Roseboy 4th Reflects Upon His Angels And His Demons
Roseboy 4th is a North Carolina based R&B singer and motivational speaker. Born in Forest City, he overcame poverty as a child on his way to a career in music.
Where were you born and what was your childhood like?
I was born in Forest City, North Carolina. Coming up, my childhood was interesting because I was raised in a single-parent home by my mother with the help of my grandma and my godmother. For me, it was rather interesting because I had a lot of adversity that I had to overcome in the city where I come from. Things like drug dealing, violence, all the norms of poverty neighborhoods. It was rather interesting, I would say.
What music do you remember hearing at your household?
Growing up, I didn’t really listen to a lot of music until I got older. And then when I did start listening to music, I would listen to a lot of West Coast music. From what I remember, I never really listened to East Coast music. It was mostly just West Coast music that I listened to.
How would you describe your experience at NC A&T?
It was amazing. I thank God for North Carolina A&T State University. If it wasn’t for North Carolina A&T State University, there probably wouldn’t be no RoseBoy. I got involved in Greek life just being on campus. I’m a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. I was also involved as a campus host, so I was an on-campus entertainer in the realm of entertainment. And that allowed me to meet DJs and producers, which ultimately pushed me into my music destiny.
Tell us about your transition from DJ 4th to RoseBoy 4th.
It’s interesting because DJ 4th stands for Teresa Hampton. The 4th initial comes from my grandmother. She passed away of breast cancer, and her name was Teresa Hampton. So I put her initials behind the 4th, and that’s where the 4th comes from. I saw myself gravitating towards music more, and I felt like it was more of my calling, more of my destiny. I just felt my heart pulling towards the music. I had made my first tape, and I had, like, roses on my clothes. Like, I had custom-made roses from a project I had made. And one of my friends had seen me, shout out to Malik, he was like, “Roseboy.” And as soon as he said that, I was like, “That’s it right there.” I was like, “We’re going with Roseboy.” And I was like, “Roseboy 4th.” And ever since then, that’s been the name, and I don’t plan on changing it.
What was life like for you during the pandemic?
It’s crazy because life for me during the pandemic is when I actually made my first single, “Slide Out.” It was very rough. Like, I was actually even homeless during the pandemic. I was staying on the couch of my fraternity house. So, you can only imagine what it’s like sleeping on the couch and having, like, people come in and you’re like, “You’re on my bed.” But you can’t say you’re on my bed. You know, just scraping for finances. And it’s crazy because I remember I would be hitting people up just to get money, just to go to the studio during the pandemic. Like, while I was homeless, just because I had that much passion for it. And that’s when I made, like, my first official song, which was “Slide Out” during the pandemic.
What would you do now if the world shut down?
I would know how to just create for myself. I learned to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and, you know, just produce on my own. It taught me that you don’t need a job. All you need is creativity and a whole lot of willpower and God.
Tell us about “Carolina Playa”, “Slide Out,” and “Banking On You.”
Carolina Playa, it’s so funny because I’ll be talking to my friends. So the saying is, “What it do, what it do. It’s the Carolina Playa, a.k.a. the Prince of Vibes, Roseboy 4th.” And Carolina Playa, for me, like, people think playas, like, when it comes to just women. And that’s not the case. Playa, for me, is just learning how to play the game and learning how to play any game that you’re a part of. Like me, I’m very big on seeking knowledge. I’m very big on learning how to figure things out, how to maneuver systems so that I can make it work for me while also working for somebody else. And life itself is a game. Like, it’s not to be taken seriously because at the end of the day, from God we come to God we must return. So I just play the game of life every day accordingly. And I just take what I’m given, you know, in life. Like, I don’t take it too seriously. I just play with it. I have fun. I learn it. And I just go from there. And so that’s what Carolina Playa kind of came from. It’s like, no, that’s the smooth guy. Like, you know how to play his part. You know what I mean? And then “Slide Out” came from a time that I was with my friends during the pandemic. And they were playing the beat.
As soon as they played the beat, the first words that came to my head were “slide out.” I was like, “Take it to the crib and vibe out.” And it just became like a sequence of bars. And from there, I just went to the studio and made the song with no lyrics, nothing written. Just “Slide Out,” take it to the crib and vibe out.
“Banking On Me” comes from a freestyle. The theme of the “Banking On Me” freestyle was like, alright, she banking on me, I’m gonna bank. Like, basically depending on him to become the guy, I guess, and be the breadwinner. But Banking On You” for me was just giving the power to the women because that’s what I’m all about. I’m all about women’s empowerment. So I wanted to take the track and spin it into empowerment for the women. Like, I’m banking on YOU. I’m trusting YOU to be the good woman. I’m trusting YOU to be a woman of standard. I’m trusting YOU to be a woman that I can trust with my heart. So I’m banking on you. I’m trusting you with my feelings because men tend not to do that. So it’s just me being vulnerable and wearing my heart on my sleeve.
Do you write lyrics before or do them in the studio?
I write during the studio session. I’m very big on curating the vibe. So I don’t want to go in with something predetermined in my head. I don’t want to go in there with a preconceived notion of how I’m gonna do this track. Because when you do that, I think you rob yourself of the beauty and the experience of creating. And that’s what creativity initially is. It’s going in there and just going with the flow of things and going with how the composition of the song comes together. Like, the beats, the instrumentals. I try not to go in there with any written lyrics. I just go in there and freestyle everything. Because that makes the experience for me. And that’s what makes it exhilarating.
Is music in North Carolina better now or just more popular?
I’d say better because I’ve come onto the scene. And I say that non-arrogantly. Because my thing is, I want to bring something different to the North Carolina music scene. I feel like there’s a lot of rap. So I just want to be the one to bring that R&B vibe. So I’m gonna say better. Because what I’m bringing to the game from the North Carolina scene is different. And like I said, I say that non-arrogantly. Because there aren’t too many people going the R&B route. So it’s just, I want to be the one to kind of branch out and be the one to do something different. Something new. You know what I mean? Bring a new sound, a new style, a new vibe.
What are the pros and cons of being an indie artist?
I’m gonna start with the cons. The cons are you have to create your own budgets. You don’t have anyone funding what you have to do. So in turn, you have to go out, you have to scrape for what you want. My favorite saying is, “You eat what you kill” when it comes to being an independent artist. So with that being said, you have to go out and hunt. And whatever you bring back, that’s what you have. If you don’t kill anything that day, you don’t eat anything that day. And that’s just kind of the cons of being an indie artist because everything relies on you.
And I would say the pros are, you have creative control. You get to decide how everything is gonna go. I can pretty much say what flies and what doesn’t because I have the creative control. And that’s the main thing for me, just having control of my creativity. Because I feel like creativity is your greatest asset.
It’s the ability to produce something from nothing. And I don’t want anybody else to be able to do that for me. I feel like that drives me and everything that I’m doing. Everything that I stand for. Everything that I’m just trying to push. It takes away from the authenticity.
What do fans say when they meet you for the first time?
When people meet me, they don’t know that I’m Roseboy. Because I’m so humble. I don’t come off as like, “Hey, look at me, I’m Roseboy.” When they meet me, they’ll just be vibing with me, the person. They know Shakari. When they meet Roseboy, they meet Shakari. Like I said, it’s one entity, as we talked about before I came into the interview. So when they are able to put two and two together, people are like, “You’re Roseboy? You’re the one that made ‘Slide Out?” Their favorite part is, “Let’s get freaky, baby.” I’m like, “Yeah, that’s me.” And I think they’re surprised because it’s me and I’m so humble and I’m down to earth. It’s always a surprising reaction.
If you weren’t involved in music, what would you do?
If I wasn’t involved with music, I would be a motivational speaker. I love speaking life into people. I love speaking words of life. I believe that words are so powerful. Everything that you say can, in turn, have a direct or indirect effect on you. And I just realize me being myself and being authentic, the power of my words, even through my music. So I just feel like it would be a way for me to utilize the power of my words and have an impact on people that are coming before me and after me. So definitely a motivational speaker.
Do you love social media, hate it, or love hate it?
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. And the reason I have a love-hate relationship with social media is I love it because I use it as a tool. It’s a tool that you can utilize to grow your brand and build yourself up and create your platform and find your audience and your niche. And I strongly dislike it because you have so many people trying to uphold an image or be something that they’re not. So it takes away from authenticity, and it robs people of being their self. People are, in turn, on social media being a character, more so being their true, radiant self. And that, in turn, could create more value for you than you being or living in this façade. So that’s why I have a love-hate relationship with social media.
How does it change music and society in general?
It changes it in a multitude of ways. Like I said, it changes society in a way where it has people big on instant gratification. People think that everything just comes overnight, and it does not work like that. Anything that’s worth having or anything with a foundation takes years and years of just laying each brick so that you can have a solid foundation. And the way that I feel it has an impact on music is because it gives you access to the whole world. It gives me access. I can upload my song on social media and have access to Brazil or Japan. So that allows me to expand. So figuring out how to utilize that to my advantage, I feel like it has a positive effect because it gives you such a broad reach into the world.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen so far this year?
It’s crazy because I don’t even watch a lot of movies. But a movie that I had started that was starting to grab my attention was “The Woman King.” And it was about a woman who was a king in a village, and she was molding the women that weren’t submissive and were more quote-unquote rebellious. And she was leading them, and it just showed the power and the dominance of a black woman.
What can you tell us about the project you have next?
I experimented with different rhythm and blues sounds. I experimented with dancehall as well. Just taking a blend of different sounds and styles and blending them together to create a blissful project, a happy project, a feel-good project. And I’m working on my debut tape, which is Rose Boy. And that’s literally the name of the tape, which is going to give you an in-depth view of who I am. It’s going to be me honing in on that R&B style with the 808s that I’ve learned to create with simultaneously. So it’s going to be more “Slide Out,” but a bunch of songs like “Slide Out.” It’s a bunch of vibes that make you nod your head and just feel good.
What do you want to accomplish by age 30?
Ooh, that’s a good one because I’m right there at it. I’m two years away after this year because I turned 28 this year. What I want to accomplish by 30? Whatever the Lord wills for me. I’m not too big on doing things my way because I know that I’m not sovereign. I know that I can only do so much. But I would love to have financial stability, financial freedom, financial security. I would love to be an established music artist. I would love to be living off of my music in a way that I don’t have to do much outside of music, other than be a family individual and just help guide those that support me on my journey and those that assist me with my businesses, just be there for them. I want everything to be automated, in a sense, where everything is working for itself and I just give my input and feedback where it’s needed. I see the bigger picture, and I just want other people to see the bigger picture. I don’t want people to live in arrogance. I don’t want people to live in strife, like you’re always striving for something.
Just be happy, be content, be present because that’s going to bring you that peace, and then you having that peace, that’s going to bring you everything else that you need in life because you got everything that you need right now.
So once you take that time to focus on that peace and your internal, everything else is going to gravitate towards you, everything. You don’t even have to try to strive for it. It’s just going to fall in place. That’s the tough battle, but that’s why I want to be a motivational speaker because my mother was a former drug dealer. My father wasn’t there. My mother, she was a dancer, and she’ll tell you these things. The path for me wasn’t easy, and for me to become what I’ve become, I was in group homes, I was in foster homes. So for me to become what I’ve become, I just want to show people, like, look, you can turn it around. You just gotta have willpower. If you got willpower and you got a strong why and reason, you can do and be anything you want to be. You don’t have to be what they say you want to be. Come on now. I’m not a statistic, even though I had every reason to be a statistic.
“Anything that’s worth having needs years of just laying each brick so that you can have a solid foundation.” – Roseboy 4th