PREMIERE: Zilla Rocca shares new noir-hop single “Lemon Drop”

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zilla rocca
Zilla Rocca | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Zilla Rocca goes deep in the weeds of noir-hop on his latest track “Lemon Drop,” a standalone single from the local rapper/producer. Zilla’s always been into the darker side of life (see 2014’s No Vacation For Murder and his general pulp fiction-inspired aesthetic), and this track has a pretty solid lineage along those lines.

Featuring fellow Philadelphians El Malito and Margel the Sophant, “Lemon Drop” draws its story from a 2007 crime novel, itself inspired by the infamous 1947 Black Dahlia murder in Hollywood. Creating his signature air of nostalgia, Zilla pulls us into a seedy world of highstakes gambling, dim street corners, and femme fatales with smoky production and vivid, classic pulp fiction imagery.

About the song, Zilla says:

[It’s] inspired by this crime novel The Song is You by Megan Abbott, particularly the kind of girl you meet in unsavory settings that completely intoxicates you and pulls you into a world you’re not familiar with. It’s a story song- what if your perfect match is an underworld fling? The beat reminded me of a Lost Boyz or Q-Tip song from the late ’90s, so I wanted the hook to be catchy and memorable even if you don’t follow the story that much.

Stream “Lemon Drop” below and stay tuned for an upcoming LP from Zilla’s Career Crooks collab with Small Professor.

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