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"Rapper urges change through his music"

Avery Baker has a foot in both worlds these days.

The Casa Grande rapper still has the sound that appeals to the sometimes-rough crowd that embraces rap and hip-hop music. But listen to the words and you begin to hear a different message.

Baker, who works under the name Rockemical, has done a lot in the last year and a half to turn his life around. He grew up in Casa Grande, then moved to Seattle to live with his father before returning to Casa Grande in 2000. He's experienced some of life's lows, including selling drugs and serving time in jail.

He hit rock bottom a couple of years ago when he was evicted and homeless.

"It was pretty rough in the early 2000s," Baker said. "I had friends going to jail ...

"I know that I come from a world of violence. This is my way of showing people they can (change their lives) too. I'm getting up every day, going to work, doing my rap, taking care of my kids.

"This is my way of giving back to my community. I'm trying to stop the gang violence with music, trying to unite the community through music."

Through his music, he's trying to live a more responsible life and send a message that others can make the same changes in their lives. He's back in church now, and his faith is helping to sustain him as he follows his musical dream.

"We still make mistakes, but without (God) we wouldn't be here," Baker said. "I put that into my music. You can't be out there every day doing bad and expect good things to happen."

Baker's dream is to build his musical career as a performer and label owner, lifting up some local talent as he goes. To that end, he is releasing the first of a seven-CD project this month that features his own work and other local talent.

Working as his own independent label, Improvise Entertainment, it's a struggle to get the CDs in the market where people can find and buy them. Baker is working hard to promote the CDs and they will be available at several local stores.

"Grand New The Movement" is scheduled for release May 27. Baker said he will host a pre-release barbecue party at the Airport Tavern from 7 to 9 p.m. May 24, with free food while it lasts and a free performance.

Each of the seven CDs planned for the series will include the word "Grand" in the title, he said.

"It isn't going to be too big," Baker said. "We're going to press about 2,000 CDs."

He hopes that by doing his own promotional work on the CDs, he can save money and still make a name for himself and the other local artists who will be featured. Hopefully, that will result in being picked up by a distributor that can get future CDs into bigger music stores.

Baker said he doesn't mind the work.

"It's really not work to me because I enjoy it," he said. "It's just a childhood dream. This is my chance before I get too old."

Being on his own label does have its advantages. He isn't dependent on other people getting things done for him, and he has the satisfaction of doing the work himself. And it could have financial rewards.

"Why give somebody else the money to do something I can do myself?" he asked.

The soon-to-be-released CD will feature a lot of Baker's own work, plus the efforts of his former Dualz partner Milton Barnett, West Coast artist and sometimes collaborator Luni Coleone, and locals Alius, JP and Ghost.

His music may carry a softer message than many rappers, but Baker still has the sound people associated with the style.

"There is some cussing in it," Baker said, explaining that it's aimed at the audience. He said people who don't expect to hear the language probably wouldn't listen to it anyway. "I use it to bring people in so they hear what I'm trying to say."

Baker's interest in rap dates back to when he was in fifth grade and did a song in school.

"My big brother was already rapping," he said. "I started writing songs and one day I worked up enough courage to sing one to my brother."

He hopes eventually to have a recording studio in Casa Grande, but for now is buying time in studios in Phoenix and Tucson.

"The music is good," he said of "Grand New The Movement." "That's the easy part. God blessed me with that. It's quality music. Hopefully, we'll start here and it will grow and grow."
- ©Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc. 2009


Paid Dues Remix feat Pipes, Damn Your Sexy, Thats Fasho, Grand New, Az Stand Up, Grande Grindin and the list goes on.



“ A west coast sound with west coast flavor, but labeling Rockemical one dimensional is something that you just shouldn’t do”

Arriving in Arizona in late 2000 from Seattle, Rockemical has been a man on a mission. Determined to get his life on track, Rockemical turned to what he knew best - music. Rockemical began buying beats from all the local producers. One day while at the studio Rockemical bumped into one of his old crime buddies. After talking the day away, they were both were surprised at each others passion for music. Instantly they decided to join forces and put an album together. Dualz was formed shortly there after - they got the name Dualz because the group consist of two members, Avery Baker aka Rockemical and Milton Barnett aka Alius. Little did they know that within the year they would have what some would call the “tightest” independent album (Paid Dues the Official Album) to come out of Arizona. The Dualz went on to release three more albums before the past they were trying escape caught up with them; Alius was sent to prison and Rockemical was left to keep the there name alive.
Already a proven emcee, Hip Hop artist/CEO Rockemical is paving the way for new and up coming artist. Rockemical has already released three albums under his label Improvise Entertainment (Paid Dues, Paid Dues The Official Album and The Promotional Campaign Mix tape). Currently he is preparing to release his first solo project, Grand New The Movement. It is a series of albums all beginning with Grand, (Grand New, Grande Grindin, Grand Starz, etc.). Grand New The Movement will also be released through his label (Improvise Entertainment). Grand New is set to release late May 2008. The album features guest appearances by Luni Coleone, Alius, Dualz, and more. “Grand New is very special to me because its my first solo project. I went through a lot when I was recording Grand New and I think the music will speak for itself. ” Previously Rockemical has worked with such big name artist as Kurupt Young Gotti (DPG), Bad Azz (DPG), Luni Coleone, Spice 1 and more. For more info please visit Rockemical online at or