Roca Dolla is the godfather of Phoenix hip-hop. Formerly known as Iroc Beats, Roca's been laying down lyrical flows and grinding it out in the local scene for the better part of two decades. His studio and record label, 5Fith Coast Records, has produced tracks for some of the Valley's hottest hip-hop talent, from Tray Gutter and Ocean to Zig Zag (formerly of NB Ridaz) and Bookie (of Survivalist). But Roca's no backup on the mic, either — he can spit with the best of them, and this double disc is packed with his prowess, from the flashy '70s funk groove of "Truck Turner" to the springy club banger "Exit the Building." Everybody's who's anybody in the local hip-hop scene makes an appearance on the album: Willy Northpole, C-Note, Lifted (Tha Formula), AZ Mike Mill, Emerg McVay (Bionic Jive), Chilee Powdah, C-Thug, Freeze, Jiggolo, Cinque, and Bobcat are just a handful of the homies Roca brought in to bust out some verses on various tracks. The samples and beats throughout are badass, from the string-laden bump of "Take Notes" and the low-end flow of "Swell" to the soulful, harmonic seduction of "Show Me How You Get Down" and the piano/hand clap combo of "Get Outta Here." At the beginning of the record, Roca gives shout-outs to his myriad influences, from Snoop Dogg and Dre to Prince and Michael Jackson. Such diversity is reflected in Roca's tracks, too, as he recalls everything from '70s R&B to '80s gangsta rap. He never misses a chance to give props to Arizona, either, whether it's a whole song ("No Sleep in AZ") or setting the scene, as in "24 to Life."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.