Rock City (musical duo)
|Also known as||
|Origin||Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands|
|Members||Theron "Uptown AP" Thomas
Timothy "A.I." Thomas
Rock City, also known as R. City and Planet VI, is an American musical duo formed in 2003, from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The duo, composed of brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas, who use the stage names, A.I. and Uptown AP respectively, are also a songwriting and record production team. The Thomas brothers are perhaps best known for writing and producing hit singles for several prominent artists, including Sean Kingston ("Take You There"), Miley Cyrus ("We Can't Stop"), Nicki Minaj ("Only") and Rihanna ("Pour It Up"), among others.
The duo has also contributed to numerous Grammy-nominated albums including Rihanna's Unapologetic (which won Best Urban Contemporary Album), Jennifer Hudson's self-titled album (which won Best R&B Album), and Ariana Grande's My Everything (which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album).
Rock City also releases original music, having released several mixtapes since 2008. The group had previously been signed to Geffen Records and KonLive, where they released a series of mixtapes with the primary title, PTFAO (Put the F*ckin' Album Out)—a reference to the fact that their debut album Wake the Neighbors, had not been given a release date. In 2011, the duo was released from their contract with KonLive, and founded Rebelution Records, on which they intended to release their debut album. A new album, What Dreams Are Made Of, is due to be released in 2015, after being signed to Kemosabe Records and RCA Records by Dr. Luke.
Early life and education
Theron and Timothy Thomas are natives of Saint Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. They grew up in the Oswald Harris Court Projects and graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School. As children, the brothers were backup dancers for a local all-girl rap group. They frequently practiced different varieties of music in Saint Thomas and received support from their parents. In 2000, the two left the Virgin Islands to pursue their music career in Miami, Florida. The initially operated under the name 2Ekwip. They had limited success in the Miami nightlife scene, and moved back to Saint Thomas in 2005. During this time, Theron worked for Kroger and Timothy for Party City.
In 2006, the duo sold their first song, "The Rain," which appeared on Akon's triple platinum-selling album Konvicted. By October 2007, Rock City had written songs for acts like Usher, Sean Kingston, Ashlee Simpson, Nicole Scherzinger, and Mary J. Blige. Early songs that saw chart success included "Take You There" by Sean Kingston (number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100), "When I Grow Up" by The Pussycat Dolls (number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100), and "Replay" by Iyaz (number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100).
Rock City signed a record contract with Geffen Records and Akon's KonLive in 2007. During this time, Theron was known by the stage name "Da Spokesman" and Timothy was known as "Don't Talk Much." They were set to release their debut album, Wake the Neighbors, some time in 2008, but the release date was later pushed back to 2009. Rock City put out 8 mixtapes between 2008 and 2011, and many of them contained the acronym "PTFAO" (or Put the F*ckin' Album Out) in reference to the fact that the label had not given them a release date for their album. In 2011, the duo parted ways with KonLive and founded their own label called Rebelution Records. They intended to release their debut album, Free At Last, on their own label.
Despite the tumult with their record labels, Rock City continued writing songs for other artists during this period. They penned Rihanna's Man Down and Justin Bieber's "Run Away Love." In 2013, the duo wrote numerous Billboard Hot 100 songs, including Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop", Rihanna's "Pour It Up", and Ciara's "I'm Out." "Pour It Up" appeared on Rihanna's album, Unapologetic, which won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. The following year, Rock City contributed to three separate albums that received Grammy nominations—Miley Cyrus' Bangerz, Ariana Grande's My Everything (both of which were nominated in the Best Pop Vocal Album category) and Iggy Azalea's The New Classic (which was nominated for Best Rap Album).
Rock City also continues to release original music. Their new project, #WhatDreamsAreMadeOf, contains themes of struggle relating to the brothers' often difficult upbringing in Saint Thomas. They also released a new songs in 2015 called "I'm That..." featuring 2 Chainz and "Locked Away" featuring Adam Levine.
The discography of Rock City contains numerous singles, mixtapes, and albums. Rock City is primarily known for their songwriting and production having written or produced songs like "Pour It Up" by Rihanna, "Replay" by Iyaz, "Bow Down/I Been On" by Beyonce, and "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus. Many albums that Rock City has contributed to have won or been nominated for Grammy Awards. For instance, the duo wrote "If This Isn't Love" on Jennifer Hudson's Grammy Award-winning self-titled album. The group has released one album in Japan ("Songs That We Wrote") and have also released numerous mixtapes and singles, including most recently, "I'm That..." (featuring 2 Chainz) and "Locked Away" (featuring Adam Levine).
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