VIDEO: Tito Rodriguez Takes The Mic To Deliver The Message

Respected producer and Long Beach, Calif. native Tito Rodriguez, steps into new territory as he prepares to debut his upcoming solo album The Message.  The 13-track LP will showcase Rodriguez on the vocals as he embraces the transition of his career to now being a writer and artist.  With plenty of production credits and past releases with his former band The Pricks, Rodriguez reflects on some of his career’s accomplishments and shares his optimism for the future.

“I’ve come full circle in the music game,” said Rodriguez.  “I went from just being a full on producer, to writing songs, to now performing songs so, that’s who Tito Rodriguez is at the moment.”

With a modest attitude and honest demeanor, Rodriguez is the type of individual who sees the brighter side of things and goes out of his way to help wherever he can.  He stresses he prefers to contemplate over positive thoughts and credits his outlook on life from his experiences endured during his humble beginnings.

More commonly known by his alias “Tnut,” Rodriguez has been earning his stripes in the music industry as a producer since the ’90s.  In fact, the self-taught producer has collaborated in the past with artists like Snoop Dogg, Tha Eastsidaz and even managed to land some of his work in a few films.
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“In the past I got to produce for a bunch of acts out in Long Beach, most of the long beach rap crowd, rap circle,” said Rodriguez.

Still, it would be Rodriguez’s decision to start a band with a unique sound that would take his career in a different direction after meeting lead vocalist Mike Brophy sometime in the early 2000s.  The duo randomly found themselves crossing paths after being introduced by a mutual friend.

“That’s how I met him, I was introduced to him by a mutual friend who owed me money and I was just trying to get my money back and he brought Brophy over,” Rodriguez explains with a smile on his face.  With the band’s stage name still undecided, Rodriguez recalls suggesting his ideas by stating, “I said what about The Pricks?”  “He was like you know what, perfect, you’re a prick I’m a prick, that’s it.”  After recruiting keyboard player Chris Medina and catching the attention of KROQ’s Kat Corbett, The Pricks would go on to win 2006’s “Battle Of The Bands” contest and play venues throughout Hollywood.

However, in 2012, Rodriguez reveals the group decided to collectively disband after eight years together with each member now focusing on their individual careers.  Though he’s optimistic The Pricks will eventually find their way back to the studio, Rodriguez makes it clear he’s proud of what the band has been able to accomplish but is ready to step up to the microphone and deliver his upcoming The Message LP.

“I’m doing music with messages, I just didn’t want to make music just to make music, I really wanted to give the people, really my family more than anybody, I want to make my mom proud you know, and I want my daughter and my son proud, my family,” Rodriguez continued.  “There’s no cuss words, I’m giving nothing but good messages, good vibes, I’m trying to inspire the people…trying to get people something they can relate to in time of need, or they’re sad or they’re depressed, give them some kind of hope through music, it’s just some words of encouragement.”

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“I got to do it by myself…I really got to go deep in my mind and think outside of the normal,” said Rodriguez.  “I think what happens when you record with other people you’re trying to please them so you get lost on what you’re really trying to do.  The process has been more of, I’m getting to do what I want, no one is influencing me, there’s no opinions, I really enjoyed the process, this has probably been the most fun thing I’ve done…it’s a blessing in disguise.”

With his new music video for “Angel” currently in the works, Rodriguez shares the concept behind the visual which finds the artist hitting the streets of his hometown and giving back.

“I got Diamond Supply, I got them to donate thousands of dollars worth of product…I got Stance socks, I got Br4ss Underwear…I got Frito-Lay, I got Sara Lee bread, Monster Energy Drink…and I got to go back to my community, my neighborhood…all of Long Beach…and gave it all away to less fortunate families and the homeless.”

Beyond the beats and rhymes, Rodriguez keeps the spirit of the group alive and stays busy with his new clothing line named after The Pricks.  The evolution of the brand and its significance is something he stresses the importance of.

“The brand surpassed the band by miles I could say, we managed to do tons of skateboards, we did some surf boards, we’ve done shirts, hats, accessories, you name it,” Rodriguez continued.  “As far as you making money, unless you’re a Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift, somebody who’s got that kind of momentum and that kind of steam and that kind of machine behind them, you’re not going to see no money from your music unless you’re independent and you sell 80,000 copies or something and it’s all going to you.  That’s the part that people got to learn how to master first…branding what you got if you want to be successful in the game.”

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There’s also been an influx of packages left at Rodriguez’s doorstep since the launch of the clothing line.  The brand has gone on to inspire fans of the music from around the world to create their own artistic renditions of the company’s signature skeleton logo.

“I got artists from all over the world, I have art in my studio from everywhere, ready to hang up and ready to go, that’s the best thing about it, when you put out good vibes, good vibes come back, we pride ourselves on being standup guys,” explains Rodriguez.  “You know they say you reap what you sow? It’s definitely true and you know that’s a testament of us being that kind of people that people want to help us.”

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