Born Richard Simpson, 28 May 1968, Jamaica, West Indies. The cousin of Hitman Howie Tee, with whom he collaborated at the beginning of his career, Simpson moved to New York at an early age. A rap colossus, his ample frame and smooth style has seen him compared with Barry White. He started his own band in New York, but after dropping out of medical college elected to set out on a solo career. The first results of this were a debut album that sank without trace. A remixed version of "Caught Up" secured the public's interest, however, and introduced them to And The Winner Is ..., on which humour and reflections on urban violence sat side by side.
By the dawn of the 90s interest in Rock had escalated to the point at which he was achieving regular Billboard hits with singles such as "Treat 'Em Right", "Ya Bad Chubbs" and "Just The Two Of Us", but he fell from commercial grace following the release of The One. Rock remained quiet for several years, although in the interim his production team the Trackmasterz rose to prominence in hip-hop circles. The Mind was his 1997 comeback, but despite the rapper gaining critical respect for his endearing lyrical style the album's sound was too old school to make much of an impact.