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H Is for Haters

Houston rapper V-Zilla calls out his hometown on Interview With a Monster.

Only in hip-hop, unlike sports, physical abilities aren't the contingent factor. Bodies may dwindle with age, but minds stay sharp and lyrical talent doesn't necessarily dissipate with time, but time can fast close the window of opportunity for a rapper to blow up, especially when he's closing in on the wrong side of 35. That's the thorn in the hip-hop rose.

"I don't have a resentment towards the cats coming up," clarifies Zilla. "It's all about the process. It's an unfair process and when you're caught up in the unfair portion of that process, you start fucking hating everything about it."

Being situated in the Dirty South doesn't help Zilla. He's often referred to as a New York or East Coast rapper, one that can astound hip-hop heads with his true lyricism, incredible wordplay and an intelligent, laser-sharp delivery.

Zilla is no doubt in the upper echelon of Houston underground MCs. He's not hip like the Niceguys, not artsy like Preemo nor gritty like Delo. He's chosen not to emulate what's in his backyard, a regional Southern rap culture that occupies a different lane of hip-hop's superhighway. Simply put, Zilla is an early-'90s hip-hop throwback. A purist.

"Houston's not my lane," says Zilla. "It's never going to be my lane. I'm an MC. I'm not a rapper. This city is full of rappers. This city doesn't have but a handful of MCs. The ones that are here, they're incredible lyricists and nobody's ever heard of them."

Zilla will mouth off several – all from Houston – like K-Rino and hip-hop groups Hafaza, Lower Life Form and the The Niyat.

"Most of these cats are like, 'Man, that's East Coast,'" Zilla claims. "That's NY shit. They fucking shut it down before they hear it. I don't hate my city. I hate the fact that there's no support in my city."

Interview amplifies the rebellious tone of V-Zilla's music. The elements that give boom-bap's signature sound – hard-hitting kick and snare drums – are the backdrop to his reminiscence and exorcism of demons. The murderous lyrical assault often seen on his mixtapes takes a back seat, and a content-oriented Zilla emerges and dominates. He's trying to tell his story, and successfully does so.

The album's guest features are among its highlights. Houston's Cornbreadd, Philadelphia's Reef the Lost Cauze and East Hartford's Blacastan reinforce the '90s transport with impressive showings and back up Zilla's Pete Rock & CL Smooth relapse.

Overall, Interview does boom-bap justice, and should age to become an important addition to the Houston rap catalogue. It displays a diversity, imagination and greater range of what the city is capable of contributing to hip-hop.

"Since 2008, I've been destroying myself and rebuilding myself back up, and in the process, I've lost everything," Zilla told the Houston Press' Rocks Off music blog in early 2010.

"I might be the greatest that never made it."

When they reminisce over you...my God.

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33 comments
Trae
Trae

If you never made it then there is a good reason for it. Perhaps you're not as good as you think you are.

ZILLA THE MONSTER
ZILLA THE MONSTER

What the biz lord.. ya boy ZILLA in here... First & foremost I would like to extend my hand to Rolando Rodriguez for writing the article & all the supporters that slid thru to show love & respect. With that being said, I truly respect the comments of those who don't share the same sentiments... If you read between the lines of said story, you will see that I blame no one for my mishaps, in turn its the road to self discovery that has had me staring in the mirror & realizing that i'm solely responsible for my actions. Anyone & everyone that knows me personally, knows exactly what I contribute to Hip Hop.

Musick is not about the fame for me, its about the awareness that's brought to life over beats. I honestly feel "content" oriented music has taken a severe step back due to the fact that people and listeners have been misguided. A large percent of the artists rarely live the lifestyle they portray of Party & Bullshit... I've had demons in my life prevent me from moving forward because I never had the proper understanding of one's own self worth. I was busy trying to make everyone happy except myself, because that's the type of person I am, worrying about others & their view of me before my own well being.

Mistakes are meant to be made, none of us are nothing more than human. To clarify certain things as well, I was NEVER ashamed of what we contributed to music as far as S.W.A.T. product was concerned. We just couldn't co-exist among each other due creative, personal & artistic differences. Talented, yes, Perhaps in a perfect world, we could have bridged a severe gap in Houston Hip Hop Music, but the powers that be felt otherwise. For a period of 4 years, those were my brothers, my family, my crutch, yet and still it just wasn't meant to be for 6 artists who all had different outlooks & perception of what we should really be doing. The "Boy Band" reference which was taken more literal that should have been, was simply a metaphor, meaning that we spent more time hyping up a machine that wasn't well oiled enough to out run the hype, arguing over song selections or who was to be on stage at what time, or making sure we had our gear correct, whatever it may be. It took on more of a job than it should have.

The reflection was never meant to describe the music we created. That period taught me alot and i took its lessons and implemented them into my everyday hustle. I never sat back and counted the blessings, only spent time over analyzing the negative. That time is gone now. When my time in this game has run its course, I will have left behind a catalog of music that may not have made sense at the time, but that will definitely resonate in the years to follow. After all that i've endured, I've realized one important lesson from this whole process that is now the basis of my understanding - "God may not always be there when YOU need him to be, but he is ALWAYS on time"....

Much Respect! ZILLA

http://www.facebook.com/monste...

Andh52
Andh52

Zilla's been Dope since he first touched the Mic !!! Fuck the Haters and Do Your Damn Thing Homie, You Got This !!!

H_e_x
H_e_x

I feel him and sort of dig his music, but god damn, suck it up. Tons of people never make it and its a damn shame.

Kev
Kev

one of the best lyricist in hip hop period..

Lex "The Comrade" A
Lex "The Comrade" A

Dopest to due it. In a city where were known for Screw music & Syrup. V-Zilla represents the MC and the core & essence of Hip-Hop. His struggle to break in to the mainstream has only helped his music in my opinion being that he can rip threw a track sicker than a lot of "Rappers" & that's because they're rappers and not MC's like V.

Keep it up bro!

Show them boys that theirs a lot more to Houston than Swangs & Drank.We got real Hip-Hop down here!

God
God

"I might be the greatest that never made it."

Do you think not making it might be the fact that it sounds like you spend a lot of energy blaming other people for your problems?

Rob
Rob

Fuckin whiner. He has not made it because most people just don't feel his music. Don't blame Houston because you haven't made it. Come out with some good shit n see what happens. A "real nigga" like he says would of never made the dumb ass mistake of trying to go mainstream. Lame ass.

Corey Franks
Corey Franks

Vic...I feel your pain homie....you know me...I know you...I know real artists, and you my friend are so much more than what I hear on the radio or MTV, BET or whatever is on. It only takes one person to open their eyes and give you that chance. if it was up to me I would make it happen for you bro! This article is a perfect pitch point for you, take this and shove in peoples faces! Zilla...no one can touch your lyrics...you know this..I know this, and jealous mofrappies who dont want to play you or give you a chance know this as well!!! Dont ever stop!

Corey Franks aka "The R&B Sensation" Haha

Cee Rockaguey
Cee Rockaguey

From W.I.S.D.O.M. in '99 to Lockdown Sessions in '04 - i thought VG was at his best. The mixtapes in between showed that time hadnt slowed him down, it just wound him up. When i heard "angels & demons mixtape, I could feel his pain, then when i heard The M.C. mixtape, i knew for sure he was back in his rightful zone. Sucks that it takes someone to carry the weight of those afraid to speak the truth about what goes on behind closed doors, this man deserves the golden goose, give respect where respect is due!! .. Cee Rockaguey!!

Acgs99
Acgs99

Zilla's music is one of the few coming out this city who talks about the real...not the fake trunk popping, sipping lean, and rims garbage...his lyrics tell the trials and tribulations of a man with a life story to cover a lifetime of albums. Houston needs to wise up and stop sleeping on their boy...

Stress146
Stress146

Now that's what I've been waiting to read! Zilla has been dope since day 1. Respect!

DEBBIEDEB-MIR
DEBBIEDEB-MIR

THATS SOME DEEP SHIT I COULD READ ON AND ON...I LUV TO SIT N CHAT WITH U ZILLA FOR ONE BECAUSE YOUR NOT SITTING HERE TALKING ABOUT YOUR THE NEXT ONE TO BLOW N BLAH BLAH BLAH....YOU KEEP SHIT REAL! AND LIKE IVE TOLD U BEFORE YOU DONT GET HALF THE CREDIT YOU DESERVE....IF SOME OF THESE SUPERSTARS WOULD TAKE THEIR EGOS DOWN JUST A NOTCH THEY COULD LEARN ALOT FROM U.STAY POSITIVE AND KEEP DOING YOU, LIKE YOUVE TOLD DEZ DONT CHANGE FOR NO ONE....FORGET THE HATERS THEY DONT ACCEPT WHAT THEY DONT UNDERSTAND.WITH ALL MY RESPECT -DEBBIE

Rad-Remm
Rad-Remm

One of the hardest working cats that I know and a mentor/teacher to many. A man truly in love with anddedicsted to his craft.

Mic McNair
Mic McNair

Gotta respect Zilla for not only tell his story in depth, but also for saying the things that most people are afraid to say - the truth.

Moonshine
Moonshine

Nothing but love 4 u my brotha ! u know im behind your back 100%

From your only SWEICAN brotha from anotha motha ..

Moon ...

Eperez_77
Eperez_77

My brother, a true veteran & always on top of his game! Since i've know VG, it's safe to say i've seen his moments of weakness, his breakdowns and him gone off the bottle to the point of passing out over his troubled soul, but you can NEVER and I mean NEVER question his heart, dedication or loyalty! Your time is here my G, take it and hold it for ransom! The game needs THE MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric Perez

Pnma
Pnma

Seen the growth and struggles of VG, and with every step he has always come back stronger. May this release showcase the beast on the Mic that is, The Monster.

Anders
Anders

I've been following zilla from Norway for years now. Houston better step up and recognize his tallent.

Mofoz Visualz
Mofoz Visualz

Zilla's one of the illest to ever grab a mic, hands down, sounds like this upcoming project will be the heat needed to regrasp the faithful and to be introduced to a whole new audience that are hungry for the boom bap.

Bboycraig
Bboycraig

look to the skies... tha' monster has returned... hand over the mic all wack mcs get burned by his nuclear mc fire!! keep doing tha' damn thang fam... you one of the greatest period!

bbc

Werdizthaword
Werdizthaword

"Only in doing that, he effectively sold himself out as an artist trying to align himself with more of a Southern flair, which is so not Zilla. The risk didn't pay off. He disappointed a base of national underground fans he got precisely because he didn't sound Houston, and as he puts it, set himself four years back as a "backup singer in a boy band.".....i remeber tellin ya...i wanna hear that VG SKILLS not that VZILLA SWAT......always been a fan with hard criticism.....

Blacastan06
Blacastan06

-BLCSTN,...on the check in the write up is real,!!!-bottom line is V-Zilla is my brother we cut from the same cloth,!!!-(make the real music,and the heads will find it),!!!-stay up i'm wit' u my brother,!!!-

Drandle74
Drandle74

This dude is dope beyond comparison...

Joey Hernandez
Joey Hernandez

V-Zilla my brotha, congrats on the album. Long nights in the basement, was there for a couple of them tracks. Release.... Lets rock some shows, just like we used too...

Props,DJ Comp 1

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

He sees himself as Southern but hates the fact that there's no support in my city?

Actually about half the people here are trying to separate themselves from anything and everything that is Southern.

Many feel that Houston is the gateway to the Southwest.

Before you brand yourself as Southern it might be best to check out the architecture and interior decorating magazines or web sites. We are Southwestern now!

Magnolia blooms smell like poverty, obesity and hopelessness.

Eric Perez
Eric Perez

^^^ Whats lame is the fact that this dude "ROB" jumped on to simply emphasize the moral of the story! People don't feel his music? c'mon man, get off the gas, hahaha! Zilla if you happen to read this, you've toured the country, you've opened for legends in the game bro, crabs like this are the reason they never get out of the bucket!

John
John

When was the last time you heard anyone banging "Southwestern Rap?" Shit sounds like it would be sold at Chili's.

 
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