How NYC rappers ZillaKami and SosMula are reinventing nu-metal and creating their own world and cult
ZillaKami doesn't want to talk about the rocket launcher.
In case you missed it, at the end of the video for "33rd Blakk Glass," which features yet another sojourn into City Morgue's sooty, murderous universe and has amassed nearly 3 million views on YouTube along the way, ZillaKami creeps through a musty apartment, slips through the bedroom door and flips over a bare mattress lying on the ground. There, he retrieves what appears to be a gold-plated rocket-propelled grenade — the sort of weaponry you use to destroy armored tanks and helicopters. For the past year we've watched City Morgue crush pills, bump lines and shoot rounds in the air, but this was new territory. How on earth did they get their hands on an RPG? Is it real? Is everything going to be OK?
"That's a touchy subject," he laughs. "A lot has happened because of that RPG."
Such is the mystery of City Morgue, one of rap's most gripping millennial insurgencies. ZillaKami and his partner SosMula earned their notoriety by remaining militantly, oppressively brutal. Their debut mixtape, City Morgue Vol. 1: Hell or High Water, is full of queasy synth, destabilizing bass and disconcerting bars — but the full experience will always be best digested through their music videos. Tune in, and you'll catch two stringy kids in patched-up denim and vampire jewelry, indulging in the grimmest of excess on the streets of New York. It is hip-hop, in the sense that they are definitely rapping, but their tone and mythos brings to mind shock rock and extreme metal. So many guns, so many drugs, so many eerie, lip-curled omens that hit like a cannonball. On Hell or High Water closer "Sk8 Head," Sos announces his arrival by calling us the "school teacher" and him the "school shooter." If they get any more famous, they might summon up an old-fashioned congressional moral panic. The only difference is that City Morgue never needed to backmask any evil — it gleefully pops right off the record.