One of hip hop’s most intriguing voices finds parallels in heavy music with clown of Slipknot
In a conversation that seemed to carry some added generational importance, clown of Slipknot welcomed Zillakami of the hip hop phenomenon City Morgue for the latest installment of the Electric Theater series.
Though on opposite ends of the spectrum stylistically, clown and Zilla quickly found common ground when discussing the similarly heavy themes of their respective genres. For Zilla, the old adage of life imitating art can become a chaotic balancing act.
“I feel like the crazier I get in music, the crazier my life gets. Whether it be like, me talking too crazy about like death and then like someone dies around me. I feel like that’s true. I can talk that into existence,” explains Zilla. Citing the need to be authentic in his craft, Zillakami also confides a desire to find some kind of positive in exploring that darkness.
clown would continue to delve into the authenticity of City Morgue’s music given the heady subject matter. Citing what he refers to as “hyperbole” in hip hop, Zillakami referenced their controversial “Shinners 13” video as a sort of documentary – a real glimpse at what the climate was like at that time for both he and his counterpart, Sosmula. Guns, drugs, and depravity, while Zilla admits things have cooled since, it was all a snapshot of reality at that time.
Establishing that authenticity is important, both clown and Zillakami would also agree that anger is an added intangible that makes good art great. While discussing some of the technical aspects associated with making music, the two rallied around the concept of letting the anger of a song take precedence. “Aggression shows no matter what BPM,” explains Zilla. “If you are actually angry and you are trying to let it out, they are gonna know.”
That cross-section of authenticity and emotion was a theme that would resonate throughout the conversation. Zillakami cited his love for hardcore bands like Knocked Loose, Turnstile, and Title Fight as mainstays in his rotation. Finding an analogy for life in the breakdowns of heavy songs Zilla explained how that element always has his attention – he even cited a Slipknot breakdown in the track “Before I Forget” as one of his favorites.
Listen to the complete conversation between Zillakami of City Morgue and clown of Slipknot in The Electric Theater.