Dusty But Digital: Article at Noisey Music

Photo by Laura Lynn Photography

Photo by Laura Lynn Photography

Read my first feature at Noisey on the new crate diggin’: YouTube samples and MP3 blogs. Insights from Blockhead, Paul White, J-Zone, Small Professor, and Quelle Chris.


Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers “Weak Stomach EP”

weak-stomach-cover (1)

Three years under the curtain. Dust on the trench coat. Stomach empty. Diner windows daring you to come in and eat. After hours spots whispered in a bottle, hummed under dimly lit corners where the tables are empty. In Philadelphia, where there are no limits, no rules. Anything can go on.

This is the world of Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers. This is Noir Hop. This is Weak Stomach EP.__

The first release since 2010’s Broken Clocks EP,__ Weak Stomach EP is a collection of shabby pulp scribbles from Zilla Rocca and his taillight chasers The Shadowboxers. For this assignment, hisWrecking Crew gin buddy Curly Castro (Man Bites Dog Records) and Chi-Town drum rollerAlex Ludovico joined in-house card shark Blurry Drones for the knockout drops. Small Professor (Coalmine Records) and Has-Lo (Mello Music Group) took time away from fitting cement shoes to lend beats that hit your head like cheap wine.

Compiling legitimate liquor from previous Shadowboxers juke joints and Alex Ludovico’s Winning/Losing plus new cuts like a Beatles cover (“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer), a posse cut in honor of Walter White (“We Got Fangs This Year”), an ode to NYC blade runners (“Blood on Blood Converse), and crippled romance molded around a stark Elliot Smith lineage (“Stay Clean Remix”),Weak Stomach EP is a real sharp shooter, a precursor for the forthcoming LP No Vacation For Murder (which features Roc Marciano, The Kid Daytona, Geechie Suede, Open Mike Eagle, and more).

Welcome back to Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers’ brand of gunshot jazz. And don’t speak to the weak of heart. Don’t eat on a weak stomach — play your part.

Stream below:

Download at your own price at Bandcamp

Wrecking Crew vs. The Wire: “Clay Davis”

Artwork by Castle

You a fan of The Wire? This track is right up your alley, then. Taken from Zilla Rocca‘s Party With Villains EP, this is the final track in the “Major Crimes” trilogy, which found Zilla, Curly Castro and Small Professor dedicated tracks to characters from this dynamic TV show (you might want to check out “Bunk” and “McNulty” before throwing this one on).

Alongside Wrecking Crew affiliates Has-Lo and Curly, Zilla paints a picture about this particularly infamous villain, showcasing the seedy underbelly of the political game over a fly organ-driven track from Small Professor. Some shit to scheme and plot to. Sheeeeeeeeit! –Pigeons and Planes

Party With Villains EP OUT NOW

Why are we drawn to those that prey on the weak? Why do we root for the bad guy? Why do we secretly lust for danger in our everyday lives? Because it’s a helluva party…while it lasts.

The noir hop originator Zilla Rocca returns with “Party With Villains EP”, a good, swift, and violent seven track release inspired by crimes and criminals of Philadelphia (“Ron Previte”), pop culture (“Clay Davis”), and athletics (“The Q and the A”).

“Party With Villains” means smiling at the friendly wolves who just might nip at your neck tomorrow. Growing up during the South Philadelphia Mob Wars of the ’80s and ’90s under noted mafia kings Nicky Scarfo, Ralph Natale, and Joey Merlino, Zilla Rocca has channeled the commonly accepted brutal history of his backyard into another lean project of deft storytelling and leather worn zen, this time with an eye for local watering holes (“12 Steps Down”), the turmoil of La Cosa Nostra’s mayhem (“Don’t Make Headlines, Make Money”), and embracing your town’s history rather than judging it (“Nothing in the Bank”).

Longtime collaborators the Wrecking Crew (Curly Castro x Has-Lo x Small Professor), Nex Millen, Mally, and Alex Ludovico were chosen like trusted grease men for a bank heist, while newcomers Alpha 1 and The Expert were outside hitters called in to join the party.

So don’t make headlines, make money.

Stream or download (by naming your own price) at Bandcamp

Official album release party:
Wed Nov. 28th @ World Cafe Live
BoomBox Collective
Performing alongside Dewey Decibel, My Man Shafe and more!

Official Party With Villains tee shirts designed by Dewey Decibel coming soon….

Grit your teeth and think of Philadelphia, as always.

He Crossed Over Jordan, the Changing of the Guard: “The Q and the A”

Design by Dr. Quandary for Memetic Supply Co.

Allen Iverson – the most controversial, beloved, and bewildered athlete arguably of the last 15 years. He made cornrows, tattoos, and jokes about practice a staple in the lives of anyone following basketball. He disdained authority. He loved hip hop. He got coaches fired. He shot too much. He played through dozens of injuries. He hung out at TGIFriday’s and South Street instead of shootarounds. He won almost every award there was. The yin and the yang. The question and the answer.

“The Q and the A” is third single off Zilla Rocca’s upcoming EP Party With Villains. Produced by Wrecking Crew brother in arms Small Professor and accompanied by cuts and clips curated by Nex Millen, “The Q and the A” is written from the perspective of a lifelong fan going back to the days of Georgetown, SLAM Magazine, and crossing over Michael Jordan at the Spectrum. After debuting at the esteemed blog The Basketball Jones, “The Q and the A” is a new kind of storytelling number from the man who loves hoops as much as private stock bourbon.

Whiskey on His Lunch Break: Zilla Rocca x Small Professor “McNulty”

Wrecking Crew partners Zilla Rocca & Small Professor team up for “McNulty”, a single inspired by the one character from “The Wire” who could get away with murder all in the name of good ol’ fashion po-lice work.

Sometimes, you just gotta stir up something and let the suits worry about the blowback. Jameson not included with downloads.

Direct download link

Here’s a live performance of “McNulty” at The Fire in Philly with Curly Castro on the assist

Bigger is Better: Small Professor “Gigantic Vol. 0”

The latest loaded chopper from Wrecking Crew beatsmith Small Professor with some choice remixes of our favorite crew records from last year, along with glass pieces from Elzhi, Phat Kat, Deal the Villain, and our Lessondary Crew brethren. Get atomized.


I Showed You Your First Tec On Tour With Small Professor

He’s worked with Has-Lo before the papes.  He’s reworked 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers turning bottomfeeders into kibble.  He’s got 2 bullets on Wu-Tang Pulp, a handful of joints on Curly Castro’s next LP Fidel, and the last joint on my next EP Nights & Weekends

Small Pro gets busy.  Here’s the first sound mission before the storm doors get blown off. 

Hanging Off a Tiger Heli and Nobody Can Save You

Artwork by Dr. Quandary for World Around Records

It’s one of the first lessons you learn in poker, and you usually learn it the hard way: play poker with a liar, and you can lose your money, your house and even your heart.

And in a town where justice is a game, Zilla Rocca learns that lesson all too well.

Welcome to the Bad Weather Classic EP.  It was here before you were born into this dirty city, and it’ll be here after you’re six feet under.  You’ve got your part to play in it.  And that means going through the razor blocks with the gun under the goose. 

Bad weather is here and it’s never going away.

Stream each track at World Around Records

Download Bad Weather Classic EP here