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Zilla Rocca | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly rapper Zilla Rocca released his Hard Boiled EP last week, in advance of his forthcoming solo LP Future Former Rapper. Lead track “Lamont Coleman” is a gritty tribute to 90’s hip hop artist Big L. The song embodies a scorching desert heat, lead by a hypnotizing snake charmer melody on flute, interjected by tambourine and the rattle of a serpent’s tail. The words are precise and at times agressive, intertwining power and praise.

Throughout the EP, Zilla Rocca embraces an old school style with the beats and instrumentation on this EP. “Alive and Paid” is a standout, with its gritty Mobb Deep flow, while the murky “Fake Money” echoes the self-styled “noir-hop” of his extensive back catalog. Zilla keeps busy through collabs with scene friends; when he’s not rocking the mic solo, Zilla Rocca has most recently shown up as half of the duo project Career Crooks; check out their recent Key Studio Session here.

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