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Stream Zilla Rocca and Small Professor’s debut Career Crooks album, Good Luck with That

Career Crooks | photo via careercrooks.bandcamp.com

Individually, DJ Zilla Rocca and producer, Small Professor have been crushing it for years. Just imagine the dream of utter jams that a collab could produce. You have that beauty pictured? Okay, great – now throw that imaginary concoction out the window because there actually is a real, live duo debut from Rocca and Professor, and it most likely exceeds even your dreamt up wildest hopes. Continue reading →

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Philly producers Small Professor and Arcka release Herbie Hancock tribute

cover Philly producers Small Professor and Arcka have released a tribute to the legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock. Presented by The Find Magazine, Hancock features both producers on five songs each. Hancock fans will recognize samples from Hancock classics like “Watermelon Man,” and “Come Running To Me,” and Small Pro and Arcka manage to capture the warm soul and grooves of Hancock’s incredible work. Download the collection here, or listen to it below.

Here’s the story in the words of Small Professor:

“Hancock” was originally conceived by myself in 2009, a project inspired by rapper/producer Blueprint’s “Blueprint Vs. Funkadelic” album from 2008. Intended at first to be a solo offering, fellow Philly producer Y?Arcka (aka Arcka this time around) was asked to come on board. The idea was to showcase the contrasting styles between us; I’ve often joked about how I will use samples from 5 songs to make one beat, and Y? will sample 1 song and make 5 beats. Herbie Hancock’s vast discography was perfect for this exhibition, spanning many different style of music over the course of his career and already being a go-to source for samples for years. Personally, I’m partial to Arcka’s ‘side’ of this release, but there’s a little something for every beat lover on this short but sweet piece of instrumental hip-hop pie…enjoy.

Listen to Hancock below.

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Stream new Small Professor’s Yokozuna album

Philly hip-hop master Small Professor plays his third card of Japan-referencing releases with Yokozuna, a brand new EP featuring 8 remixed tracks from Gigantic Vol. 1 right after October’s Cool Story, Pro and Cool Haiku, Pro, released three weeks ago. Yokozuna rounds out the trio with a brand new song, “The Easiest Way” with Guilty Simpson, and revisits the track “Spare Razor” also with Guilty Simpson & Reef the Lost Cauze. There’s also a hypnotic new version of “When The Last Leaf Falls” by Has-Lo of Wrecking Crew. Stream the album in its entirety below.

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Small Professor releases Gigantic, Vol. 0 the prequel “remixtape” to Gigantic, Vol. 1

Beat maker, musician and producer Small Professor (AKA Small Pro) is getting ready to release a new record called Gigantic, Volume 1. In anticipation of its release, he’s put out an official prequel “remixtape” featuring The Wrecking Crew (Curly Castro, Has-Lo, and Zilla Rocca), Elzhi, Phat Kat, Deal The Villain, MaLLy, Che Grand, Elucid, and Kane Mayfield. Stream and download Gigantic, Vol. 0 here or below.

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Philadelphia Bandcamp Hunter: Small Professor

Small Professor has just released the third in his series of “Jawns” albums called Mistress Jawns. The series debuted in June with Beats & Rhymes Jawns and was followed in July by Elderly Jawns. The first two collections of beats and instrumentals are available as a “pay what you want” digital download. Small Professor is a DJ, producer, sampler, and beat maker from Philadelphia who has collaborated with Zilla Rocca, Curly Castro, and Has-Lo. He’s currently working on a new collection of music featuring Reef The Lost Cauze and Guilty Simpson. There’s some serious head-nodding beats and grooves on Small Pro’s “Jawns” series and highly recommended—especially if you’re a fan of J Dilla, DJ Shadow, Madlib, and Main Source’s Large Professor.

Below, sample a jawn from each of the albums.

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

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.

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New hip-hop duo Career Crooks’ embrace the creative side of life with “Least Important Most Important”

Career Crooks | via youtube.com
Career Crooks | via youtube.com

Mad Men’s Don Draper once said “We’re going to sit at our desks and keep typing while the walls fall down around us because we’re creative – the least important, most important thing there is.” Philly’s newest hip-hop duo Career Crooks (made of wordsmith Zilla Rocca and resident beat-maker Small Professor) confidently embraces Draper’s words by representing the creative on debut single “Least Important Most Important” off of the duo’s debut album Good Luck With That, out early 2017.

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Philly Progress Report 2016: What’s new, what’s next in the music scene – (page 2)

The Lawsuits

Bucks county five-piece The Lawsuits cut their hair and released Moon Son, a new LP gathering all their disparate influences – pop, rock, country, soul – underneath one umbrella.


Birdie Busch

A veteran singer-songwriter of the Philadelphia folk scene, Birdie Busch returns with the subdued Thunder Bridge, a collection of songs imagined initially as a set of children’s lullabys that grew into something more.


Ben Arnold

Another scene vet, Ben Arnold draws on 20+ years of experience to make Lost Keys one of his finest outings to date.


Littler

One of the biggest success stories from 2014’s inaugural First Time’s The Charm festival was Littler, which released the hooky LP Of Wandering earlier this year and got a fair amount of buzz for their seltzer-enthusing video for “Slippery.”


Curtis Cooper

A punk rock dude with an acoustic guitar, Curtis Cooper‘s Laughing in Line is a solid introduction to this fierce and fun singer-songwriter making the rounds in the scene.


No Headliner

Charismatic rap duo No Headliner emerged in January with Lingerie & Bottles: Chaptre 1.


Them That Do

A visionary collab from Lancaster’s Phat Hentoff and Philly’s Small Professor, Them That Do is rounded out by Chuck Daly and Jasper Brown. Their self-titled debut sounds instantly classic.


Dwellers on the Threshold

Speaking of visionary, check out Dwellers on the Threshold‘s Twin Peaks-themed project Live from the Black Lodge.


Sonnder

After a year-long single-a-month project that we totally loved following, modern rock four-piece Sonnder puts it all out on the table with Entanglement – and a set ranging from Circa Survive-esque anthems to Explosions in the Sky soundscapes.


CLIQUE

Introspective, emo-infused punk four-piece CLIQUE released its sophomore album Burden Piece on Topshelf in late May. It digs deep but chases a beacon of hope on the horizon.


 

Young and Heartless

Lancaster post-emo craftsmen Young and Heartless got postiviely spectral on their new LP for Hopeless Records, mixing pop melodies with heavy guitars – production trademarks of Conshy mastermind Will Yip.


 

Nick Millevoi

Call Nick Millevoi‘s Desertion LP his audition tape for Crazy Horse – or maybe just call it a searing collection of overdriven guitar jams of the highest power. Either way, give it some of your time – dude can shred.


Church Girls

Bucks County bred four-piece Church Girls made their proper LP debut with Thousand Lives – establishing Mariel Beaumont as a singer and songwriter the Philly music community should keep their sights on.


Free Cake for Every Creature

Charming New England transplants Free Cake for Every Creature released their talking quietly of anything with you LP this spring, dialing up the tone from their super lo-fi origins but still keeping the vibe homemade and honest.


Darko the Super

Carve a Happy Face on my Tombstone is the latest set of dark and quirky psychedelic comedy rap from Philadelphia’s Darko the Super.


Harsh Vibes

Tones and textures that thankfully have nothing to do with 90s bombers Candlebox, Harsh Vibes You Left Me Far Behind is the latest installment in an increasingly strong catalog. 


Nothing

Before, they were beautiful-loud. Now, Philly’s Nothing is simply beautiful. Tired of Tomorrow, out on Relapse, is awash in the bright colors and optimistic melodies of the “Vertigo Flowers” video.


Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band

Speaking of increasingly strong catalogs, Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band released their latest set of textured guitar escapades, The Rarity of Experience, on No Quarter this March.


Mary Lattimore

Also of the soundscape universe, longtime Philly harpist Mary Lattimore released her LP At The Dam via Ghostly this spring before leaving Philly for points west.


Rosu Lup

Heartfelt rockers Rosu Lup show their fondness for Springsteen, Dylan and fellow Philadelphians The War on Drugs with their debut LP Is Anything Real.


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Listen to the jazzy “Arrowheads” from Lancaster rap trio That Them Do…

One of the reasons music is undeniably the most democratic of any art form going is because literally anyone, from anywhere, can make something that can cut through the noise and be heard if it’s good enough. This democracy is one of the reasons that a rap trio from Lancaster, Pa — a place known more for farmland and Amish than for beats and bars — is able to put together a song as catchy and well-produced as “Arrowheads (feat. Muhsinah)” from That Them Do… Continue reading →