PrettiBoiRoq’s “Wanna Be Me” is in response to comments he received after the music video for his previous single, “You Don’t Own Me,” went viral.
“I was told I had no talent and I was body shamed for not looking like the model in the video,” he reveals. “After being told to kill myself, I considered not doing music anymore but a friend helped me realize the simple reason for the hate was, ‘They wanna be me.’
“In the end, the song is about loving yourself, and saying fu*k off to anyone who says otherwise,” PrettiBoiRoq explains from his Los Angeles home. Though glittery fab now, he admits he wasn’t always so. “I was the fat, poor, trailer park kid for most of my early childhood,” he says.
PrettiBoiRoq grew up in a tiny town in North Carolina called Pamlico County. After his mother became an addict, his parents divorced and he was raised by his religious dad and step mother. “I was picked on a lot for the clothes that I wore and for being gay,” he continues. “I moved out of the house and lived on my own as soon as I turned 18 but I was desperate to leave my hometown behind.”
He began traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to work on films. Eventually, he found a room in Anaheim, packed all he could fit into his car, drove across the country and started living his new Hollywood life.
“My LA dreams weren’t on modeling or acting, it was always on the music,” he explains. “I got hooked on hip hop, the lyricism, the lifestyle from 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s ‘California Love.’ I think hip hop resonates with people who face adversity and with everything I had struggled through with my mom and weight and living in poverty, the aggressive nature of the music allowed me to express myself at a time I felt muted.”
“My hope is that I can inspire someone the way so many artists inspired me,” he continues. “Just as the little boy from the trailer park did, moving to LA to chase his dreams, so can that little girl listening. She doesn’t have to live by the male standards that currently dominate our culture. Regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or identity, we can all be exactly the person we wanna be.”
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