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You’ve probably noticed the latest trend rippling through hip-hop: rappers who don’t want to be rappers. Lil Wayne’s guzzled so much drank, he thinks he’s the frontman of Staind. Kanye wants to be Tom Ford. Mickey Factz believes he’s the token black dude in Ed Banger. Charles Hamilton wants to be a pink hedgehog. The rest announce their retirement before anyone ever cared in the first place. Rap, rock, and dance are on a collision course that suggests that no one remembers that only a decade ago, Fred Durst did it all for “the nookie.”

So why the 5 0’ Clock Shadowboxers? After all, fans of cartoon diet-coke rap will bitch that The Slow Twilight is too “intellectual”— it isn’t, it’s just smart. The backpackers in their bunkers will lament the Shadowboxer resistance to rehashing familiar but faded forms. Indie snobs will smugly and cynically cluck about the recognizability of the Slow Twilight’s samples. Yeah, The Velvet Underground, Radiohead, and The Unicorns appear, but people forget that Sugar Hill jacked Chic’s “Good Times,” and Flash lifted “White Lines” from Liquid Liquid—just months after it first hit wax. Besides, hip-hop was never about what you flipped, but how you flipped it. And with their inexorable impulse towards innovation, producer, Blurry Drones and rapper, Zilla Rocca, establish a new paradigm for what hip-hop can sound like in 2009.

Combining the best attributes of his predecessors, South Philly-raised Zilla, writes with a scrambled poetics resembling Aesop Rock, minus the esotericism and inaccessibility. His ability to catalogue relationship pitfalls is worthy of Slug (Atmosphere), without the emo-rambling, and his scythe-sharp punchlines are as witty any Scribble Jam vet, with no elliptical ramblings about lyrics, nor any played-out notions about “that real hip-hop.”

Stitched together with clips from the New York City noir flick, Blast of Silence, cinematic is the operative cliché at hand. There’s something crepuscular about The Slow Twilight—a record haunted by a grueling paranoia that only makes sense after the sun sets. Zilla Rocca catalogues “the worst year of [his] life,” without wallowing in soft-headed indulgence, balancing a nuanced introspection with that essential element of good hip-hop: if you crank it up, it knocks.

Lead track, “No Resolution” illuminates the aesthetic, with the shattered whelp of “Venus in Furs,” colliding with the warm-blooded break beat from “Impeach the President.” “High Noon” features a hook that pays homage to Gza and a Spaghetti Western Spindrift sample. “Stay Clean” pares a chipmunked Elliot Smith loop to Al Green’s infamous drums from “I’m Glad Your Mine”—not out of novelty, but because it sounds great.

If this sounds like an album archetypal for the blog age, that’s because it is. In addition to recording funereal folk under the Fresh Cherries from Yakima alias, the producer born, Douglas Martin, writes incisive music criticism at Freshcherriesfromyakima.com. In addition to rooting against the Philadelphia Eagles, Zilla Rocca operates Clapcowards.com, where he compares rap labels to major league baseball team and hates with comic impunity.

5 0’ Clock Shadowboxers formed not out of serendipity or geographic proximity, but via shared artistic ideals, and the desire to create something wholly new. A singular synthesis of indie rock and classic rap, The Slow Twilight marks the debut of an exciting new duo. If most rappers are color cartoons, it would only make sense that an alternative would emerge from the black and white shadows.
-Jeff Weiss


released June 23, 2009

All beats by Douglas Martin aka Blurry Drones
All lyrics by Zilla Rocca (S.Zales) for Three Dollar Pistol Music (ASCAP) except "Rabbit Season" and "Dead Queens", lyrics by Zilla Rocca (S. Zales) for Three Dollar Pistol Music and Nico the Beast (D. Zarrella) for Domenic Zarrella Music (ASCAP)
All songs produced by 5 O'Clock Shadowboxers
Recorded @ Yadibox Studios (Wynnefield, PA) and Lizard Lounge III (Riverton, NJ)
Mixed and Mastered by Zilla Rocca
A&R: Jeff Weiss
Artwork by Danielle Zarrella
Photography by Jimmy Giambrone


all rights reserved



Three Dollar Pistol Music Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Zilla Rocca: The #1 Bourbon General. The Career Crook. The Future Former Rapper. The man with a '96 Mentality. The owner of Three Dollar Pistol Music. The calm voice amongst the Wrecking Crew. South Philly's finest crime author.

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Track Name: No Resolution
Soul on ice, ice replaced gold
Statistics replaced lives in my zipcode

I'm outside the diner with violent priors
Like the Crow, fighting fire with fire, why I didn’t know
See I missed the boat, it sailed off
I’m savage, ducking the cops and I don’t wanna see the bailif
Psycho, Christian Bale, I wish you hell
Scraped by robbing kids by the wishing well
There’s no resolution anywhere, everybody’s roaming free
Or thumping bibles or cloning sheep
My phone’s on the hook, no peace
My ex ran off with all my Radiohead CD’s
Fuck, I need an airbag to go off to get some sleep
Stay loyal to dayjob cause debt don’t cheat
Or you get cut off from the outside, outside
Shadowboxers work late, it’s about 9
And I got my 5 on it like Trey Nicks
With 1 day until vacay like day 6

There’s blood on the doughnuts, my flow is a dope rush
And no resolution will save you tonight!
Now I sleep with black lights and Soviet satellites
And no resolution will save you tonight!
Pay your taxes, don’t ask why and don’t cry
Cause no resolution will save you tonight!
It’s the shortcut to a shorter life, that’s right
And no resolution will save you tonight!

Invest in my ideas, I’m here
You want war? I’m the boss in Bosnia
And I haven’t seen my wife in 8 months, 3 days, 12 minutes
Heat wave, sun simmers each day
Gun quivers from the trigger finger families
Who kick a Johnny Cage fatality
Fatefully, you facing bullies with no face
Ain’t wearing hoodies, no trace, closed case, wait for me
Informant’s at the precint telling lies
Indecent, I had his wife in a corset
Pulling threads off my sweater, they try to unravel me
Like Weezer, but hipsters can’t battle me
Ebeneezer vs Jacob Marley
A two-seater vs a Harley in Harlem, the man’s a heater
My era’s vulgaris like pallbearers who dropped their parents
Or Jesus Christ running off to get married


Bootybox for the speaker show
Spitting that Blacksheep or Cheeba Cheeba flow, man it’s all good
I eat em like saltines on French onion soup
Or Alpha Bits, watch your P’s and Q’s dude
This is high resolution, Iraqis shooting
Sliding money out his wallet when daddy’s snoozing
Uh-oh, switch to Plan B, another goddamn speech
Begging for gas money for Grand Prix’s
She’s asleep in my duck down Camry
Ante up, no Grammy Family here baby, give me pub
Every day on the dot com daily
I’m the Champ Boss Bailey, and you are hot rarely
Bring me your sick, your weak and your downtrodden
We will uprock, uplift, body rock them
Metal lungies or revolver, ain’t nothing proper
Even the queen eats a Whopper, you feel me?


Soul on ice, ice replaced gold
Statistics replaced lives in my zipcode
Track Name: High Noon
All garbage is bad, I don’t have a sliding scale
Live smart, dress sharp, leave your bitch out on bail
These beats here are more rare than clean air
I’d be scared if your beef was actually pre-pared
I saw an action figure on the ground, I took it
You figured you’d see action if the Garden wasn’t looking
Foolish, Fin Fang Foom shit
Your think tank clueless, big bang boom stick
Settle the smoke, I’m Doc Holiday with one lung
Breahe on tracks until I lay in the sun
Get ‘em, gonna get ‘em, gonna get ‘em, gonna hit the road
Get ‘em by the fireplace, my briefcase closed
Ha, saddle bag bitches better fix me lemonade
Before I throw an arrow at your face on December 8th
High noon can’t come any sooner
You don’t wanna live the life of a shooter, do ya?

Hook 2x
We rain all year round from June to June
While rappers bite immediately if not soon
Set the lynching, oh yeah we set the lynching
What up GZA

I seen a man still fail off his best shot
Cleaned his kitchen table with a wet sock
Sold a couple things to keep the bread hot
Then death squeezed harder on the headlock, he’s dust now
I don’t trust the smile on a waitress
Nor a dancer, who question themselves, you’re not the answer
Don’t fall for the damsel in the distress mess
They’ll starch all your shirts and I ain’t talkin bout best dressed
It’s one thing to be quick, one thing to be dead
Pick one, you’re a retard, a retread
I got that shit that makes Anton Chigurh shiver
Words linger, and kick dirt like a twister
And hit your liver like liqu-or, don’t whisper
Be seated with the breezy in your ride and be easy
Everything said stays between you and I
High noon’s almost here, baby do or die

Hook 2x

I got my Everclear sitting in a dirty fridge
It don’t concern me where you shit or where you live
And what on earth prompted to touch the kid
I’m a grown ass man with fucking hands that can dig
Any hole, any size, any soul, any prize
He’s eating devil’s pie, he sold me a lie
Don’t trust, don’t lust
The things inside my head’ll make the mayor go nuts
There’s no badge, but it’s legal this time
Speak Latin, don’t laskivio per mei
Don’t touch that, don’t come back, don’t bust back
You’ll wear a smoked tie and a dust hat, trust that
Every town has a story, but this one’s over
Like 2ew Gunn, I’m the sheriff, time to sit down soldier
I’m a legend when the books all burn
High noon, get your head out the dirt, we get berserk

Hook 2x
Track Name: Eric Lindros
A baboon on the boom bap bap
Getting dap from a monsoon, yo I’m bad news
A bad moon, you’re bathing ape, achoo!
God bless, you ain’t Shaq, I’ll still hack you
And take it back to the era of black dudes
When white kids gave a fuck, now they save their bucks
And big time rappers have to do away with trucks
Try talk to small labels, but ain’t saying much
Of anything, any king can polish a crown
When his people are impoverished that crown means nothing
You’re dominate now, that’s so trivial
Pursue something newer than a YouTube video
Like I give a damn who’s really the hottest?
Dan Marino with no rings saying he’s accomplished
That’s great when the stat sheet is heavy
The gesture is empty, Heartbreak 'em Tom Petty

Hook 2x
And that’s when the phone calls, chill for a minute, let’s see who else hot (Hot!)
And that’s when the phone calls, chill for a minute, let’s see who else hot (Eric Lindros!)

No I’m not hot, just even-tempered
Don’t listen to Stephen’s lectures, who the hell am I?
My music ain’t televised, out in Tel Aviv
Teenagers download my shit, tell a thief
To memorize it, and pay his Verizon
I cut out the fat and never Supersize shit
There’s no point, no symmetry, flow so swimmingly
Average Joe’s can’t spit with me
It’s ok to cry out for help
The emperor with no clothes with his eye on a belt
Still assed-out, your plans never pan out
I’d rather cut my hand off than ask for a hand-out

Hook 2x

So we ride from dark to light skies
Like a mariachi band in an unmarked van
Why? To play in front of maybe 10 heads
Cause me and Clive Davis ain’t best friends, we cool though
This ain’t about Lisa Kudrow or Toni Kukoc
It’s about moving on when money moves slow
And it’s only getting slower
Eric Lindros, let’s trade the future to blow up!

Hook 2x
Track Name: Four Speed Interlude
I grabbed a nickel off the ground, I thought I was a giant
In God's eyes I was still little
Hydrant soaking up the summer kids, we capped it off
Jumped puddles and we splashed the cars
Riding by, the trolley cars' cables would spark
Dom's parents had the hot cable box
We watched "Sandlot" thirty-one times for free
Wiffleball, second base was a pile of grease, never safe y'all
I stole quarters from my uncle's water jug
He asked me where it was and my shoulders would shrug
Three o'clock picking pieces off that hot dog buns
From my grandfather's trunk, very hungry still
My grandmother made the best tuna sandwiches
My eyes lit up like candle sticks
Old folks cleaning off the curb with a broke hose
Held together with duct table and God knows
We broke their windows and ran away
Hiding underneath cars on a beautiful day
The Fruit Man came by with the rotted out apples
We threw rocks at him, he gave us a mouthful
Breaking bottles at the park, hit the pool on a Wednesday
That was Boys Day, still no horseplay yeah
You had a four speed, you were OK
Kids would piss down the slide, that was NOT OK
A couple scenes from my youth that I'm giving to you
You weren't there, then it's just an interlude
Track Name: Bottomfeeders
Get together ‘fore I break you
Leggo your facial, blockheads failed outta gradeschool
Big dogs get bit first
My notebook is gorgeous, my chick don’t curse
Even if she did, she’d still be graceful
There’s 9 rappers I actually relate to
The rest are wasting my time
And their cabbage is babbage, a waste of a spine
You should’ve known better, I’m the go-getter
I’m the boss, you’re as soft as an old sweater
In the sun, in the pantry, guns loud as banshees
Kung Pow Comanche, you’re kidding me
You wanna knuckle up, first buckle up
I’m Travis Bickle, shucks I’m fucking nuts
Pacing back and forth in the apartment
For so long, there’s holes in the carpet
That’s nothing to be proud of, like your pedigree
Here’s a Prop Joe ‘cause you’re just dead to me
I got my collar popped like Hells Angels
And you report to Charlie, I’ll just spank you
Getting Big, I’ll just Tom Hanks you
A kid in some adult clothes trying to act grown
Oh no, I’m on the side of the road
Like a third world baby with flies on his nose
And that’s how y’all seen me ‘fore I got here
I see bad actors sitting in 2pac’s chair
On the set of Gridlock’d with Tim Roth
And he don’t fuckin know you, just piss off
I can’t breathe, shit is minimal
Fuck it, I do much more than just rappin
I’m watching sitcoms, and dropping sick bombs
Getting revenge on my bitch from the prom
She said this rapping shit wouldn’t suit me
Now she’s married to a d-bag in a hooptie
YouTube rappers yelling “Just shoot me”
Wearing candy colored hoodies, you tell me who’s fruity?
At times you’ll get lost when I’m spitting this
For god’s sake, show some Dharma intiative
Bad news won’t shake the Bishop
I’m an R&B dude singing “Smack My Bitch Up”
I’m LL writing “Rock the Bells”
I’m Omar buying new shotgun shells
No more comparisons, fuck it’s just Z
Fuck it, it’s just free from 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers
That’s the name we chose, keep starting
I’m right next to mob dudes like Dean Martin
I’m still smiling even when they get you
Fall back, I’ma let the strings hit you


So elegant, chandeliers and salad forks-es
I’m a mixtape without the corpses
We dropped one with the Carter on the cover
Not Shawn, not Wayne
I’m Zilla Roc but I don’t rock a chain
I’m crazy like a fox and I’m hot in Spain
Yeah, I was friends with the outcast metal kids
Still a nerd but I knew how to spit
Set the foundation like a new house and shit
I don’t play games I don’t own a Playstation
So focused, don’t bring the noise in
My neighbor had 5 pitbulls, had to poison them
Cold-hearted, no sleep, I can’t even blink
Spit fragments, that’s not how I think
Click massive, Beat Garden, stay clear
I’m on some lion heart shit, no beast so fierce
No beef in here will ever go bad
The real deal, second place you’re a stepdad
All these former friends I step past
Never seen my show, never bought my CD
So fuck you cause I never got a handout
And pardon me if I don’t give you a freebie
This greatness live every weekend
And it’s is a full-time job, stop fakin!
Motherfuckers got nothing to say
Just talk on hot beats and call it a day
If that’s you, don’t walk this way
Cause the dollar store ran outta chalk today, I’m empty
Sweet n low motherfuckers never blow
I pull ‘em off like buttons on a winter coat
You don’t know what tomorrow holds, wake up
I’m the ’85 Bears, I don’t play touch
Hut one, hut two, hunt you
I’m from South Philly, they don’t use kung fu
But I studied martial arts for 5 years
So I don’t need a fuckin gun to fuck you up
Here’s a crumb for the motherfuckin bottom feeders
I feed the bottom like Mother Theresa, see ya!
Sweet Jesus, I’m signing off shorty
Call me when you catch all this shit, I’ll be 40
Track Name: Rabbit Season f/ Nico the Beast
Beat by Douglas Martin aka Blurry Drones
Lyrics by Zilla Rocca (S.Zales) for Three Dollar Pistol Music (ASCAP) and Nico the Beast (D. Zarrella) for Domenic Zarrella Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Slow Twilight Outro
The slow twilight, the ghost says, "Night night"
My right hand, the Dice Man, co-wrote my night life
In small black letters, I attack all senders
Young Philadelphians we should’ve know better
Stepped to the stage with the Blues Brothers pistol
Unloaded new slang, felt like Cujo had bit you
The senate is a beast, the senators are good men
The world ends with a whimper, not a bang, hold hands
Never heard me spit a bullet out my face
Tap the bottle, leave the trumpet in the case
This that shit that makes the bartender close early
Makes crooked cops sleep good in New Jersey
Rigid suttersteper lepper loverboy
Cuddle up with Tolstoy, etch a record, null in void
Still annoyed how she left me at the restaurant
Mami wanted EZ Bake but I don’t rest my thoughts
Ever, and that’s my biggest detri-
Ment, my brain is a submarine, no place to vent
I heard a beat sent from homie, now I’m rolling
Writing fire like a Phoenix, Jean Grey’s glowing
We’re on a roll like we’ll never grow old
Make a million dollars and never fold clothes
Break away from critics and never Stone Rose
Be about our business and kill a no-show
That’s the Shadowboxer code
The Hellraiser neighbors jumping out the box you closed
Still about our paper even when the banks choked
This shit is free like the style that I chose
Intimately you know Z like your folks
We started this in January and now it’s getting cold
Again, I’ve been, across the map, and then
Threw away a verse like caution to the wind
Slowed down recording and offed my label head
I’d rather lose a beat then have my peeps say “We ain’t friends”
So I made a new pact
Anything I chose now, thou art that