Noir-Hop's Zilla Rocca: "I Like Crime, Women & Rapping"
Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ma'ams, sirs, hoes, pimps, meet Zilla Rocca.
Three days ago, Rocca's new album, Nights & Weekends, accidented its way into our inbox. This is not uncommon. People send us music all the time. All the time. Like, they send that shit like their thumbs will spontaneously combust if they don't. And most of the time, if it's a non-Houston guy, we skim through it, scoff at how uncool it is, then move on.
But that was pretty much impossible here. The first sentence from the press release:
Inspired by late-night 1980's films staples such as Barry Levinson's Diner and Martin Scorsese's After Hours, with a helping of booze hounds, dive bars, and all the wrong women you chase in your 20's, Nights & Weekends EP is the unbuttoning of the collar for Zilla Rocca aka Vic Sage, the Noir Hop originator and Corrupt Novelist.
It is a massive hodgepodge that simply goes where it wants when it wants. And once you get past the opening stanza, which starts out with a set of sunburnt horns then unfurls itself into that semi-awkward "White Guy" cadence, it is extra enjoyable and entirely brave.
So we reached towards Rocca online. Turned out, he is from Earth, though just barely (South Philly). We asked him to interview it up. He obliged. Next week, we have an excellent local artist to feature (and it's a woman!). For now, let's all stare at the new kid.
Rocks Off: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Zilla Rocca in exactly six words.
Zilla Rocca: I like crime, women and rapping.
RO: What is noir hop? It sounds kind of assholey, but it also sounds kind of interesting. I guess a lot of times those things go together.
ZR: It's just a name I came up with to describe the first Shadowboxers album and it became my calling card. Noir and rap handle a lot of the same themes: murder, sex, slang, guns, the city, betrayal, deceit.
I felt like someone should've connected the two before because it was obvious to me being a fan of films like Kiss Me Deadly, Brick, and the Philip Marlowe books and movies. It's a mood more than anything else. And it separates me from everyone else, which is good because I'm a failure at being trendy.