Zilla Rocca & PremRock, “Never Tell'Em You're A (T)rapper” (Griff Remix)

Blake Gillespie

Zilla Rocca, PremRock, Griff Remix

On Neo Noir, released last October, Zilla Rocca was jacking for beats across his mixtape, borrowing from the likes of Blackroc, Gaslamp Killer, Mexicans With Guns, and Clams Casino. For his collaboration with PremRock, entitled “Never Tell'em You're A Rapper”, Zilla jacked Odd Nosdam's “Nice” beat off Serengeti's C.A.R. LP. The track, as you may surmise from the title, shared the brutally honest consequences of being a rapper, particulary one of limited exposure, in social circles and in the dating scene.

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Rappers pride themselves on real talk, but fabricate lavish lifestyles or narrate their struggle in the booth, often failing to touch upon the deeper anguish that comes with being an aspiring entertainer among peers with real lives involving nine-to-five work and families. Zilla Rocca and PremRock address the situation with a pained honesty, particularly when Zilla states “my girl's mom doesn't think that I'm a rappper / my own mom didn't wanna raise a rapper”. PremRock prefers the more commendable title “writer” in watercooler talk, since announcing oneself as a rapper often comes with freestyle requests.

Brooklyn-by-way-of-Chicago trap producer Griff was given the a capella stems to the original, which he flipped into the “Never Tell'em You're a (T)rapper” remix. With hand claps, rolling toms, and other signature trap tropes, Griff's remix raises the energy bar on the original. Prem and Zilla still dissuade against the career path, at least while it's a part-time hobby, but Griff's remix title also acts as valuable advice since snitches lurk everywhere.

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