HSV stays in my head these days. From getting down with G-Side to exploring the whole town I’ve found a wealth of music located in the region that maintains a distinct sound and direction from that of any other Southern community that pushes out rappers. Zilla’s tape, you can find my full review here, is an excellent addition to the HSV tradition and should have anyone who digs some trap rap enjoying it. Of course he doesn’t spend all his time talking about the pitfalls of a life in the streets, dedicating and equal amount of time to the dreams of a better life and discussions on how to escape the so called trap. Insightful rhymes over impressive audio tapestries. Definitely an album not to be ignored this year. Read on to learn a bit more about the man.
Introduce yourself to the readers who are unfamiliar with you and your music?
I’m Zilla, 28 year old up & coming rap/hip-hop artist representing Huntsville, Al and O’Third Ent.
How long have you been rapping? Are their projects people can hear you on prior to Zilla Shit?
I’ve been rapping since the age of 15. It’s been a couple of projects I was featured on prior to Zilla Shit including O’Third Ent’s In The Box (mixtape), O’Third Ent’s The Celebration (mixtape), G-Manes Sex, Drugs & Money (album). I was featured on Untamed Still Solid (mixtape) and numerous other mixtapes.
Born and raised in Huntsville?
Yep, born & raised. Northside of Huntsville to be exact.
How did your youth shape the music you are making today?
It shaped it a lot, as far as me having my first child while still in high school, parents divorcing when I was 10 or 11, loosing numerous family members and close friends to death or incarceration, u will hear it all in my music.
Are all the guests on Zilla Shit peers to you in the local HSV scene?
Yea for the most part, besides 2Eleven of Young Jeezy’s CTE.
Is the Huntsville rap community tight knit? Are you all supporting and helping push each other?
Yea we all try to stick together and support & help each other out as much as we can. And you have some that choose to stay to themselves, which I can’t knock’em for that.
What’s the story behind O’Third Entertainment?
Well I met DJ Cunta and BossMan at Speed Of Sound Studios, at the time they were in the studio all day & night, working!!! I respected they grind. To make a long story short, I got a phone call from Cunta one day, I think it was like the end of 2009, and he told me he wanted down with the O’Third movement and we made it happen. As far as how the label really got started you would have to ask Cunta & BossMan.
I see they are also credited with a lot of the beats on Zilla shit, who are the producers behind the name?
It’s production on the mixtape from BossMan of O’Third Ent, S.N.Y.P.A. also of O’Third Ent., R.Dot & Cees of A-Team & Ben Frank which was the producer of Yung LA’s hit single “Ain’t I” he’s also from Huntsville.
How long have you been down with this camp?
For about 2 years strong.
Southern rap has dominated the hiphop business for the better part of a decade, what kind of changes have you observed in the industry being located in the region that went from no one watching to everyone watching?
I think it’s our independent grind in the South. We on some “fuck a record deal” type of shit, we gone make it happen independently. So I feel these major labels look at us as a threat, so they come at us with the 360 deals, sign you, then shelf you. So to all my southern rap artist, be smart… if it dont make dollars, it dont make sense. Stay independent & keep grindin’.
Who were the first rappers you were listening too?
Eazy-E, N.W.A. and Ghetto Boys just to name a few.
G-Side has done a lot to show people the Huntsville scene, are the people of Huntsville behind the movement or does support from the city take more work?
Yea they have, them dudes got a hell of a grind. You got some that fuck with they music and some that don’t. I mean everybody ain’t gone like you, just simple as that. Just gotta do you. But as far as Huntsville go, it don’t take a lot of work, as long as your shit jammin they fuckin with it.
Are you getting out and rocking shows much? How would you describe a Zilla show?
Recently I haven’t, I was in a car wreck and broke my foot, so I’m recovering from that. But you can expect a Zilla show to be lots of energy, I really connect with the crowd. Basically just have fun with it.
Do you write to a beat or do you have rhymes on deck ready for the right beat?
Either or, most of the time I just let the beat run, pace back & forth for about 15 minutes. Verse done.
What’s in your ears today?
I’m mainly listening to me, trying to see what changes I need to make, really trying to perfect my craft. But I fucks with Big K.R.I.T., Don Trip, Tity Boi and a few others when I get a chance.
Any new music in the works?
O’Third Ent. Family Ties album & Zilla Shit 2.
Last words? Shout outs? Words of Wisdom? Rants?
S/O to everybody in Huntsville making moves on the music tip, the whole O’Third Ent., K-Dough, DJ Dow Jones, Miles High Music, Block Beattaz, G-Mane, Bentley, Slash, G-Side, Ziploc Moe (DGB), Steady Bloggin, J-Dirrt (Ballers Eve), 256,205,334,251. My bad if I forgot ya.