Corey St. Rose talks upbringing, 'True Colors,' and plans for 2021
Corey is a wordsmith. Each word he uses in his song is perfectly molded, shaped, and shined to fit the inspiring production. This process isn’t easy, but for the final product, Corey will do anything to reach the level he wants—the top. And, to say this process is successful, is an understatement.
His verbiage and video production are top-notch, deserving of every view it gets. Viral video after viral video seems to be the norm for Corey; each video he drops on his YouTube channel consistently hits above 100K views as each video is as well directed and produced as the song itself.
This type of dedication and inspiration is what it takes to get to the top. Corey will not stop until he is on the same level as his idols—Lil Wayne and Kanye West. This Brooklyn veteran takes bits and pieces from his inspiration and environment around him to expand, explode, and elevate his rap technique to create a unique and admirable discography. This once-in-a-blue-moon type of artist is very rare to see, but we got the chance to ask him many interesting questions, tapping into his mind.
Howie: What got you into music? What started this?
Corey: What got me into music was that I used to watch movies with my dad and brother. We used to watch like Shrek, Ice Age, Spongebob...you know, all that stuff. There was one time they went to see a movie, and I couldn't come. I was wondering why, and my brother came back and showed me the movie on the bootleg. You already know, shoutout to my brother on that one. He showed me Get Rich or Die Tryin, the 50 Cent movie that I was too young to see at the time. When he showed me it, I just got inspired. From 50 Cent, I eventually got into Kanye West and then Lil Wayne. I started taking rapping seriously when I was 14. I'm 23 now; I'm nine years in this shit, and I still I still got still a long way to go. I'm here for the journey. I'm going to be a living example for people, you know the saying, "It won't happen overnight." You just got to keep going and going and going and going.
Howie: What are some of the things that have helped you stick with it since you've been doing it for so long and haven't always been able to get instant gratification?
Corey: Faith, like, honestly. The type of person I am, I wake up in the morning and I'm ready to go. I got to attack for the day; I'm just gonna attack it. So you know, I feel like I haven't hit where I want to be with this rapping shit, but I'm going to keep going and going. Even if I hit the peak that I want to hit, I'm gonna still keep going. You know, I've got this contagious drive in me. I'd say ultimately what helps me is my drive.
Howie: How did True Colors come to be?
Corey: What it was basically is that I was at a point in my life after high school where a lot of people started to show their true colors. At first, I wasn't even doing music; I was doing modeling stuff. Towards music, I was just a fan. When we get older, friends sometimes fall apart. So, we really start to see people's true colors. By that time, I just decided to call my whole movement True Colors. For some reason, around that time, I just kept hearing "true colors," like people showing their true colors. It was like a constant deja vu, if that makes sense. I said I'm just gonna make this stuff my brand. That was around 2016, and it's 2021 now. We did merch, and we dropped this project last year. I took two years working on that shit. There are songs from 2018 that made it on a project.
There are songs that I made literally the day before the project dropped that made it on the project. It was just so much stuff, so much anxiety. I wouldn't even say anxiety. I just felt like I'm about to drop this; I've waited my whole life to really drop a decent project. I feel like True Colors was my real introduction to the music world. I wanted to come with a bang and I definitely accomplish it. We're working on True Colors II, working on new music, and we just keep going. So, going back to your question of how it started, it was just like I said—just people just showing their true colors in my life. I just started branding the shit, basically; I branded my pain.
Howie: A song I wanted to ask you about was "Julius Caesar." How did that come together?
Corey: It was dope. Mutual connections, you know. My manager knows his manager. It was fun; we did it before we really got into quarantine. Literally the day before, we were looking for a studio all over the city. We found the studio; I think we went to Miami Beach studios. We went over there, we did the record. I just sat on it. I was like, "I'm just going to wait to release it with the project." When we dropped it, we went crazy. We were on TV, we were on the radio; you know, shoutout to Druski.
Howie: Is there a venue specifically that you're trying to play? You could play anywhere—where would you want to play post-COVID?
Corey: The Garden. Madison Square Garden. It's the Mecca. I want to sell out The Garden one day. That'd mean everything to me.
Howie: What's some go-to studio food?
Corey: Man, probably Wendy's. I don't know. 4-for-4; you can never go wrong with a 4-for-4, strawberry lemonade.
Howie: What can we expect from you in 2021?
Corey: Definitely some singles. I'm working on True Colors II. I don't want to say when it's going to come out; I really want to continue that series. I'm working on it right now, but I'm definitely going to be dropping a lot of singles. I'm going to be more active. There's going to be more collaborations. Like I said earlier, hopefully COVID dies down a little bit, so you guys can see me on the road. I definitely want to see my UK people. I want to see my Atlanta people. I want to see my DC people. I want to see my Baltimore people. I want to see my New York people. Shoutout to them. We're coming with content and we're going crazy.