Robert Raimon Roy, the artist formerly known as Rob Roy, made waves back in 2007, when he dropped the audio and visuals for the song “Fur In My Cap.” Flash forward a few years, and the rapper is now properly signed to Dim Mak records, and gearing up for the release his video for the single “Robert Raimon Roy,” off his debut album Le Tigre Blanc (dropping December 11). For those of you that know him, or don’t know him, let’s pick his brain a little bit.
So what’s up man, how’s things been going? What have you been up to lately?
Things are great man. I’ve been getting things in order for my upcoming project, Le Tigre Blanc. It’s my third album, but it’s the first one to see a proper label release.
So you’re dropping the video for the first single off your album. Would you like to elaborate?
The first video is for “Robert Raimon Roy,” directed by Peter J. Brant. The video depicts a nightmarish realm where you’re denied the right to assert your own identity. I like this approach because it reverses the rap cliche; rappers assume that control over your identity is a fundamental right, and use this to create a new history for themselves—one of power and success. What if you couldn’t do that? Exploring that question is far more interesting to me.
You’re visuals are always on point, why do you put so much into visuals?
Thanks so much man. I think it stems from a few things: one, from my fine arts background, and two, from growing up in the ’80s with MTV and all the great videos that defined that era.
You went from streetwear to suits, from Rob Roy, to Robert Raimon Roy. Why the switch up?
I think it has to do with me reaching back into the past for answers about the future. Me wanting to complete the loop. What better way to do that than accepting my full birth name? We spend a lot of our youth wanting to rebel against the things our parents gave us and running from our own history, when in actuality, owning those things is probably the most rebellious thing you can do. Those are the things that make you interesting. I’m also really into the idea of a uniform. Me having a quiet appearance is a good contrast for my loud ideas.
You’re originally from Jacksonville, FLA. How do you think that’s influenced your music?
Man, it’s influenced my music in pretty much every way. Nearly every writer uses the relationship between them and their hometown for inspiration. Especially when you come from a smaller town like Jacksonville and want your voice to resonate with a larger audience. That tension is perfect for creativity.
In my opinion, and I’m sure a lot of other people’s, you’re ahead of the game. Where do you think that will put you in 5 years?
Thank you again. I hope it works for me in the same way that it’s worked for other people like me. That eventually my commitment to pushing the ball forward, wanting to create some social value, gets recognized by more people and I’m able to sustain a career doing this.
Lets do a little game of word association, I say a word, you say whatever comes to mind.
Do you think age matters in the music industry, specifically the hip-hop/r&b genre?
I don’t think it matters that much if you stay open to the ideas of the youth, and are willing to destroy your old work to create new work. Culture progresses, with or without you.
What will you do when you make your first million?
First and foremost, I’ll take care of anything my family needs or wants.
For the people that know you and don’t know you, what’s something you want the world to know about you as an artist?
That my only allegiance is to making something interesting. To push the conversation forward. I could care less about writing a “good” song. Let’s create more imperfect music. There’s enough boring art out there.
What’s “that shit you don’t like”?
Anything boring. Anything predictable. Anything that keeps us exactly where we are now.
When can we expect to see you in our city? Any shows coming up?
I’ll be performing with Das Racist and Le1f on October 14th in Los Angeles, and I’ll also be in New York from the 17th through the 23rd for a couple CMJ shows.
And lastly, any shout outs, websites any way for people to follow you?
Shout out to you and Bullett, man! Thanks so much for these questions. It’s great to not answer the same exact ones finally. And also, shout out to Jazzi McGilbert and my management, Lewis and Lateef. As far as websites and social media, you can follow me at robertraimonroy.com. I’m also on Twitter – @robertraimonroy, and Tumblr - robertraimonroy.tumblr.com.