Rapzilla Freshman: Coop on Being Signed in High School, Justin Bieber, & Next Moves
I recently caught up with 2021 Rapzilla Freshman Coop to talk about how the past year has been for him and to get a peek into his world. He’s a fascinating and talented person to me, so I was pleased with the conversation we had. Recently, he signed to NXT MOVE, and the teenage rapper had just finished filming a music video, so we jumped right in on that.
Talk about how you got into music.
I started drum lessons when I was 8-years-old, then after that I got into a little bit of piano. I started learning from an amazing music teacher, a family friend from church. I’ve always been into writing. I started writing around then like I was really into writing books and stuff even. My church here in Oklahoma City is all about inner-city youth, so I’ve always been exposed to rap, battles, and freestyles.
Seriously where I’ve grown up rap has been everything.
I’ve always loved music. It was my passion. No matter what genre, I’ve been into music. When I was 16 though (3-years-ago), the summer before my sophomore year of High School, I put a song on SoundCloud that I recorded and when I showed up to school the next year all my classmates were singing it. I knew I was gonna make music, but when I saw this response I thought this was something I could really do. So since then, I’ve never stopped.
You seem like a Justin Bieber where you can do everything well because you’re an athlete too, right?
No kidding man?! I wish I were Justin Bieber. When I was 8-years-old the Never Say Never documentary came out, and I’m watching all these home videos of him playing all these instruments so I begged my parents to get me some drums. A week later I was in drum lessons.
What’s it like with your baseball teammates, do they appreciate your music?
Yeah, they’re cool. A couple of nights ago I was up to bat and they were yelling lyrics and stuff at me. Kinda stupid, but seriously a lot of my teammates were here today helping me film this music video so they’re supportive.
I signed with NXT MOVE on November 9th. They announced me in December. YB sought me out and built a relationship a long time ago. He’s been super encouraging and supportive, always offering advice. I had no idea he even had this in mind, it was a genuine relationship.
When he began to put together his team he approached me. It’s been incredible so far. Obviously, with COVID it’s put some things on pause. You should be ready for some stuff on the way from us this summer.
The team is HENRIK, Me, and Christopher Syncere with 100Graham beats as the main producer. Graham is the homie and he’s also a Freshman this year so the whole team is winning.
What was it like signing a record deal while you’re in High School?
Bro that’s always been a dream of mine. You can ask my best friend, I told him when I was 13 I was gonna sign a deal before I graduated High School. My biggest worry about it though was my time management. I signed in the middle of football season, then spring came with baseball season. They were 100% behind me and worked with my schedule. Other than that I didn’t really hesitate after I prayed with my family about it.
YB and them are such good people. God opened a lot of doors to where I knew it wasn’t just me making this decision, it was just evident that this was the next move.
When did you find out you were a RZ Freshman?
It was in between games at a baseball tournament so it didn’t really register until that night. A year before though, I told Graham this was our year, and that we’d be Freshmen. So he was the first person to call me because when I told him that a year ago he didn’t believe me. It’s cool, I’ve watched my favorite artists in the past go through this process of being a Rapzilla Freshman, so I’m stoked to see what this is like. It’s just fun.
What is it about Coop that sets you apart? Why would people be attracted to your music?
I love music of all kinds. The reason I make music is Justin Bieber, which I feel is unconventional for a rapper to say. I feel like there’s a lot of different influences that you can hear in my music.
My favorite artist of all time is Jon Bellion, but I also love 80s Rock N’ Roll. I love a lot of different elements of music that you may not get from your average hip-hop artist. If people take time and listen to me they could find those elements and hear a kid who loves to take time and show what you can do with different types of music.
I love rap, I love Jesus, I love rapping about Jesus, I love sharing about my life experiences and sharing whatever music that comes to me without having to put it in a box. If you love music for the craft that it is, I’d say my music is for you.
What’s your goal in life? You just want to create music, or is there something more?
I just want to write music. I don’t even have to be the main artist. Like in the long run, in some way, shape or form I’d love to be on a team that wins a Grammy. Like I love writing, so if I continue to grow in that I feel like anything is possible.
So you sing a little bit?
I’m not the best singer, but autotune is beautiful (laughs.) I have some tracks, some demos out there but I’m not super confident to just put them all out. I’ve got three or four R&B tracks that are just sitting there that I probably won’t drop because I don’t want to freak people out (laughs.) I really just want to grow as a musician.
I think I’m gonna minor in piano in college in the fall. I’ll be at Oklahoma Baptist University, solely focusing on music full-time and I’m stoked. Can’t wait, man. I love sports, they’ve been a huge part of my life. But, this fall will be the first time I’ll be devoting everything to music full time. I’ll be majoring in either history or journalism. I still have a huge passion for writing, and I feel like I can use journalism in my space in the future for sure, but I also am a big history guy so we’ll see.
I want to be my own person and I want to have my own angles, studying what I’m already good at and what I enjoy. With a journalism degree, I can always fall back on just writing.
Coop just dropped his newest EP, Child Like on April 23.