Rocky William Harry VanDergriff was born on January 14, 2017, on the north side of Modesto, California. Around age 2, his father moved him and his mother to Tuolumne County, California. He is mostly of Sicilian, Native American, and Irish decent, as well as some Dutch and German. He became interested in music at a young age, as most of his immediate family could sing. He was mostly exposed to contemporary Christian music due to his family's devout Christian beliefs, but he preferred the soul, funk, and rock his parents occasionally listened to.
ROC's parents divorced when he was 6 years old. This, along with him often being bullied during part of his elementary school years, led to him developing depression and at one point being suicidal. He began using music to cope with his emotional turmoil.
ROC began writing his own rap lyrics in the sixth grade, originally adopting the alias Upbeat. He then formed a rap duo called the Officials with his friend Zak Barry. The duo recorded two EPs together between 2012 and 2013. Being unable to afford either studio time or professional equipment, both EPs were made cheaply, using an iPhone voice recorder, the mic from a broken set of Apple earbuds, an auxiliary speaker, and free beats from YouTube. In 2013, the Officials changed their name to West Coast Boyz. In June of that year, they temporarily recruited ROC's cousin Jeremiah Mercado, although he left the group after only several months. The duo stayed together until 2014 when ROC left due to creative differences. After leaving West Coast Boyz, ROC adopted his current moniker and began focusing on Christian hip hop. In 2014, he was able to get in a professional recording studio for the first time, where he recorded his debut single "Rely on Christ."
During his freshman year of high school, ROC gained a small following by participating in cyphers and rap battles. He continued to work on new material, eventually realizing his debut solo project The Rely on Christ EP on February 22, 2015 for free online. The EP became somewhat of a local success, allowing ROC to become the number one artist within the 209 area on ReverbNation's hip hop charts. Eventually he finished recording his debut album The Day After the End of Time, which he planned to release in 2016. After several months of preparation, ROC began to feel unsatisfied with the songs he had recorded for the album. As a result, he decided to collectively drop all of the unreleased tracks from The Day After the End of Time as a sequel to The Rely on Christ EP in favor of starting the album from scratch. He also changed the titled of the album to Soulful Vibes.
In late 2015, ROC released a video of himself rapping over the instrumental to the RA the Rugged Man song "Definition of a Rap Flow", which gained several thousand views on Facebook. After getting back in the studio in early 2016, he officially recorded his "Definition of a Rap Flow" remix and released it during the summer. He also released "All In", which was meant to be the lead single off of Soulful Vibes, although it was later changed to just a promo single. All Inmarked ROC's last song to feature explicitly Christian lyrics, as he began slowing distancing himself from the Christian rapper label. He spent the majority of the year finishing the writing process for the album.
During Christmas that same year, ROC received several pieces of studio equipment, which led to him putting together his own recording studio in his bedroom. In early 2017, ROC released his debut album's title track "Soulful Vibes, which featured Georgia singer/rapper Rvshvd (who at the time when by the moniker CJ!) and South Carolina rapper Melly Mel the Kidd. The song became semi-popular due to both featured artists already having fairly well established fanbases. Later on that year, he also released a remix of the song Hive by Earl Sweatshirt, and the song "Verbal Execution" with fellow California rapper Andr3s and K the Muss.
ROC featured on several other artists' songs throughout the spring of 2017, including Melly Mell the Kidd's "Round Trip" and K the Muss's "Here 2Day Gone 2Morrow". During the summer, ROC released the third single from Soulful Vibes, entitled "A Thousand Pounds of Pressure". He began developing a strong friendship with K the Muss, who eventually introduced him to Brad Thomas, another up and coming rapper and one of K the Muss's childhood friends. The three rappers collaborated together on a remix of the Mobb Deep song Hell On Earth, which they dedicated to the then recently deceased rapper Prodigy.
After enlisting ROC's former musical partner Zak Barry to record a music video for the song, the three rappers began collaborating frequently with Zak as their go-to videographer (Before this, he had also recorded video's for ROC's solo debut single "Rely On Christ" and his "Definition of a Rap Flow" and "Hive" remixes). Eventually, with Zak's inclusion, they decided to form an independent record label together, which they named Kill The Mic Records.
During this time, ROC continued to work on his album. He eventually decided to change it's title once again, this time to Relics of the Archetype. The album is currently slated for release in 2018. During November, he dropped two more singles from the album, one of which was the reggae song "Dub Jam", featuring hip hop/R&B/reggae duo LyonRock. The second single being a love ballad with Rvshvd called "Better". He is also currently working on a mixtape with Melly Mel the Kidd called For the Love of Hip Hop. On November 16, ROC, K the Muss, and Brad released the collaborative mixtape Underground Overlords Vol. 1 as the first official Kill The Mic Records release.