Dj RocnRol
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Dj RocnRol

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hip Hop Is Alive"

The hip hop and rap genres are largely non-existent in the 570. Fans got their fill a couple years ago when Kanye West opened the concert season at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain, but have seen their thirst for their favorite music go largely unquenched.

DJ RocnRol and The Official Squad are trying to change that. Led by DJ RocnRol, who's real name is Ricardo Parham, the group is an often changing collection of hip hop and rap artists who recently completed their first album, Old Head. It's a collection of 13 tunes that is a surprisingly solid debut for hip hop artists in the 570.

Old Head isn't your typical local pop radio station's album, either. The sound is heavier with occasional electric guitars and the lyrics are more rap-oriented than the harmonized tunes that make their way onto Top 40 lists. But that's not a bad thing by any stretch.

Highlights off the album include the opening track, "In The Building," a song about overcoming hardships and controlling his own destiny. The tune features strong bass beats and a catchy synthesized opening.

The third track, "Junkie," is a tale of overcoming struggles, with lyrics like "Time's is hard, I gotta make it happen. I gotta feed my kids and keep my woman happy, because if I don't, you will ... for real."

The theme of redemption and surviving through tough times is no surprise considering DJ RocnRol's background. As a kid, Parham spent time at The Glen Mills Schools, a juvenile facility outside Philadelphia, and battled drug addiction before getting sober and landing in Scranton. The guitar sounds heard on numerous tracks, including acoustic guitar on "Homiee," come from his upbringing in Nashville and his love for Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osborne and other top rock artists of his youth.

Old Head isn't the type of album that can wear down a listener, either. Only three songs exceed the three-minute mark with the longest at 3:35, and the total running time is 37:10, perfect for those who enjoy short, snappy tunes more than epic, drawn-out jams.

And another benefit to Old Head is that it's devoid of any cursing. In a genre that's filled with F-bombs and offensive slang terms, it's refreshing to find a local hip hop album that doesn't rely on cursing for shock value.

Our favorite track from Old Head is "Into The Night," a spooky tune with grinding electric guitar riffs and an eery chorus - "I cried out to the night ... do what you want to do with me."

Say what you want about the local hip hop scene - it may be struggling, but it's no longer non-existent thanks to DJ RocnRol, The Official Squad and their work on Old Head.

- randy shemanski

Old Head is available at Embassy Vinyl at 342 Adams Ave., Terrapyn Gifts at 10 Green Ridge St., and the Convenient Mart at the intersection of Providence Road and North Main Street, all in Scranton. For more information, visit
- The Electric City/Times Tribune

"From The Streets To The Stage"

In hip-hop, you have what’s known as the “hype man,” a guy whose job it is to fire up the crowd. If the hype man is on, the crowd is on. If he’s off, well, it might be a long night for the MC.

DJ RocnRol is the stage name of 40-year-old Scranton hip-hop artist Ricardo Parham. He’s not a hype man by definition. He’s an MC who hasn’t yet performed a show in Northeastern Pa. But he’s a master of hype, a guy who’s an expert in taking a story and amping it up with contagious energy. And if the way Parham can rivet the attention of a room just by telling his life story — he makes you not just believe him, but believe in him — imagine the game he’ll bring to the stage.

DRUGS, DISAPPOINTMENT The opening of “In The Building,” the first song on DJ RocnRol’s new album “OldHead,” starts like this: “Born in the ghetto, south side of the border/ To a sharecropper’s daughter/ She wish success woulda come a lot sooner/ But hey, what can I say? I’m a late bloomer.”

The lyrics are autobiographical.

“I know my mother doesn’t expect much from me because I haven’t given her reason to,” Parham says, seated in a conference room in the Weekender’s Wilkes-Barre office, flanked by his comrades Dulla and Clo. All three are members of an interchangeable collective of Scranton record companies, artists, writers and producers they call The Official Squad. “OldHead” is out on OneMoAgin Records.

Parham says he was born in the same hospital as Elvis Presley in Mississippi. His mom, Raajel Parham, was only 16. “I stole her 20s. I stole her youth,” he says.

He fought drug addiction. He spent time at Glen Mills, a Philadelphia-area school for juvenile delinquents. He earned a GED at 16. As for further schooling, “It was just the college of the streets after that,” Parham muses.

“The energy I put into music? That’s the same energy I put into using,” he says. “I was addicted to drugs. I was basically a trashcan — I’d try anything. If it altered my mood, I’d give it a shot.”

He started developing his hip-hop style in 1989 and put out releases like “Bring It Right to Your Doorstep,” “King Of Boogie,” “Negro Spirituals” and “Life is Good.”

Parham, however, was distracted.

The turning point came around 1999. He says he was homeless in Philadelphia when he went on a 3-day drug binge and woke up in the rain. On the way “to the free place for breakfast,” he stopped at the K-Mart in the Gallery mall.

“Subconsciously, I think I wanted to get caught,” he says, but he wasn’t stopped. “This day I got away with 30 shirts.” But the drugs weren’t enough anymore. “After that, I found myself using while thinking I didn’t want to use.”

Parham says he’s now off drugs, and music, always a driving force in his life, is now a mission.

“No matter what I’ve gone through, hard times in my life, I’ve always had music,” he says. “It has probably more than once saved my life.”

DJ RocnRol will make his NEPA live debut Saturday, Oct. 30 at the all-ages Vintage Theater in Scranton. Also on the bill are Dulla, Clo and Quest, another member of The Official Squad. On Oct. 21, Dulla will release a mixtape, “King of the Streets.”

The Official Squad works mostly with local talent, but the outfit will reach out to out-of-towners for a show or a guest shot on an album. Dulla has collaborated with Philly rapper Freeway, who was once signed to Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records and Cash Money Records.

RAP UP THE ROCK Parham likes to mix rock feels into his music; he thinks he’s done it successfully on an “OldHead” track like “Hip Hop Classic.”

He says he got his nickname RocnRol “because I always want to put more guitars” in the music.

“I was born in ’69, so I got the funk of the ’70s, like Parliament Funkadelic, and the beginning of rap, The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow.”

When Parham ran afoul of the law, he’d land in group homes in suburban areas, where he says he interacted with white people and was “turned on to hard rock: Hendrix and The Doors. I w - The Weekender


"The Wizard" Album 1989,
"The King Of Boogie" Album 2001,
"Negro Spirituals" Album 2004,
"Life is Good" Album 2006,
"OldHead"Album 2010
"OldSchool" Album 2012

Numbers 1 an 5 on my EPK are from the new album "OldSchool"
Numbers 2,3,an 5 are from "OldHead"



Dj RocnRol is Ricardo Parham born in Nashville TN. Moved to Philly at 10,in trouble at 13,between the inner city juvi jails an the suburban group homes i gained an appreciation for a wide range of music.RUN-DMC,Rick James,an classic Rock have had the most influence on me.I started with DEF SINISTER PRODUCTIONS in 1989.This is the time that i developed my style.Which is high octane.I live to perform live.Made alot of great music during this time including The Wizard, Riot in a cage,Dream in Stereo an others returned in 01 with the King of Boogie followed in 04 by Negro Spirituals two years later Life is Good was released.
In Sept. of 2010 I released "OldHead" an there has been no looking back,the list of things i have been able to be a part of here in NEPA,Scranton Pa. to be specific include:

Cover an Feature story The Weekender Oct.20 2010.
Only Hip Hop Artist to have a "Weekenders Music Video Sessions" on Theweekender,com.

Up Close An Personal Feature in the Electric City an Diamond City best of 2010 issue(one of the years biggest) Dec.9 2010.

Outstanding revue of "OldHead" CD by Randy Shemanski former Head Editor Electric City an Diamond City papers. Jan.7 2011.

First ever full Hip Hop performance in Scrantons Saint Patricks Day Parade,one of the largest in the nation.March 2011

Dj RocnRol Radio on WFTE 105.7 FM Scranton,Wilkes Barre,an surrounding area.Featuring NEPA urban music artist only.March 2011 to Oct 2011

Dj RocnRol TV,my currently running,locally filmed show airing on the ION Network Comcast channel 8 which focuses on many different things in the NEPA community.

An a big part of helping to create one of the citys most well known open mics at The Irish Wolf Pub on Wed. nights.
Amongst tons of performances an participation in charity events like Sound For Scoliosis,NEPA Ann,an Rock for Autism.
Im currently finishing up my new album "OldSchool" it is entirely different than "OldHead" which you'll see when you listen to the EPK,where "OldHead" is very structured "OldSchool" is more open ended an even features some new artist including Amber Crystal another very popular upcoming talent.
Scheduled for a Sept.2012 release with new interviews planned.