Today we’d like to introduce you to Raul Rodriguez.
Raul, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started rapping at the age of seven years old. I liked it because I saw all of my older cousins doing it so it was natural for me, it felt easy. Age 8 I went to lived with one of my cousins Melchor Cavazos, who became a father figure to me & his mother, my aunt. Mel took music more serious than I had seen anyone take it. He would make me write all day, I hated it sometimes because I wanted to be outside riding bikes with my new friends at the time. I grew to love it again, just phases. I was always back & forth from San Antonio to Houston, TX as a kid. My mother was a heroin addict & my father was always in & out of jail. In 2006, my father was arrested for an Agg. Robbery & sentenced to 20 years in prison. My heart was broken. My mom was then in and out of my life for a permanent while & if I was around her, she was shooting up in front of me. I would think she was dead sometimes & would just watch her & cry.
Fast forward to middle school, my grandmother adopted me from child protective services after I was beaten up my by aunt & cousin on my mom’s side while she was in the county jail. I started getting into trouble in eighth grade selling pills in the hallway, fighting, going to juvie & alternative schools. I always stayed writing music though it was my only way of venting besides skateboarding, a new hobby I learned on the way. In HighSchool I had my firstborn Romeo Jai Rodriguez. I was like 15 years old. I hadn’t seen Mel in a while, but when I did he wasn’t up to no good at that time we both ended up doing drugs together & committing crimes. I ended up distancing myself from Mel to clean up my act for myself & my son. I tried to get into college because I have a scholarship from “child protective services” but my grandmother thought it would stop her checks from coming in so she kept prolonging it. We ended up having a huge fight over it, actually a few. I fell into a depression feeling worthless. I started taking a lot of Xanax smoking a lot more. I ended up feeling rebellious, angry, desperate. I robbed a neighborhood mom & pop shop. I was arrested the next day & sentenced to 10 years T.J.J.D in 2013.
In 2015, I was released on good behavior. While incarcerated, I earned a certificate trade in construction & earned 21 college credits. Although I wrote so much in jail, I wanted nothing to do with music when I came home. My partner made me feel ashamed doing music. I was embarrassed. But everyone else in my life treated me so highly of my music. Her opinion mattered more to me. We got married & divorced the same year. I became a supervisor at a warehouse & I was okay. Not happy but okay. I got let go from Steve’s & sons & was scrambling for work. I ended up going to Houston to visit family & started hanging with my favorite cousin Mel again. I see him as a God though. A Father. I started making money again, he was smarter, he want on drugs, this was the Mel I missed! What do you know? Mel gets me back making music, the only person in the world who can get me wired up to create again after everyone else had tried a million times. We started hitting everyone’s dms trying to get signed I got a hold of Lil Flip & we got invited to dopehouse Records. SPM’s record label. They didn’t want to hear my music though.. they had me rap his lyrics on his beat so it was just awkward for me & honestly not my vibe. Not taking away from him he’s a legend, but ima different artist with a different sound.
So ultimately it didn’t work out & they passed on me. We came to the conclusion that we needed to do this by ourselves, we started our own label Vision Musik. Got in touch with a great engineer @macctheengineer, started making great music, showing our faces, interacting with people, doing small shows. After a few months, we finished our mixtape The Vision. September 3, 2019, a few days before the release date, I got the worst phone call in my life. Mel died in his sleep. The one person who believed in me. The Only. My everything. I felt like my world turned upside down my heart fell to my stomach. I must’ve been hysterical because romeo woke up asking me what was wrong. He heard me talking and he put the pieces together. I went through another depression, taking a lot of Xanax that time of my life was a blur. I continued making music & connecting myself with other established people. I released two more projects since mels death. I just try & find ways to promote myself & new label Melavile Ent. (After Mel). I use social media as a tool to market myself & use other platforms as well. I upload all my music through distrokid to all streaming platforms. I’m trying to take this further than life!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The loss of Mel. Being rejected by other artists & labels & the public in general. My first label was stolen from me. Financial struggles not enough money too market myself.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Melavile Entertainment – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Artist, creating music. But not just anything. I create stories, visuals you see in your head. It’s almost like you can live it for the 3 minutes, it’s a vibe, it’s the truth. Relateable always. I want my fans to relate to me, to feel like I’m speaking for them. For the ones who don’t gotta voice. Mel wanted everyone to see “The Vision” what he saw in me, what he saw in my future. This is bigger than life for us. I mean everything I say with all my heart in my music.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
- Instagram: @officialjustryte