Gorilla Zoe Unleashes Sophomore Album Don’t Feed Da Animals
Block Entertainment/Bad Boy South/Atlantic recording artist, Gorilla Zoe, gears up for the release of his sophomore album, Don’t Feed Da Animals (September 23rd release) with single “On the Corner” featuring Sean Kingston. Gorilla Zoe’s debut “Welcome to the Zoo,” which peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums Chart, launched Gorilla Zoe’s unique raspy vocals with the hard-hitting street anthem “Hood Nigga.” Block Entertainment CEO Russell “Block” Spencer expects Don’t Feed Da Animals to exceed expectations set by the success of Welcome to the Zoo.
Gorilla Zoe builds anticipation for the forthcoming Don’t Feed Da Animals with buzz-worthy records, “Waddle” featuring Gucci Mane and “Dope Boy.” Production from the industry’s newest heavyweights, Justice League-“Pussy Talk” and “Neighborhood,” Don Vito-“Dope Boy,” and Luney Tunez N Yo Area-“Waddle” to name a few are rounded out with seasoned producers, Jazze Pha “Locked Up or Dead,” and J.R. Rotem “On the Corner.”
According to Gorilla Zoe, Don’t feed Da Animals is collectively “a huge album, filled with my life experiences, thoughts and feelings-real and uncut.”
In 2007, Gorilla Zoe entered the jungle known as the rap game simply hoping to adjust to his new habitat. But, one year after his mega-single, “Hood Nigga,” and the world-wide success of his debut album Welcome To the Zoo, Zoe is securing and defending his own territory with his newest effort, Don’t Feed Da Animals.
Acting as both a forewarning and a told-you-so, Don’t Feed Da Animals speaks to what happens when you don’t follow advice. As hungry an artist as you will ever find, the rapper born Alonzo Mathis only needed one shot to prove that he had the talent and voice to become a household name. When Block Ent. CEO Russell “Block” Spencer gave Zoe that chance as a soloist and member of supergroup Boyz N Da Hood, it opened the gates for this Gorilla to wreak havoc.
“My first album was all real life; I was just talking about where I was at, at that time,” says Zoe about his debut, which peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Top Rap albums chart. “Now, I’ve tasted success and been around the world, but I’m still hood. You see me in the same places you met me. I don’t have money like Bill Gates or Jay-Z, but I’m hood-rich and I’m telling my story from that point of view.”
Songs like the autobiographical “Man I” speak to Zoe’s ascension from a wayward youth strolling the streets of Atlanta looking for a place to stay, to a man who was able to improve his quality of life. So do songs like “Get Away” and “Dope Boi,” where Zoe simply enjoys the fruits of his labor without alienating those who haven’t made it to the top, yet.
“I’ve watched so many folks get money, leave the hood, and think they’re better than everyone else,” says Zoe. “I ain’t gonna change who I am; I don’t think success means you’ve got to leave or change who you are. But at the same time some change is good. Anything that doesn’t change isn’t alive. People, just like flowers, grow, bloom, and die. If I’m gonna grow, bloom, and die, I’m gonna make sure people love me.”
In addition to traveling the world through touring, in the past year Zoe has made a name for himself via guest spots on both rap and R&B songs by his labelmates Yung Joc and JC. Hoping to display more of his versatility, Don’t Feed Da Animals has plenty of songs showing Zoe’s growth as a recording artist.
“Get Off Me” has the raspy-voiced rapper demonstrating complete mastery of his distinct vocal tones, while “Ladadi” has the hood nigga crushing all stereotypes and flowing over a Crystal Waters sample. He also experiments with different cadences on songs such as the high-tempo “Salute” and the hood narrative “Another Day.”
“In making this album, I’ve learned what to do with my voice,” says Zoe, citing the lead single, “On The Corner” featuring Sean Kingston, as a prime example. “I know what sounds fit me, so I’m in my zone right now. I understand that it’s ok to just be me, instead of jumping in and out of trends.”
Unafraid to do a little of what’s considered the norm, Zoe manages to bring his own appeal to tracks like “S.W.A.G.G.” featuring Shawty Lo and Rocko, and “44” featuring T-Pain.
“I look at everything and everybody accordingly,” says Zoe. “I’ve seen people look at me like I’m nothing but a dope boy, or say I’m not a real hip-hop artist. I don’t make music for those people. That’s why I call mines ‘relative music’ – it’s made for people to relate to. I’m the hood spokesperson and my clientele will grow with me.”