The Wax Man Cometh: Zachg's South.Florida.Mountains. is out now.
Hey, this is Zach. I am very happy to have released my debut album. I spent 15 months working on this music from the time I started making beats until the time I quit mixing (my apologies for any inconsistencies in the mix, but my eardrum ruptured on a flight about halfway through the process, and the effects can certainly be heard). And it took 15 years from the time I started rapping. I'm a patient guy, and I like things to happen naturally, so I spent a long long time getting good at rapping, and then more time going very deep into the history of both music, and the act of listening (I taught myself traps, took lessons in tabla for 4 years, and got an MA studying the history of sampling for starters).
In my music I showcase a persona that is amplified from my quotidian self, but nonetheless real. Those who have seen me in trying and elated times know this, but for those who know me only casually much of my persona is unexpected. But if you listen past the surface of the sounds you will find all of the wisdom and knowledge and perspective I have accumulated thus far in my life. I truly believe that I have something to offer the world that goes beyond a trend, or something momentary. I hope that you will find in this music, and these words, an increased capacity to know and live your own life. It's not easy doing something impossible. And patience in its truest form is not something serene, but riddled with doubt and pain. But people hold on, it gets better I promise.
In the last 20 years rap music has changed the way that our society looks at the narcotics trade. It has become a realm akin to the Wild West, and organized crime. Today the mythic lore of the cocaine industry has become a staple of hip hop and pop culture. But through it all the results have been rather typical and predictable: sell drugs, be bad, get rich, and maybe lose it all. But for those who have experienced the drug trade, the wide variety of experiences that it yields goes well beyond tales of rags to riches. Zachg is the first artist to emerge with first hand tales of South Florida's cocaine industry, and a unique unheralded perspective. At the age of 10 he was placed under police protection from Griselda Blanco, the Queen of Cocaine. The "g" in Zachg stands for Granger, which is Zach's middle name. It came from a drug smuggler. Zachg's existence--inextricably bound to the cocaine industry---forces us to re-examine everything we think we know about wrong and right, and black and white.
We know how to handle the neat and tidy tales of people getting rich from selling drugs. But how about the lawyer who represents all the real drug dealers and drug smugglers? What's that story like, and what can it tell us about our society? And further, what is it like for the children of that lawyer? What happens to young people who grow up subjected to the circumstances of the drug trade, and call criminals friend? Do they lose themselves and conform to society's singular prescription of wrong and right, or do they fracture reality and change society to accommodate their robust perspective? This record asks those questions and gives the audience a space to find the answers.
Zachg is not white, and Zachg is not black. He is somewhere in between collapsing the assumptions that support such divisive summaries of people. He has an MA from NYU studying the history of sampling and avant garde music, but he was first arrested at the age of 9. He grew up in a gated community, but he has been homeless, and sold weed to be able to afford to eat. On South.Florida.Mountains. you will find what one man driven by the force of the narcotics trade is capable of. Zachg did the raps, he did the beats, he recorded the sessions, and he mixed the whole album. He also founded the label, did the art, and did all the PR. This is the story of one man doing things that other people said would be impossible, and succeeding without making a fuss about it. This record is the culmination of 15 years of careful artistic practice, and thoughtful meditation on a life filled with amazing experiences. Our society often uses the phrase "move a mountain," to describe a seemingly impossible feat. This album is about the even more impossible feat of revealing mountains where the rest of the world sees none, and then moving them.
South.Florida.Mountains. is available on iTunes and all other digital music vendors and streaming platforms now, with special limited handmade-physical-disc-packages coming late May.
Zachg is a rapper/producer/engineer; journalist and A&R for Mishka; journalist and A&R for Wax Poetics; community developer for Nomic. He is Jewish, from Broward County, born in 1981. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and also reps for Orlando, New York, Oakland, Humboldt, and San Francisco.