Local rapper Salvador Rosette, aka Sunny Rose, considers himself a blessed man.
Counting the days until the official release party for his second CD, "SOA2," at Ink Bar Friday night, the 29-year-old lyricist and emcee is about to enter the next phase of his career with a list of goals. Rosette kicks off the interview adamant about clarifying a few things with regard to respect.
"First impression is everything in this business. I think the game is so multimedia heavy now a lot of artists don't respect the history of the art form. There are a lot of rappers that start picking up the craft quickly, posting videos on YouTube and at Twitter of themselves, not paying dues the way they did before."
Rosette is no stranger in area hip-hop circles. A regular voice at underground open-mic nights and freestyle battles, his confident swagger is without any sign of annoying braggadocio as he references the struggles of his past in Shafter along with the triumphs of the present.
"I remember heading to Downtown Records and Jerry's Pizza downtown back in the day when they used to have the freestyle rap battles and you had to have a name just to get on the stage. When I used to come to Bakersfield from Shafter, I had to be extra nice to get on the mic."
He doesn't have to play the role of Mr. Nice Guy anymore, but rather than flip the switch on his personality, he prefers letting his music speak.
"I want to be part of positivity. I want people to listen to the music. I think a lot of people see us out here as, 'Oh, that's just Kern County,' but we're planning on doing a lot more shows, a lot of things. I am going to be everywhere meeting people. I don't want people to just be fans. I want them to be part of the music."
Beginning with the opening track of "SOA2," featuring an interview snippet of Marvin Gaye, titled "Marvin's Words," Rosette described the evolution of the project from note pad to studio as if he were walking in the late singer's footsteps.
"He was questioning what it was about the music that kept him going and whether he was going to keep going or not. His career was on the way down at that time. I was at that point in my life before the record."
Rosette worked for a solid year putting together "SOA2," the follow-up to "SOA1," released three years earlier. With help from studio owner Jaime Sanchez, the duo set out to make a record that represented not just the Central Valley, but the essence of Rosette's being. Filled with signature mid-tempo, head-bobbing beats, Rosette's raspy flow comes off natural and sincere.
"I'm a hybrid. I'm influenced by so many different types of music, including country music, which I'm a big fan of. My style of rapping is definitely East Coast influenced, but my favorite rapper is Scarface from the South."
Stand-out tracks on "SOA2" include: "Game Changer," "1994," "The Replay" with guest vocals by Mike Bannister, and "Teardrops (Bee's Song)."
"I wanted to put something together I can be proud of, from the packaging and photography. Something I can show my kids 30 years from now. It's more than just music to me. There are people who do some great things around here, but it's just so hard to find, like a diamond in the rough."
Rosette has already made a few appearances, including a recent show opening for Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon the Chef in Pasadena last weekend. Following Friday's release party, he plans to keep the momentum going.
"I want to have a classic hip-hop night, celebrating with all the people who've supported me and our plan to keep chasing the dream."
Friday's downbeat is 9 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a copy of Sunny Rose's CD. 21 and over only. Ink Bar is located at 1919 K St. facebook.com/sunnysunatra.
Cinco de Mayo weekend
Even though Cinco de Mayo lands on a Sunday, there are still a few options available for celebrating the Mexican holiday, with some parties falling on the more convenient tres or quatro earlier in the weekend. It's Bakersfield's favorite excuse to party, second only to St. Patrick's Day, so get your party posse together and practice your best tequila dance.
KCHCC 11th Annual Spring Social and Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Golden West Casino with live music by Thee Majestics, Mariachi Toro de Mexico, plus deejays El Pollo, Sonido Banana. 6 p.m., Friday. Tickets are $30. Golden West Casino is located at 1001 S. Union Ave. 633-5495 or kchcc.org.
Hot 94.1 presents "Cinco de Mayo Bomb" at Rabobank Arena with artists Wiz Khalifa, Miguel, Baby Bash, DJ Pauly D, Jonn Hart, T Mills, RaVaughn. 7:30 p.m., Saturday. Tickets are $20 to $75 plus service charges. Rabobank Arena is located at 1001 Truxtun Ave. 852-7777 or Ticketmaster.com.
Cinco de Mayo Party at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace with Mento Buru, Velorio, Mariachi San Marcos. 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $10, all ages. Buck Owens' Crystal Palace is located at 2800 Buck Owens' Blvd. 328-7560.
Cinco de Mayo Bash at B Ryder's with the Aviators, the Stray Dogs, DJ Mikey. 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $10. B Ryder's is located at 7401 White Lane. 397-7304.
The world's largest Relay For Life event and Bakersfield's biggest fundraiser and overnight party is back this Friday and Saturday. To keep participants and supporters in step, a host of local bands are scheduled to entertain the 10,000-plus expected attendees. From rock, reggae, Latin, to '80s retro pop, it's quite the amazing spectacle and probably the biggest crowd these bands will ever perform for.
Friday's main stage live music steps off at 6 p.m. with the Red River Blues Project. On Saturday, the music continues all day, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on two stages with bands Vanity Avenue, Arizonity, the Aviators, Truxton Mile, Western Medicine, Thee Majestics, Vowed to One, Dr. DeVito, Members Only, plus emcees: KUZZ radio personality Brent Michaels and Clear Channel radio's Kenn McCloud.
Relay For Life takes place Friday beginning at 10 a.m. through Saturday at Wingspoint, at the corner of Merle Haggard and Airport drives. Parking is limited. For more information visit relayforlife.org/bakersfieldca.
Mark Yeary Benefit at Julie's Branding Iron, 1807 N. Chester Ave., noon Sunday, 21 and over, $5, 477-3622.
A long list of musical friends are expected at this all-day fundraising jam deep in the heart of Oildale for longtime Merle Haggard keyboardist Mark Yeary. After recovering from open-heart surgery and a stroke in December, Yeary recently suffered another stroke, leaving him unable to get back to work. Scheduled to perform throughout the day are musician Monty Byrom and many more. There will be a potluck and raffles with all funds going to help Yeary with living expenses.
Face to Face at Narducci's Cafe, 622 E. 21st St., 7 p.m. Wednesday, $20, all ages, 324-2961. Straight outta Victorville, punk rock legends Face to Face are promoting their new CD, "Three Chords and a Half Truth." The album is a little toned down compared to their '90s classics, but after all these years, they don't need critics; they just need fans to sing, mosh and sweat along as they have for years. Also Appearing: Teenage Bottlerocket, Blacklist Royals.