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!


Tonight We Celebrate The Life of Domenic Zarrella Jr.

Tonight is the most important event in the history of Beat Garden: the Benefit for Domenic Zarrella Jr aka Baby Beast.

If you cannot make it out tonight and still would like to make a donation, please email Zilla Rocca for more information:

We appreciate all of your support! See you tonight!

Beat Garden @ Tacony Billiards: DJ Too Tuff Benefit Show

Come out to support a Philly hip hop legend with your Beat Garden favorites!  Saturday night, y’all!

Trailer for DJ Too Tuff Benefit Show

This show is a MUST for any longtime Philly hip hop fans.  DJ TOO TUFF of Tuff Crew has contracted thyroid cancer, so Beat Garden is doing our part to get as many people to this show as possible.  All proceeds will go to Too Tuff’s medical bills!  Clean Guns, Triple Nickels, Vixion, an Big O will all be in the house along with alot of other great Philly artists.  Too Tuff played a vital part in spreading the word about, our sister company, and we’re doing our best to return the favor for this event.

Shouts to KANE for putting the even together!

Vixion is Artist of the Month


vixion pic

Head over to Philly’s Finest Rappers as Vixion grabs the spotlight for their Artist of the Month.

And here’s her dope remaking of Janet Jackson’s “Pleasure Principle” featuring Ms. Vaughn on the hook!

Vixion f/ Ms. Vaughn “Pleasure Principle”

Add Vixion on Facebook for more updates (she’s got alot going on ).

Audio of Vixion on The Rec Show via G Town Radio

Podcast of Vixion from last night’s episode of The REC Show

Vixion on G-Town Radio’s The REC Show

vixion g-town

Our good friends Cruze, Lonnie and Scholar3000 have already shown love to Clean Guns and Big O.  Now it’s Vixion’s turn!  Tune in Wednesday night from 8pm-10pm at