“The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.”—Philip K. Dick
“When it was over, all I could think about was how this entire notion of oneself, what we are, is just this logical structure, a place to momentarily house all the abstractions. It was a time to become conscious, to give form and coherence to the mystery, and I had been a part of that. It was a gift. Life was raging all around me and every moment was magical. I loved all the people, dealing with all the contradictory impulses - that’s what I loved the most, connecting with the people. Looking back, that’s all that really mattered.”—Quiet Woman at Restaurant
“Being an artist separates you from things in general. One’s mind is working at a faster, more sensitive, more rapid, eye-batting level than most people’s. Most people, let’s say, have ten perceptions per minute, whereas an artist has about sixty or seventy perceptions per minute. I think that’s honestly the reason why so many writers drink or take pills or whatever: to calm themselves down, to quiet this continuous, rapid-running machine. know that’s why Tennessee Williams did. He had to take sedatives and drinks like that because he had one of the most rapid-running, perceptive minds. He didn’t sleep very well.”—Truman Capote, Conversations with Capote, Lawrence Grobel. (via mynxiiwhite)
“Besides any of its intimidating artistic merits, 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers’ 2009 debut, ‘The Slow Twilight’ was timely. Arriving right when a major sea change was sweeping through American rap music, Zilla Rocca and Douglas Martin leveraged that album’s success into some significant creative momentum. The impetus is starting to spread, first on Shadowboxer associate Curly Castro’s record, ‘Winston’s Appeal’, and now to Zilla Rocca’s own solo EP, ‘Bad Weather Classic’. This is a more direct record than the Shadowboxers’ somersaulting output, and finds Zilla in urgent, abrasive form. It’s also a further advertisement for the Philly street-savant’s own production skills: ‘Never Should I Lose You’ shuffles and steps with confidence, while a lonely northeast winter blows through closing instrumental, ‘Midnight Mask’. Featuring both Castro and producer Face-One, ‘Bad Weather Classic’ is rap music for the head, heart and heels.”—Matt Shea, page 19 in this month’s SCENE magazine in Austrailia
"Bella Coola" by Zilla Rocca. Made this for an unreleased producer compilation in ‘08. Since the feedback I got was so strong for "Midnight Mask" off Bad Weather Classic, I raided the vaults at the International Dart Parlour and whipped the dust off this apricot. I flipped a very recognizable sample used by two giants from 90’s rap, one of which has a plastic face.
The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.
When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.
“Let’s just get down to the straight up and down real to real: lyrics and beats. That’s what it’s all about right? It’s all about the lyrics and the beats. ‘How’s the beat?’ ‘The beat is bangin’.’ ‘How’s the rhymes?’ ‘The rhymes is BANGIN’.’”—
When I met Zilla Rocca, my collaborator in 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers, for the first time in Los Angeles this past fall, he was fresh from performing in Arizona along with an incredibly smart dreadlocked dude who freestyled from the passenger seat of Jeff’s SUV and quietly took in his surroundings almost every other moment. I’ve had short, cordial e-mail exchanges with Curly Castro, and I probably sent him the beat he raps over here long before I met him, but having the chance to build with him in LA was an experience in observation that was genuinely enlightening in ways I’m at a loss to express.
Anyway, Jeff’s writeup on “Minefield,” the first single from Castro’s Fidel LP (which, since I want to give him more beats, is still in production), is written with an amount sublime eloquence that only Jeff can muster. This beat was forged with a small handful of samples: Indonesian psych, Black Francis’ inimitable shout, a Fleet Foxes sample that only few indie nerds will spot, and a Radiohead sample that’s even less noticeable. When I was sent the completed track, I e-mailed Cas mid-song with a message exclusively written in caps. Hopefully you’ll listen to this track (twenty times) and share my excitement.