The Break Presents: City Morgue
In hip-hop, you have to carve your own path to make it big. The culture has always praised marching to the beat of your own drum, and as such, New York duo City Morgue does what it wants.
ZillaKami and SosMula, two New Yorkers on different paths, teamed up in 2016. Zilla wanted to do something new with rap after growing up on rock, noticing Tyler, The Creator's ability to bend hip-hop's rules. SosMula, who was fresh out of prison and had been rapping since he was a child, wanted to use his newfound freedom to take the craft seriously. Their violent lyrics and extremely graphic videos, which depict drug use and guns, have made them equal parts eye-catching and infamous.
Zilla was once friends with (and allegedly ghostwrote for) the maligned 6ix9ine, but they had a falling out. Zilla released footage of 6ix9ine fondling a girl who would be confirmed underage, the first exposure of the rapper's legal issues. Leaving that beef behind, Sos and Zilla continued to make music, with early songs like "Shinners 13" and "Sk8 Head" racking up millions of listens on Soundcloud. Last year marked the release of their debut project, City Morgue Vol. 1: Hell Or High Water, followed a little over a year later by City Morgue Vol. 2: As Good As Dead, which dropped in December. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock albums chart. Now on DSPs for the first time this year and gaining more than 20 million streams, City Morgue is off and running. Good luck slowing them down.
Get to know City Morgue in this week's edition of XXL's The Break.
Age: ZillaKami, 21; SosMula, "300 years old"
Hometown: ZillaKami, Bay Shore, N.Y.; SosMula, Harlem
I grew up listening to:
Sos: "I grew up on a little bit of everything—mainly rap. 'Cause my moms listens to everything. My first favorite rapper was probably Eminem. My mom's boyfriend at the time had the CD, Slim Shady LP. [He] just gave me that shit one day. Started making music OD. Rap specifically. Prolly got into rap when I was 11."
Zilla: "I grew up listening to Gorilla Biscuits, Agnostic Front, shit like that. Later, my friend put me on to nu-metal, so I was listening to Slipknot, Korn and all that bullshit. That's basically all I grew up on. 'Til like 16, 15-16, I started listening [to rap]. I heard Tyler, The Creator. I didn't actually like rap at the time. I was like, "Oh rap can actually be pretty cool." I wasn't into modern rap; I used to listen to old shit, like Shyne."
My style’s been compared to:
Sos: "I be hearing all kinds [of comparisons] on the Internet—I look like this person. I look like someone new every day. The people that be saying certain shit, they just don't know. Those are trolls on the internet."
Zilla: "You could make a whole new genre. 'He sounds like this guy!'"
Sos: "Look at Desiigner. When 'Panda' came out, everybody thought that was Future, but once Desiigner really blew, you knew his sound."
My standout songs to date have been:
Zilla: "'33rd Blakk Glass,' 'Sk8 Head.'"
Sos: "A song I had with Bonez MC from Germany. That shit streamed OD on Spotify."
My most slept-on song is:
Zilla: "'Drag Me To Hell.' It wasn't really slept-on, it was just the SoundCloud era. We gonna get 1 million, 3 million views. We knew we were gonna get that much, and it was gonna stay there. We'd get on the Trending shit all the time, but it didn't matter."
My standout moments to date have been:
Sos: "I haven't had a big moment yet. It's just regular. Definitely, we going up. Drake didn't post me yet. When Drake hit me in that DM, I know it's real. And I can't go to Canada; he gotta get me in.
Most people don’t know:
Sos: "I got an attitude problem if i don't smoke weed."
Zilla: "I like Golden Boys, the Henry, the rifle. A gold gun that shoots .45s. You can get it in the game Red Dead Redemption.
We're going to blow up because:
Sos: "I know for a fact we're gonna blow up, because it just hasn't been done before. I feel like it's just a matter of time. We got the cult fanbase. We got everything. It's just a matter of time before everybody fucks with it. This new album, though? You wanna able to listen to this shit when you about to go to sleep, when you chillin, you might be with a girl. You can't listen to 'Sk8 Head' when you're with a girl.
Zilla: "Girls be turning on my old music, I be like 'Turn that shit off! Tryna listen to some regular shit.'"
We're going to be the next:
Sos: "I dunno man. I wanna be legendary, though. I don't just wanna be here for two years, one year."
Zilla: "I wanna be the next SlipKnot. They sell out arenas quick."
Follow City Morgue on Instagram and SoundCloud.
"33rd Blakk Glass"
See 25 of the Best Hip-Hop Album Outros Since 2000