Clean Guns Vs. Wu-Tang: The Coming

In conjunction with our brother from another mother site, Clean Guns (Nico the Beast + Zilla Rocca) is gearing up to drop their first project in almost three years (check the catalogue on CD Baby, suckas!)

In honor of the east coast hip hop institution that is the Wu-Tang Clan, Clean Guns & are partnering up for the recreation project titled One in the 36th Chamber.  Instead of rapping over classic Shaolin instrumentals, producers are remaking Wu joints from the highly publicized (“Criminology”, “Bring the Pain”) to the slept-on (Inspectah Deck’s “Elevation”, Raekwon’s “Jury”). 

Before the full project is released for free download, will be leaking some promo cuts of Clean Guns going in on Wu-Tang instrumentals.  This week we have Nico the Beast putting a hurtin’ on “Triumph”. 

Look, listen, and observe Nico’s 5 minute plus freestyle at


Nico the Beast Live & Direct

Shouts to Kane getting his Spielberg on working the camera.  Shouts to the bodega on 8th and Moyamensing for not calling the cops last night. 

Make sure you follow Nico on Twitter too!  If you’re a producer or MC looking to do some work, the man is highly accessible and ready to get it in!

Altered Beast: Rise From Your Grave

Photo by Perry Lassin

For the first time since 2005, Nico the Beast slowed the assembly line of punishing, technically flawless lines released on a consistent basis to his growing fanbase.  A near fatal car crash in April of 2009, which resulted in the loss of a dear friend, put Nico in a temporary holding pattern.  Nonetheless, five days after the accident and not even two days home from the hospital, he was back on stage with one good leg supporting him, wowing the Philadelphia hip hop community through sheer will. 

The message was clear: not even a brief visit with death would stop him from his passion.  

Barely a month after the accident, he was performing in Miami with The Rap Pack and flew home just in time to witness the birth of his third child and first son Domenic Zarrella Jr.  Though the physical and psychological toll of the trauma hadn’t worn off from the crash, a new child appeared to bring light to a rebuilding man.

Sadly, Domenic Zarrella Jr. passed away without warning, not even 8 weeks old, from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). We all stopped everything.  Suddenly, music meant nothing.  It still has been hard to stay motivated because all our hearts and prayers are with the entire Zarrella family almost five months later. 

Photo by Liz Padova

But the Beast survives and endures.  Though he’s been relatively quiet to the public, he has been laboring away in the studio as always, for therapeutic purposes, sure, but also to prove something: he is never satisfied.  Even recently, before Christmas, another close friend of his passed away prematurely from a rare heart disease (RIP Jamal Thomas).  Death keeps calling, but Nico keeps walking. He has no other choice but to shine for himself, his family, and his close friends who have held him down for years.   

These few tracks give you an idea of what happened recently, and is what happening next to South Philly’s finest rhymer:

Never Stop (prod by Korn Swagger) : A call to arms, a future showstopper, dare we say “anthem” produced by iStandard Producer finalist Korn Swagger of North Philadelphia.

Make Believe ft. Vixion  (prod by Vanderslice) : An introspective converstaion with God on the past year, the aftermath of tragedy still in his sights, with an accent of Vixion on the hook.  Produced by industry vet Vanderslice.

Wake The Beast (prod by Vanderslice) : Right for the jugular.  No bones about it — just vicious “come see me” ish.  Don’t wake a sleeping giant, nor a beast. 

Golden ft. Vixion (prod by Stupid Genius) : An uptempo potential crossover song warning current rappers to stay honest rather than exaggerate to get on.  Produced by iStandard Producer vet Stupid Genius of Miami, who also handled “It’s Your Choice” from No Beast So Fierce.

We at Beat Garden THANK YOU for all the well wishes, prayers, and donations made to the Zarrella family and for your continued support of Nico the Beast’s music.  Make sure you follow Nico on Twitter and check out his Reverb Nation page for more new music!

Nico the Beast LIVE TONIGHT!

Photo by SnapKracker

Why they wanna wake the Beast?

Come rock with South Philly’s Monster, Nico the Beast, alongside YBMusic’s Symbols of Sex ft Distant Starr, 2ew Gunn Ciz and Steeve Leevy.
Music by DJ No Phrillz of Exponent Entertainment, and the Villa.
Fluid Night Club.  4th St between South St and Bainbridge.
Cover is $10. 21+
Doors open at 9 pm.
NEW Nico the Beast “Never Stop” sampler video!

Pictures from the Benefit For Domenic Zarrella Jr. 11/28/09

Nico the Beast.

Clean Guns

Reef the Lost Cauze

Bianca Zarrella

The Zarrella Family

Visit Liz Padova’s Flickr page for all the photos.

Flyer for Curly Castro & DJ Ambush Mixtape Release Party

This Thursday night @ the revamped Arts Garage!

WORLD PREMIERE! 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers “High Noon” video

Directed by Zilla Rocca
Produced by Curly Castro
Filmed and edited by Jimmy Giambrone
Co-starring Nico the Beast, Jawnzap7, and Liz Padova

Taken from the 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers LP The Slow Twilight