happen to be together from the plane to baggage claim, to getting our cars and leaving. He just blessed me with so much game just about life, definitely about the music game. It was just a crazy experience that I’ll never ever forget. He’s a legend, R.I.P. Pimp C. One of the best out the South to ever do it. He was the guy that opened the doors for us.
S.W.A.T. Product is your label what does it stand for and originate from?
S.W.A.T. stands for South West A-Lief Texas. The hood I’m from. I been in that hood my whole life.
I love it, it’s really my favorite place on earth. I can honestly say I’ll never move. It stands apart from all the other hoods in Houston because it’s so culturally diverse. It’s so big. You asked, why am I different? Now that I think about it growing up, I was exposed to so many different cultures. You got parts that’s only Chinese.
You got your Caribbeans and so many Hispanic, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian and El Salvadorian. Just being around the different fashions, music, and lifestyles. I appreciate where I’m from. That’s where SWAT came from. I flipped it to Street Wisdom and Talent, which is a group of Mcs from my neighborhood as an organization. Street – because to have that edge and be in tuned with the streets in what we do. Wisdom – we have to be smart. This is still a business. You wake up everyday and be very serious. Talent – speaks for itself. You can’t go anywhere without talent. I think that’s the backbone of what we do.
Any last shouts?
I like to tell everyone out there thanks! You, especially for getting me the interview. Like I tell people everywhere I go, Anything I can ever do let me know. I know I’m a talented artist, a blessed individual but I know I’m nothing without the people. Thanks to everyone that supports anything I do for the fans and companies like you for giving a chance to share my story. Shouts to everyone back home in the H. Make sure you get SlimThugs new album, Chamillionaires Mixtape Massiahes, and everybody else in the H doing
The release of his long anticipated first full length solo LP “The Inauguration” was scheduled for October 2007. He had to put it aside for a while due to his late wife passing away January 17th of 2008, leaving a single father of a young son. His labels Universal Republic and Latium have stuck by his side and showed him 110% commitment through his family complications. This young talented rap artist has a track record far beyond comparable. He swarmed the mixtape scene even facing Lil Wayne for the Mixtape of the Year Award at the Ozones in 2007. With free mixtape downloads and mixtapes under his belt, he already collabed with some of the biggest artists in the game and toured on a national level. With a strong management staff in his corner, Rob G continues to do what he does best, squash mc’s lyrically and put product out. So to the people wondering when he’ll hit the mainstream with The Inauguration preclassified a classic by The Unda$treaM. It’ll come when the time is right.