by Joe Biglin Music What Would Meek Do?

City Morgue | Vol. 1: Hell or High Water

December 1, 2018

In the rap game, it’s hard to differentiate bluster from authenticity — or as ZillaKami puts it on “GraveHop187”: “Y’all ni**as bluffin’ / Not bangin’.” Zilla started off ghostwriting 6ix9ine verses, and together with his friend SosMula, the duo are not afraid to get downright violent on their debut mixtape as City Morgue, Vol. 1: Hell or High Water. The results are terrifying and often electric: Like Waka on Flockaveli, Zilla and Mula create a sonically unrelenting, uncompromising release that distorts the view of their environment through the lens of a historical document, not unlike $uicideboy$ recent mixtape. The two rappers tag-team through verses about violence and drugs, with the biggest difference between them being what matters most in the SoundCloud rap scene: the qualities of their voices.

Zilla’s is a monstrous roar, like that of the city-destroyer he’s named after, and it’s a sound that can cut through metal — or, at least, the heavy metal guitar-and-bass instrumentation that accompanies most tracks. Mula’s higher register swaggers more, like a deranged sidekick high on… something he personally cooked up. There’s definite focus here too, though — just listen to “Arson,” with its chorus of “Kill kids/ Hang kids / City Morgue kill shit.” Or “Lamborghini Getaway,” which gets a slow-motion, sneering flow. Or really any track. Again like Waka, City Morgue have a deep understanding of their own appeal; they can craft a hook with ease; and their flow is effortless. Unlike Waka, there isn’t generally much variety or development to be found here. But that’s not the point just yet: this project runs a cool 30 minutes, and as a first volume it leaves one anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Published as part of What Would Meek Do?  | Issue 4