Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Shank Da Rookie is now making his mark in the entertainment and entrepreneurial worlds out in Los Angeles. After four years in college, he decided that the traditional workweek isn’t for him. A full-time recording artist, he is now focused on branding his Sup’r Cool business as a creative brand that everyone can enjoy.
How did you get the name Shank Da Rookie?
Honestly, my rap name originally came from my first track and field coach while I was in college. He couldn’t pronounce my first name so he introduced me to the team by my last name, “Shank.” When I started pursuing music, I started to go by my last name, Shank; it sounded different and unique until I found out that there was another artist with my name, as well. The second part of my name came from a slogan I was using to promote myself called “Support Da Rookie” because I was rookie in the game. However, as time passed on, even though I had released music and experienced some aspects of the business, I felt as if I was still learning more and more every day. So I called myself “Shank Da Rookie” because until I want to be where I really want to be in this music game, I’m still learning; therefore, the name “Rookie” shall stay with my name until I say otherwise.
What led to you becoming a music artist?
Ultimately, what led me to become a music artist was more than one thing. The first was in high school, where two of my closest friends did music. I would literally walk the halls and they would just spit rhymes all day. I was the athletic one in the group so I really didn’t have the skill to be a wordsmith at that time; however, I started to beatbox for them while we were together. I honestly wanted to make beats, but one day, as all aspiring rappers start, I tried to record my first song in a closet with some of my old track teammates in college. It was horrible, of course; however, the second reason of what let me become an artist was that I loved the process of creating my own piece of art. So, I practiced and researched on how to make music and how to write. I’ve always loved to write but now to have the ability to write and share it vocally to strangers, everything felt right everything felt as if it made sense in my world.
“Late Nights,” which is your leading single, features a sample from the “Lonely” record by Janet Jackson. What was the process of creating this record?
The process leading up to “Late Nights” was interesting, I honestly didn’t know what to write about. It took me up to a week listening to this song and for some reason, 5 am I just couldn’t feel anything. I took a trip to Las Vegas with my team for a photo shoot, I was recently living on the east coast to the time difference was crazy so my thoughts were racing while I was asleep. One day out in Vegas, something just clicked. I was up at 5 a.m. and started writing about my experiences with love in college. Looking through different Facebook messages from 2012-2013 to find that inspiration mixed with the 90’s hit from Janet Jackson, it was almost impossible for the writing to stop.
What is Sup’r Cool and how did that come about?
Sup’r Cool is more than just a cool name so to speak but has a deeper meaning. Sup’r Cool came about with just a few of my hometown friends, as we all were pursuing the same dream. I noticed that Sup’r Cool isn’t just a name that I made up to sound cool. But that it represented each one of us in our own individual way. Each of us had our own “cool” so to speak, our own style which made us individually unique. Sup’r Cool is just that, it’s a way for any and every one to express their own style or their own cool. My logo also explains it in more depth using the infinity sign signifying that one’s cool will last forever because of that person being who they are. No one can take away from you.
What are your plans in entertainment and entrepreneurship?
Ultimately, my plans for entertainment and entrepreneurship is to own my own production company for Sup’r Cool. A company that offers everything creative to the people. Not only with music but art, movies, sports and everything in between. I want to be able to give back to the cool and creative kids that need an outlet to express themselves without being judged by any means.
What advice would you give to someone who is both an entertainer and entrepreneur?
The advice I would give is to always know the three simple things that will take you far in business and life period. Those things are patience, discipline, and consistency. I’ve learned so many lessons and with those lessons, I’ve grown as a businessman. Being patient is vital in this business of entertainment and entrepreneurship. It plays hand-in-hand with consistency because if one isn’t there the other is automatically voided. Having those key aspects in your arsenal is something that just can’t be taught, a person must want to be successful and want to go through the process to succeed in this thing we call life.