The lead single off “Nights & Weekends EP” features fellow Wrecking Crew member Has-Lo (Mello Music Group) and produced by Dr. Quandary (World Around Records). Colorful dressings, vivid shades of cinema, solids for the winter, brightness in the summer. Y’all fade to black — this is full spectrum.
If you enjoy this song, please visit Zilla Rocca’s Kickstarter page before July 31st — amongst pressing up CDs and t-shirts for “Nights & Weekends EP”, purchasing Super 8 film to shoot the official video for “Full Spectrum” is one of the items on the checklist. Get involved here
And stay up with all the latest press, interviews, and more at the Three Dollar Pistol Tumblr page
It is now time for me to release my next EP Nights & Weekends. For those of you who know, this is my summer record that dives into all the wrong aspects of life in your 20’s: the misguided adventures, the foreign bathrooms, diner trips at 3am, hook-ups with the wrong women, losing trips to Atlantic City, and staying in bed till 5pm on Saturday’s.
The EP is nine tracks long with a bonus remix. Here’s the full tracklisting:
1. “Creme De Menthe” (prod by Zilla Rocca)
2. “Vaguely Jamaican Part 2” (prod by Zilla Rocca)
3. “Black Cherry” (prod by Zilla Rocca)
4. “Full Spectrum” (prod by Dr Quandary) feat Has-Lo
5. “Alicia Interlude” (prod by Floodwatch)
6. “Something Good” (prod by Zilla Rocca) feat Curly Castro & My Man Shafe
7. “New Year’s Eve 2003” (prod by Brian Brizzo) feat Nex Millen
8. “Michael Caine Glasses” (prod by Has-Lo)
9. “Devil’s Pie (D’Angelo Cover)” (prod by Small Professor)
10. BONUS CUT “Full Spectrum (Man Mantis Remix)” feat Has-Lo
I remember the oppressive times of indie/DIY artists when we used to pool together money, press up 1,200 CDs, and sit on boxes of unsold discs forever. I’m pretty sure my one ex-girlfriend has 800 copies of the first CD I ever pressed up in ’06. Kickstarter is a godsend in that regard.
I’m looking to press up some thick jewel cased CD’s, two variations of t-shirts that are inspired by Mad Men, Sinatra, Darwyn Cooke, and Philip Marlowe, and buy Super 8 film to shoot the video for “Full Spectrum” featuring Has-Lo. Plus anyone who donates $500+ gets an autographed Stetson from yours truly on top of so much shwag, you’ll feel like Turtle on the first season of Entourage. But I’m not looking for ridiculous lobbyist contributions; Kickstarter allows you to donate even a buck. You can still get a condom in Pennsylvania road stops for that price.
The deadline is July 31. Feel free to spread the word. Thanks guys.
Here’s a little treat to hold you over from the EP.
Open Mike Eagle is the kind of emcee that can get props from the last brigade of lyrical purveyors who miss Sway & Tech ciphers as well as Aesop Rock, Paul F. Tompkins, and your ex-girlfriend who has a Bachelor’s in liberal arts but will probably just be a manager at Whole Foods forever (that’s good money right there). When you name your last album Unapologetic Art Rap, you’re not exactly posturing for a NahRight post and/or boutique clothing line co-sign. Art Rappers wear cardigans, sucka.
His new album Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes is out today via Alpha Pup. I was lucky enough to hear a few of the tracks back in February when we played with him and Nocando in Phoenix. The above video “Nightmares” really pushes Mike into another direction; shit ain’t all smart phones and old eps of Arrested Development. As he explained in detail at Passion of the Weiss, “every word that comes through me, it was born in a nightmare”. And “Why Pianos Break” with POS has had Curly Castro in a frenzy for almost 13 straight days. Throw some water on him.
Purchase Open Mike Eagle’s Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes here
Back in January, I posted the snippet video for “Cock Diesel”, the first track Has-Lo and I completed under the group moniker 2004 Commodores. Since the release of his devastatingly sharp LP In Case I Don’t Make It, Has has been a machine in the lab. There’s about 14 different cats in 14 bags that I can’t let out yet. Good work begets more good work, and in this day and age of clouds, phones named after Star Wars characters, and the dwindling idea of music with a dollar sign attached to it, it’s more crucial than ever to just make great stuff you’re proud of. Maybe folks will agree and throw you a couple bones, maybe not. But all of the work I’ve been lucky enough to do with Has in the past has led us to where we are now: sitting on a stack of songs and projects that are murder sauce.
I made the beat for “Cock Diesel” back in ’07 and had some demo versions of it recorded at random points, but as Has likes to say, beats end up finding their rightful owners eventually. Has picked it out after hearing it on my beat tape Big Stupid Bangers late last year and ravaged the thing like a punchdrunk matador. After you drop an intensely personal album, the last thing you want to rap about is yourself. “Cock Diesel” and the rest of the 2004 Commodores stuff is just blazing the mic with fly amulets.
What’s ya limit?
I struggle with instant access to every single whim that pops into my cabbage. With the iPhone aka the Pants Computer, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, forums, Hulkshare links, promo MP3’s, etc the world is beginning to run out of mystery — everything we miss or forget can be found instantly. I love ingesting music, memorizing where the horn stabs hit on a record, knowing who produced track #9 on a given rap LP without looking for liner notes on Wikipedia, remembering where exactly I was when I heard a song for the first time.
Technology, will progressing rapidly to make our lives easier, erases actual emotional connections. Convenience breeds more consumption. Standards are lowered. Quality is compromised for more more more more more content. All to feed that machine that eviscerates our attention span while keeping us constantly engaged and entertained. If you have internet access in 2011, you can literally spend 18 hours a day never having to face the quiet plague of boredom.
I say all of this because three releases this week play to or against the new music consuming culture. Has-Lo’s new LP In Case I Don’t Make It is available for paid digital download on Bandcamp, iTunes, etc but they are not the right mediums to relish the album. The key word here is “album” ; we don’t have patience anymore to follow one artist through 30+ minutes in a row. This recent article in Slate titled “Wall of Sound: The iPod has changed the way we listen to music. And how we respond to it” backs that up painfully.
As Jeff Weiss pointed out, In Case I Don’t Make It isn’t built for Shuffle mode: it’s a “suffocating walloping listen, like baking in a sauna or waiting in the car with the windows rolled up in in August. Rap to make dogs die.” In other words, you can’t soundtrack your P90X workout to the album–you need to sit, relax, and walk through Has’ mind. You can’t multitask with it. And downloading the album then trashing the 3-4 records that don’t strike a chord within the first 10 seconds of the beat dropping erases important pieces to the story.
As my Shadowboxer partner Douglas Martin once articulated, albums are like books — you don’t go ripping pages out of books because the first 3 paragraphs aren’t as good as the last page. In Case I Don’t Make It is a heady listen like how The Wire was an unsettling visual — anit-comfort food for your anti-boredom state. Nurishment doesn’t taste like Yoo-Hoo.
Peep “Utero” off the LP then “The Quiet Things” off Has’ last EP Small Metal Objects:
A middleground to the Shuffle Age (2004-present) and the Old Days of Listening to Full Songs (1863-2003) is Nex Millen’s latest podcast I Love Hip Hop Vol. 3. Nex is a master of the groove before Serato made Pauly D a screenwatching “deejay”. Nex is a slave to the rhythm, not the soundwave BPM reader. His ear for pockets in the wax, whether live on-stage or rocking a filthy basement party or in his JLab Studios making beats, is masterful. His podcasts combine the recent jamdowns with the unseen crack slippers, like new Pharaohe Monch with Connie Price and the Keystones. His responsibility to the hyper hip hip consumer of today is the same as any great cassette mixtape impresario of the early 90’s — putting you up on the shit you like, the shit you’re not sure if you like, and the shit you just never heard in your life. In 2011, this would be a Concentrated Shuffle, a purposeful blend, the common room sitdown of artists with different voices, styles, and beats, consolidated by someone who understands the almighty Skip button and the undetectable power grip of the Neck Snap.
Here’s the tracklisting for I Love Hip Hop Vol. 3
Kill Bill- Epidemik
Different Now- Odisee f. Twan
Classic- MED f. Talib Kweli
Songs- Kaimbr and Kev Brown
Clap(One Day) Pharoahe Monch f. Showtyme
Palookas- Talib Kweli
Disturbed- Blame One f. Sean Price
Thought About It- yU
International Hustler- Connie Price & The Keystones f. Percee P
Motor Music- Finale f. Black Milk
Grown Folks Music- NXPW f. Cee Knowledge
The last leg on the barstool is Rock the Dub’s 5 year anniversary compilation FiF. Khal, the site’s resident runner and internetian pipe bomb planter, gives his readers unlimited options to stock their smartphones and Nanos every day. And like those of us now completely enraptured in the Age of the Shuffle, he does not subscribe to one genre or musical identity. Hip hop, dubstep, drum n bass, R&B, and other subgenres I could probably just make up (Oatmeal Wave, ThunderStep, SwagMopHop) all pop up on Rock the Dub without any comprehension or agenda.
Khal boils things down to the interest of the modern online music consumer: this sounds good and I want it right now. He’s put out projects from just about every phylum of hip hop-related offshoots the past five joints. Life in the Shuffle Mode has no apprehensions, no limits, no concern for running time. Take what you want, love it, then come back for the re-up. And Khal’s new compilation FiF is that Marlo Stanfield cut.
01-Heist ft. Zilla Rocca – I Need Killers (and Thieves Like You Wouldn’t Believe)
02-Che Grand ft. Elucid vs. Artificial Intelligence – Deaf Ray Dub (Disc Jockey Nappy Refix)
03-P.L.O. ft. Ralph Rip Shit – Hold That
04-AWKWORD ft. Y-Love – Mr. President (The Wisconsin Song) (prod. by The White Shadow)
05-Cyclops – You Don’t Understand (prod. by Razorsharpe)
06-Brown Bag AllStars – In His Shoes (DJBrace Remix)
07-J NiCS – Slumber (Numonics rockthedub Remix)
08-Pugs Atomz & DJ Vadim ft. Stahhr Tha F.E.M.C.E.E. & Jabee – Shoot’em Down
09-Rickie Jacobs ft. Artic – Malcolm X (prod. by Clay Hilman)
10-Jefferson Price – Hip Flask (prod. by Tranzformer)
11-Elucid – My Blank Verse (prod. by Small Pro)
12-The Two. Fifteens – Cloudy. Got Em’
13-Scripts & Screwz – Highway
14-Whygee – What Love Is (prod. by Nofrendo)
15-K. Vincent – Ain’t A Thang Change (prod. by Nabs, add. prod. by Alex Cruz & Black Lion Beats)
16-Mario Dones – Mars Attacks (prod. by Buscrates 16 bit Ensemble)
17-Assorted Anonymous – Roll By My Lonely (prod. by NVious)
18-Elucid – Heavy Metal (prod. by Screwz)
19-Do Ear – Soul Dealers
20-Shawty Lo ft. Rick Ross & Jim Jones vs. The Two. Fifteens – Foolish (Disc Jockey Nappy THUGSTEP Refix)
21-Curly Castro – Down With Batista (prod. by Happ G)
When I’m not plugging Curly Castro’s Winston’s Appeal or my recently released EP Bad Weather Classic, you might catch me spreading the word on Has-Lo via Twitter. In case you didn’t notice from “No Resolution 2”, “Cock Diesel” or even our “Forever Freestlye (Nike Run)” joint, me and Lo are twin gunmen. He’s the one rapper I know who most reminds me of myself and probably my favorite pure writer today. We both worship at the altar of Marcberg and Shallah Rae. And we both hate Nasir Jones.
His new album In Case I Don’t Make It, which I’ve studied and marveled over secretly in my whip the past 2 months, drops via Mello Music Group shortly (March 29th–pre order it on UGHH.com here). Its certainly influencing the themes behind the next Shadowboxers LP.
Anyway, before all the jibbing and jabbing increases in the coming weeks, here’s a slick lil’ chandelier Antelopes & Lions for you to hang in your labbo, culminating some choice works from Has’ past EP’s, remixes, and guest appearances mixed by Sonny James of the highly regarded Philly DJ sect Ill Vibe Collective:
1. The Commentary (pt.1) remix (Produced by DeeJay Tone)
2. Black Rose (Gumshoe Remix) (Produced by Culture I)
3. Divine (Produced by Culture I & Has-Lo)
4. Nas – Shootouts (Has-Lo Remix)
5. Darkness (Produced by Culture I)
6. 5 O’clock Shadowboxers – No Resolution 2
7. Common – Chi City (Has-Lo Remix)
8. FUCWITDAT (Produced by Has-Lo)
9. The Undisputed (Produced by Culture I)
10. Kindness 4 Weakness (Produced by Has-Lo)
11. Build Jewelz (Produced by Has-Lo)
12. Dogma (ft. Awar) (Produced by Has-Lo)
13. Allegiance (Produced by Has-Lo)
14. Small Metal Objects (Produced by Has-Lo)
15. Fiber Optics (Produced by Has-Lo)
16. The Quiet Things (Produced by Has-Lo)
17. Royce Da 5’9″, Elzhi, Supastition – Best To Do It (Has-Lo Remix)
This is the best feeling in the world….getting the first physical copy of your own LP.
Has-Lo’s In Case I Don’t Make It drops March 29th via Mello Music Group. Outside of being good friends with Has, this is one of the best rap LPs of 2011. Really making me step my game up for the next Shadowboxers LP
Pre-order your copy right now at UGHH.com and live that nutrious rap life