Philly rapper Zilla Rocca does his best Kanye impression, interpreting “Wolves” from The Life of Pablo

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Zilla Rocca | Photo by Laura Lynn Photography
Zilla Rocca | Photo by Laura Lynn Photography

As you may have heard, Kanye West is still tweaking his newest album, The Life of Pablo. He recently tweeted that the record is “a living breathing changing creative creative expression,” and he’s sticking to his word: just two days ago, he updated “Wolves,” adding contributions from both Vic Mensa and Sia. Such is the advantage of never releasing a physical copy of your record, it seems.

Meanwhile, back in Philly, DJ and rapper Zilla Rocca have been working on their own edits of “Wolves.” The MC just released his new version of the track, “The Wolf of Wolf Street.” Zilla Rocca explained his rationale for wanting to cover “Wolves” in an email to The Key:

“The backstory is that Manipulator posted his flip of “Wolves” randomly on Soundcloud a week ago. I was sitting around and heard it and just couldn’t stop playing it, since “Wolves” is my favorite song on The Life of Pablo. But my only issue with the original is that Kanye rhymes “lambs wool” with “FUCKING wolves”, not “goddamn wolves” – been driving me CRAZY as a rapper. So I wanted to resolve this oversight and made my version: “The Wolf of Wolf Street” since I live on Wolf Street in South Philly, and “Teen Wolf had a huge impact on me in the ’80s – yes, even the shitty sequel with Patrick Bateman.”

DJ Manipulator’s remix is more energetic than Kanye’s version, picking up the tempo and adding a drumbeat under the original beat. Lyrically, Zilla Rocca’s peppers his flow with a number of homages to Kanye’s verses (the notorious “I know it’s corny bitches you wish you could unfollow” line is replaced with  “Corny friends I had to unfollow / one lives with mom and his threats are hollow”). It all makes for a playful cover that isn’t half bad.

Which reminds me: Kanye, if you’re reading this, you might want to consider adding this track to the next edit of TLOP. The album is a living, breathing creative expression, after all.

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