After a decade as one-third of critically-acclaimed Los Angeles rap group Warm Brew, deSerko has defied F. Scott Fitzgerald's assertion that American lives have no second acts. Years of studios, stages, and contentious label meetings left him temporarily weary but forever wiser. Since going solo, deSerko has become a burgeoning screenwriter who's also making the best music of his career. His 2020 EP, You Can't Fire Me, I Quit , finds him spitting refined and more poignant versions of his intricate, literate, and introspective verses.

"I feel more confident in who I am as a person, and that's given me the ability to make this music," deSerko explains. "I've written some of the best stuff I'veever written before because I just feel free."

The Morose Rose in Bloom (GoodGameRecords), deSerko's first solo album, marries his rap skills with his literary inclinations over progressive West Coast beats. John Fante's romantic optimism meets Hunter S. Thompson's psychedelic, doom-filled cynicism and 2Pac's thug passion. Somewhere between Ask the Dust and the softer sides of All Eyez on Me , The Morose Rose in Bloom profoundly reflects on deSerko's first act while confidently moving into the next.

The deSerko biopic opens in Santa Monica, where he was born Chris De La Rosa. The son of a Nicaraguan mother and a half-Black, half-Irish father, deSerko was raised primarily by his mother and extended Latino family. Before Santa Monica became Silicon Beach, a culturally barren expanse of cold brew coffee shops, yoga studios, and tech startups, deSerko roamed the city's rougher sections while bumping Lil Wayne's 500 Degreez . A college- caliber soccer player, he spent his time at Santa Monica High School playing for a championship-winning team. When he joined best friends and classmates Ray Wright and Manu Li in Warm Brew, though, deSerko felt compelled to win in the booth. Their deep bonds and natural chemistry translated to records that resonated with them as much as they did their Dogtown peers.

Warm Brew began making stoner anthems for Venice Beach denizens, collage- friendly to odes to cheap beer and one-night stands. After years of backyard shows up and down PCH, they matured into a voice for the West Side's disenfranchised Black and Brown communities, the self-proclaimed "ghetto beach boyz." A deal with Dom Kennedy's OPM led to a deal with Red Bull Records. They dropped increasingly stellar music, sold out The Roxy, toured the world, and garnered praise from publications like Noisey, Complex, and LA Weekly. B ut friction with the label and the growing pains of early adulthood left them forever on the verge of collapse. In 2020, the decade-long ride ended. Though the group has indefinitely disbanded, deSerko remains close with his friends-turned-collaborators and thankful for every success and setback.

"I'm grateful because we have some truly loyal fans that have been riding with us forever," deSerko says. "And they're gonna continue riding with us."

The Morose Rose in Bloom will resonate with Warm Brew fans and bring new fans into the fold. deSerko thoughtfully navigates the bliss and frustrations of true love, balancing relationship records with those that offer penetrating insight into LA rap life and his newfound artistic outlook. "For the first time in a long time, I'm making music strictly for the love of it. I want people to listen to and love the music, but this is for me."