April 6, 2011

Photo by Liz Padova

Three weeks ago, I ran through the increasing numbers of rappers finding inspiration in contemporary bass music (no Da King & I).  Through unintentional oversight, I didn’t include Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro, who have been rapping over dubstep and D&B tracks since before brostep became the popular perjorative (and it still is). I’m all for rappers breaching boundaries, but these sort of collaborations are always risky. See also: Wu-Tang meets Dubstep, a collaboration on par with the Harlem Globetrotters spitting game at Ginger on Gilligan’s Island.

But Zilla’s been working with Philly-based, UK-adored street bass star Starkey since college, and raps like he listens to the music rather what blogs define as forward progression. “Welcome to the Holodeck” represents his first official collabo with Starkey since the Temple grads stomped out John Calipari as a favor for John Chaney. Joined by Castro, who is set to appear on Starkey’s Space Traitor Vol. 2, the pair go in on a dystopian beat that aims for the end of 1984 (or Sleeper). Re-education rap with Castro corralling the sci-fi nerd vote with Star Trek references and Zilla going full Heisenberg. Recommended for Levar Burton fans, those who own at least one season of the X-Files, and who miss the glory days of Def Jux.

Also below the jump, the Zilla-directed video for Castro’s “Flatbush & Church.”

Starkey – Holodeck feat Curly Castro & Zilla Rocca (Three Dollar Pistol Remix) by ZillaRoccaNoir