Behind The Label: Hard Workin Ent.
Influenced by cliques like the Geto Boys, No Limit Records, and Cash Money Records, Roc Solid and his brother OC Hermo started off performing at open mics and competing in talent shows at the Boys & Girls Club. When Hermo was eight-years-old, he would write Hot Boyz lyrics in his composition books and then remake them using his own words. In the neighborhood, guys would pay him up to $20 to freestyle. Around 2001, he recorded his first song in well-known D.C. native, Fat Dog’s, studio.
Hard Workin was rapping before it was ‘cool’ in D.C. Back then, everyone wanted to have go-go bands with the exception of acts such as Section 8 and Boobie. The brothers and their childhood friends/label mates HardWorkin Dez, Choc, Melvo, Maliki, and Young Don were able to find a community of rappers through battling other neighborhoods such as Congress Heights and Baltimore at Kings Dominion and local skating rinks. They competed in their fair share of talent shows, and KRU boss Dandki Holmes put them onto open mics with Dre All Day in the Paint.
Initially, the three adolescents were a part of a larger group known as the HuntWood Crew who shortened their name to HWC before dubbing themselves Hard Workin Criminalz. After being advised by a number of deejays and music executives to excise the word “criminalz” from their name, they came into their present moniker – Hard Workin Entertainment.
Some of the founding members of the group are currently incarcerated. Still, their potential is boundless and upon their release, they’ll be making some major contributions to the label and the culture. Now 32, Dez spent the entirety of his 20’s locked up. Roc concedes they were all juvenile delinquents — in and out of D.C. Jail and Oak Hill. Between the young kids and older dudes who made up the crew, one or two seems to always be away.
Through it all, they’ve consistently put work in – selling CDs and promoting their music. They’ve opened up for Wale, YFN Lucci, Juvenile, and Kevin Gates amongst others. They’ve done songs with Shy Glizzy, appeared in a few of Wale’s music videos, and met with Roc Nation exec Lenny Santiago. Hard Working Ent. also independently financed their own five-city tour.
Still, they don’t feel like they’ve accomplished much. Hard Workin Ent. is on a mission for platinum plaques, Grammys, and the top spot on Billboard. They’re still grinding as they head to the pinnacle, staying true to their experiences and hometown. There are no facades or trends – just them. In their lyrics, Hard Workin Ent. talk about the struggle and the hustle. Every group member manages to have his own style while maintaining a cohesive sound, which stands out thanks to a unique lingo that is 100% D.C.
Right now, several members of Hard Workin Ent. have music out or on the way. OC Hermo has a new single titled “To The Top,” and Roc Solid also has a new single called “Young Niggaz.” Hard Workin Dez’s new album Fat, Fly, and Flashy was recently released, too. The entire label is coming together for the mixtape Still Doin It 4 Cheeze Vol. 5 – a mixtape that drops every summer in memory of their late friend. Collectively, Hard Workin Ent. is going to light the rest of 2018 up.
Roc, and Dez are confident Hard Workin Ent. will be the number one record label in D.C. They are songwriters and creatives bound to become the Motown of the DMV, and household names in their own right. Within the next year, Hard Workin Ent. is looking to bring on different sounds and genres while opening doors for upcoming talent.