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Heroes In the City of Dope

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Album Review

Bay Area hip-hoppers Zion I & the Grouch have stayed relatively off the national radar, even though they've been in the scene for a while now. With the upsurge in popularity of hyphy in 2006, however, as well as greater exposure thanks to a signing with Om Records, the group has been able to gain exposure in the rest of the U.S. Their first album together, Zion I & the Grouch Are Heroes in the City of Dope is partially introspection, partially consciousness, and partially hyphy-inspired dance music. Fellow West Coasters Chali 2na (formerly of Jurassic 5) and Mistah F.A.B. make guest appearances, giving credibility to both their backpacker side and their street side. The production on the record is laid-back and smooth, giving plenty of space to the MCs' rhymes while still making itself known. Unfortunately, there's nothing on Zion I & the Grouch Are Heroes in the City of Dope that really grabs you, makes you listen, aside from the occasional line or two, but it's still a pretty decent album, and nice to hear how well Zion I and the Grouch work together.

Customer Reviews

Bay area represent ... and i'm from Tdot

Zion i's previous efforts were, as this album states, DOPE. This album is no exception. I know music is very subjective, and that's why these cats got my ears locked on their shhh ... whether other peeps like 'em or not. Zion i is probably one of the very few hip hop artists i can stand to listen to nowadays. I even go back to their older material once in a while, especially if what's on radio right now is the direction hip hop is going. Actually, some newer hip hop acts i can stand, but zion i is something i can feel. Fresh beats and ill rhymes. DOPE.


Born: May 20, 1975 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Grouch was a founding member of the Living Legends crew, a loose collective of MCs and DJs from the Bay Area, Japan, and Europe. The Living Legends eschewed the gangsta posing that dominated the hip-hop community, especially on the West Coast, in favor of clear-eyed raps about real-life issues. They coupled this with a grassroots approach to the music business, choosing to self-release and market their prodigious output. After forming the Legends crew with Oakland's Mystik Journeymen, Grouch...
Full bio
Heroes In the City of Dope, The Grouch
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