Zion I: Artist You Should Know

By KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad:

“Art is not about living in the past” so says emcee Zumbi AKA Zion, of Oakland-based hip hop mainstay Zion I. He’s referring to the duo’s forward progression of work dating back to the late 90’s.

Zion I coverI personally became a fan once hearing the early single “Inner Light.” It was the first time I heard fierce rhymes coupled with the raw flex of drum n bass. I was hooked.

Fast forward to 2009’s The Takeover album with producer Amp live providing a selection of high energy, neck snap worthy rhythms for Zumbi to recite a light-hearted, fun bag of lyrics, albeit conscious and positive – a consistent trademark of theirs.

And now, a new evolution can be heard on the latest album titled Atomic Clock on Gold Dust, in which the two slow the party down for a bit of introspection, with lyrics that pay homage to those in various struggles, using reggae and dub for musical inspiration. Righteous

Stream their track “Always” below:

Garth Trinidad