Why you love ZillaKami, not 6IX9INE
When people hear 6IX9INE for the first time they are unknowingly listening to ZillKami. Everything from 6IX9INE's energetic delivery to his colorful appearance has been carefully curated by ZillaKami to generate maximum artistic shock. In some sense, 6IX9INE is a clone, a product of ZillaKami's ethos. Since 6IX9INE's career is intrinsically linked to ZillaKami, it's difficult, if not impossible, to separate 6IX9INE'S success from ZillaKami as Kami has played an instrumental role behind the scene as his, stylist, writer, and collaborator.
ZillaKami is really the total package and it is time people took note of him. An OG of the underground Brooklyn scene from which he and 6IX9INE first sprouted, ZillaKami was introduced to Tekashi69 as merely another local client in need of ghostwriting. Known for toting an AT-4, leather spikes, and tiger-stripe face tattoos, one scroll through Kami's Instagram is enough to instantly recognize the origins of 6IX9INE's aesthetic and influence. However, what caught 6IX9INE’s eye was not only Kami’s style but also his menacing lyrics and headphone-shattering delivery.
In case you didn’t know, or still aren’t convinced, ZillaKami is more than just 6IX9INE's ghostwriter or collaborator. His work with fellow Brooklyn rapper Sosmula has cemented the young icon amongst his peers. Recently both signed million dollar deals with Republic and their recent three-song EP "Be Patient" is merely a taste of their upcoming "City Morgue" project. Yet, despite his musical talent and newfound commercial success ZillaKami is still best known for his Instagram stylings which have quickly surpassed him almost 120k followers while most of his solo tracks, not posted on the HIKARI-ULTRA page, barely have amassed 40k plays.
What explains this discrepancy? Well, for one, 6IX9INE's catapulted fame is perhaps a result of ZillaKami's sound. Therefore, instead of new listeners being taken aback by ZillaKami's awe-inspiring aesthetic they mistakenly view HIM as just another clone rather than as an originator. The painful result of 6IX9INE's success is a just another reminder of the music industry's textbook strategy of jacking the essence and swag of underground artists and branding it as their own. It should be ZillaKami on the Billboard charts, not 6IX9INE.
From the moment ZillaKami comes on the song "GO" I can't help but feel this man's spirit through the music. The hook brings enough energy to get even the most detached naysayer to grab the nearest object and throw it across the room.
The two can be seen together in their now infamous HELLSING STATION music video in which they terrorize the subway, set fire to the street and spread anarchy through the city. Oh, and they also surround themselves with opiate addicts. This introduction to ZillaKami is unforgettable and one in which Tekashi appears as his sidekick of the group rather than the main character. If it were not for his colorful tattoos and antics there is no doubt in mind 6IX9INE would have only been a footnote in ZillaKami's discography.
However, I'm sure this was 6IX9INE's plan all along. He knew, probably instantly, he lacked the style, artistry, and talent of ZillaKami. The only way he could stand out was through his debauchery and criminal stunts. However, instead of these visual acts intriguing the audience's connection with the music, they only drew attention to the man himself - not the art. Therefore, 6IX9INE is merely another modern shyster interested only in progressing his personal brand and ultimately unconcerned with his impact on the music scene he has sadly disrupted. ZillaKami is the one who will be remembered.