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Atomic Clock

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iTunes Review

Headquartered in Oakland, Zion I have been putting out hyper-original, outside-of-the-box, next-level hip-hop since the late '90s. Atomic Clock is their seventh full-length since 2000's breakthrough Mind Over Matter, and is both inherently funky and pleasantly unpredictable. Amp Live's production is razor sharp as always, a futuristic blend of boom-bap, electro, and reggae, while Zumbi's one-of-a-kind flow adapts itself perfectly to the varied moods. The overall vibe is slightly mellower and more introspective than some of their recent efforts, but there are still a few club bangers in the mix. Guest spots are kept to a minimum (they include Macklemore, Rebelution, Martin Luther, and Locksmith), giving the duo plenty of space to do their own thing. Highlights include the dubbed-out "Signs of Light," feel-good jam "Always," throw-your-hands-up anthem "The Sealing," and autobiographical tale "The History," that takes listeners back to their early days as an up-and-coming college crew with a major label deal. Though they may never crossover into the mainstream consciousness, this album proves that they've never fallen off.

Customer Reviews

zion i is on top

Zion I never dissapoints. This is a must have for all hip hop lovers.

Atomic Clock

Great album with great production from Amp and great lyrics from Zumbi. Best songs are Many Stylez, North Star, and Signs of Light, but they're all great. One of the best albums of the year no doubt.


with all the crap that's out right now it's refreshing to hear some innovative beats and sound science backed by raw lyrics. zion i is keeping hip hop alive with this album for sure!


Formed: 1996 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

This duo of genre-bender pride has made a name for itself on the Bay Area scene by successfully mixing spiritualism and hip-hop. Oakland's MC Zumbi and DJ/producer Amp Live blend hip-hop and trip-hop beats with lyrics focused on a message of unity, hope, and spiritual awareness. Although Zion I operates out of Berkeley, the pair originally met in Atlanta, making their music difficult to classify as strictly West Coast hip-hop. Their musical style makes them even harder to define. With a style that...
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Atomic Clock, Zion I
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Customer Ratings