Hip-Hop Wired: Is the way Troy Ave handled procuring and releasing your song “Dopeman” as his own version, “All About The Money,” symbolic of why NYC’s rap scene isn’t unified?
Manolo Rose: Yes, I definitely would say it’s one of the issues. And it’s not just him per se. In New York City, artists want to be on top. We want to be the best. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s detrimental to us working together, because we can’t get along or hang around each other.
There’s strength in numbers, no matter the business. We’re all disconnected and side eyeing each other, because we all want to shine alone and be the star. We’ll always be where we are until we change that aspect of our attitudes.
HHW: Amid the controversy you said that you weren’t sweating “All About The Money,” because you had more hit songs in the stash. Was “Run Ricky Run” the secret weapon?
Manolo Rose: Kinda. I knew that the concept of the record was never done by anyone before. That said, I knew the record would provide something new to the rap game.
HHW: Citing the iconic Black cinema characters mentioned in the aforementioned record, is film a big influence on your music overall?
Manolo Rose: I grab inspiration from everywhere, including films. When we did “Gun Fu,” we played on aspects of John Woo films.
HHW: You likened French Montana to the Gucci Mane of NYC. Please elaborate for our readers who may not know what you meant.
Manolo Rose: When I first met French, he was so humble, man. Whatever he has, it doesn’t matter. He’ll see a new artist like Bobby Shmurda or Fetty Wap, and he’ll jump on their records. He attaches himself to up and coming artists from the East Coast, early, before any one else embraces them. That’s why I likened him to Gucci Mane.
In all reality, the majority of East Coast artists won’t do that. They don’t get on your record. They won’t even talk about the record if it’s hot, because they don’t want to give you no shine. For French to do that, it shows humility. He even gave me a chance to come perform “Run Ricky Run” at his show. You have to respect someone who moves that way.
HHW: You’ve spoken highly of your ability to pen a chorus. How did you master writing hooks?
Manolo Rose: To be honest, I don’t even know how. The instant I first heard a beat, the first thing I did was write a chorus. It came to me easy.
If I could answer that question, man….