With the rap game being so diverse now-a-days, it’s hard to fathom that critics could still desire more, but there must BE truth in the saying, give people an inch, and folks will want a mile. On any given rap CD, you just might get your feel of hardcore, gangsta rap, or you may get your taste of an artist belting out R&B like tunes…all of which could happen on the same album. It may come down to simple arithmetic; are artists increasing their craft by taking risks, or are they a contribution to what some see as the slow, but continuous murder of record sales and hip hop. While last year showed us that hip hop is obviously still alive (or the fact that it’s still possible to go platinum in your 1st week), it’s evident that the game is still missing something…
Or so I though, until I walked in (late) to a private listening party for Block Ent.’s hood-figga #1, Gorilla Zoe’s “Don’t Feed Da Animals”. After listening to a couple of tracks, it quickly became evident that Zoe’s musical sense is moving with the time, and he’s gearing up for the release of a classic!
Gorilla Zoe is no mystery to the game right now. After his stint with the group Boyz N Da Hood, whose original members were Jody Breeze, Big Gee, Duke, and Young Jeezy…and rumored members included T.I., Lil Wayne, & Ric Ross, Zoe has continued to maintain a sense of musical independence, which is probably why his lifeline with the group was a short as it was. I guess it’s safe to say you can’t contain a beast forever!
Some argue that Zoe was a certified “animal” after releasing his 1st hit single “Hood *igga” in 2007, which prominently featured his Boyz N Da Hood replacee, Young Jeezy on the remix, but others give him that credit after dropping “Lost”, which features a sick verse by ex-tour mate Lil Wayne on the mixtape version; but what exactly does it take to be a beast in the game? Is it longevity? Is it based upon pure talent? Or does it even take a specific formula? With all things taken into account, Zoe & his camp have set a pavement that’s rightfully respected.
“I’ve just been working hard man…” Zoe takes some time to reflect on his work ethic and grind, which is a major reason that he’s stepping out of the Zoo, and being tempted to eat…which we all know isn’t literal since Zoe has been working hard to drop the pounds with his weight loss challenge, which is all over youtube right now. When you’re not seeing Zoe on television or the computer, you can best believe he’s getting “lost” right on the Eastside of Atlanta inside of the studio where all the magic takes place. “I’ve been taking time to learn my craft and I’m ready to show the world the difference between a 1st and the 2nd album”.
Zoe recently took some time away from the Zoo while hitting the road on the “I Am Music” Tour with Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Gym Class Heroes, and Keri Hilson. It didn’t take Zoe a ling time to win the crowd over, but then again, good music definitely speaks for itself. As if Zoe’s personal set wasn’t enough, you know he couldn’t resist hitting the stage with Weezy to perform the hit that kept his name afloat all summer long. Fans literally left the concert wanting to know more about Zoe, which is a good look when you’re an intro artist looking for the notoriety to get you to the top. So Is Zoe on his way to the top?
To answer that question, you’ll have to rush out and cop your own copy of “Don’t Feed Da Animals” on March 17th. The album is definitely one that the masses will see as futuristic and ahead of the times, but as we had to do with Kanye’s “808’s & Heartbreak”, you have to lend a completely open ear and catch on before you’re the only one sleeping. The album is jam packed with an all-star roster of producers and contributing artists including Jazze Pha, Polow Da Don, Drumma Boy, DJ Toomp, Block, Keri Hilson, Shawn Kingston, Rick Ross, Yung Joc, Gucci Mane, and many more. That guest cast alone speaks volumes for the nature of the album, but when you get into the tracks, you quickly feel the same type of vibe that Zoe added to Timbaland’s “Apologize” Remix. Zoe has the perfect mixture of electronica fun beats mixed over hardcore hooks and verses which definitely solidifies as a staple in hip hop. Be watching out for Zoe…he’s definitely one animal that you don’t want to sleep on or you too may be forced out of your safety zone so Zoe can infiltrate your habitat.