Long Beach hip-hop and rap musician Adam Roose goes through life following one important motto– excel or expel. He inspires his fans by providing himself as an example of someone who is pursuing his dreams of becoming successful in his music career through determination and hard work, rather than a connection with someone already in the industry.
Roose defines those who “expel” as individuals who lack significance in the world. “Do something where you become relevant, and you remain relevant every day,” he said. “Your basic instinct is to survive. So, you’re going to do that just because you’re living. But do it for a reason, or get out of the way.”
Roose has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the last two years, but he was born and raised in different parts of Long Beach. “I lived on the west side first and then Bixby Knolls, [to] which I have dedicated [one of my albums],” he said. “When my parents divorced, my dad moved to the east side, right across the street from Poly High School.”
Roose has been involved with music since he was 4 years old, when he played the drums. At the age of 7, he began singing. “I was like that entertaining kid,” he said. “I was dancing, doing rallies…goofing off, making my friends laugh and stuff like that. Performing was always around. But as far as my craft, all that started in 2006, when I started to take my music seriously.”
That year, Roose met Willie B, who is now a producer for hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar. “He liked what he heard,” Roose said. “It was all pretty much new to me. When I got to go to my first studio sessions, I just fell in love with it.”
Roose writes all of his own rhymes and produces his own beats. “Writing is a big reason why I am into music,” he noted. “I decided it was something I wanted to pursue because it was a way for me to be creative. Anything like an English class or an AP course, or anything where I got to express myself…It was all a game to me.”
Roose was born with the name Roosevelt Adams, but in music production, he also goes by a third name, Mr.May3hird (May third). “I make my own beats, and I make beats for other people,” he said. “I wanted to have an alias where it didn’t look like it was still me. I didn’t want people to know. I just wanted them to think I had this dude that had the most epic chemistry in the studio, and nobody can meet him.”
Roose made the brand Swagger University Creative Group to label his music and merchandise. “I came up with the name based on old Jack Johnson in the old boxing clips,” he explained. “When the announcers used to say, ‘Oh, his swagger is impeccable in the ring.’ I just always cling to that word. No one was using it. Ironically, now, it’s the most used word ever.”
Roose also incorporated “university” into the name because he liked that it could apply as a theme to multiple parts of the brand like the people and events. “You can have a party and call it a frat house,” he said. “You can have a promotion group and call it a fraternity. You can have the girls or models and call [them] a sorority. It just goes on and on.”
Since 2009, Roose has released two albums called Sex, Weed and MP3s and Bixby Knolls LP. He also made a mixtape called Clouds. “I try to make songs that are timeless,” he said. “I try not to say things that would pinpoint a decade or an era. I want them to be played whenever and still be relevant to whatever is going on. I also try to stay away from making it look like I’m favoring a side of politics.”
Roose has performed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Corona, San Diego and in the Inland Empire. He plans to go to northern California, New Jersey and Belgium. “I just plan on going anywhere,” he said. “Wherever they love my music, that’s where I want to show my love.”
The age of most fans ranges from 18 to 27, but Roose says he’s heard 30-and-40-year-old people listen to his music as well. “I’ve done a few shows where some of the security, or [I’ll be] talking to people backstage about my music– they have a respect for it,” he said. “So, they show me love, and they tell their friends or their kids [about me].”
Roose has made several long-term goals. He hopes to someday win a Grammy Award, travel anywhere he chooses and support a family with the money made from his music career.
Currently, Roose is putting together tours and working on merchandise inspired by Bixby Knolls. He has also been sponsored by Long Beach Clothing Company, and he’d like to print some of his designs to sell at shows. “There’s no reason to just be in one contained area,” he said. “I just want to be able to see what’s out there.”