This evening we bring you a track from two Philly rappers who know a thing or two about style and aesthetic. First there’s Zilla Rocca, who launched the self-defined genre of noir-hop: that’s rap music peppered with samples from hard-boiled, whisky-slinging crime films of the 40s and 50s, mixed with period costumes and a design sensibility pulled from the pages of pulp novels. He’s about to drop a new mixtape called Neo Noir on a digital and cassette-only edition (that comes with a drink coaster) – or, wait, what are we talking about, it appears he’s already soft-released the digital edition – and it’s a lot about the hustle, the grind, and the philosophical underpinnings of being a rapper and a creative person.
Joining him on “Chic-O-Stic”, which we’re premiering for you below, is Dewey Decibel, aka Dewey Saunders, a visual artist and MC who bounces seamlessly between the two worlds. This weekend he has a new solo exhibition of his work opening at Benna’s Cafe in South Philadelphia, with a reception tomorrow night from 7 to 11 p.m. The track begins with a mysterious ethereal bed before a slammin’ beat enters, propelling the song forward as Dewey and Zilla swap verses and some sick Miami Vice style synthesizers enter, crafting a sick audio portrait of the nightlife and the roles that its participants play, ending on the sampled declaration: “If you don’t enjoy the doing, do something else.” Listen below.