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Johnny Cocoa on Meeting OG Ron C, Chopped & Screwed Music, and Reaching for Greatness

On the latest episode of Rolling Stone’s On Your Radar, the Texas-raised rapper details his plan for bringing his biggest creative goals to life and staying grounded through the process

Johnny Cocoa‘s philosophy is sound and simple. “I know that greatness attracts greatness,” he told Rolling Stone during his appearance on the latest episode of On Your Radar. “So I’m going to continue to be great.” The Texas-raised rapper has big plans for his future, and they all begin with him backing himself to the fullest extent.

But he hasn’t always been this trusting of the process. “The first time I met a personal idol, I made OG Ron C at an event I performed at, and that I totally bombed,” Cocoa remembered. “I started getting butterflies in the stomach. You know, it was my very first time performing. It just went to trash. I didn’t get to meet him that night, but he did email me. I messed that up, too, thinking that I was gonna get scammed or something or thinking that somebody else was trying to steal my music or steal ideas from me. But we ended up rekindling our relationship down the road. Thankfully, that was a beautiful full-circle moment.”

Cocoa has been protective of his work from the moment he stepped into the role of an artist after a man he met at his first refinery job asked him to pen a song for him. “I never did give it to him, because I fell in love with it myself,” he recalled. “Even though I never recorded it, it made me fall in love with the writing process. I wouldn’t be an artist today, still, if I didn’t actually go through the writer’s block that I went through writing that song, and then actually going through the process of paying for and booking my own studio time. That taught me a lot of the foundational elements of being an artist, and I fell in love with those things altogether.”

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It also taught him how to serve himself as a musician just as much, if not more, than he would want to serve an audience. “I always want to strive for the best to be the best version of myself in whatever that I’m doing,” he explained. “Even if I was a carpenter, I would be wanting to build the most elaborate, most beautiful houses ever — even if nobody bought ’em in front of me. At least I know I did great work. And that always attracts greatness.”

Watch Johnny Cocoa’s full On the Radar interview above.

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