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iTunes Review

Consistently dope but also unpredictable, the Bay Area duo Zion I isn't afraid to mix up its sound from record to record. On its 2000 landmark debut, Mind Over Matter, the duo hit the scene with a crazy mix of hip-hop and electronic music; in the years since, Zion I has morphed its approach with the times, embracing live instrumentation, the local Hyphy and Go styles, and most recently, on 2010's Atomic Clock, reggae and dub. Shadowboxing is the duo's ninth full-length, presenting all of the above with tremendous results. As usual, Amp Live's production is amongst the freshest in today's hip-hop: a wildly freaky, futuristic no-holds-barred attack that keeps listeners on their toes and touches on multiple genres from track to track. Zumi's high-pitched flow and positive rhymes still sound great, and we also get features from D.U.S.T., Goaplele, The Grouch, Eligh, and Collie Budz. There are a few missteps, but the vast majority of songs here are awesome, especially "Float," "Life's Work," "We Don't," and "Human Being."

Customer Reviews

What Happened?

Been listening to them since they dropped Mind Over Matter and every record after that has gotten even more hollow and cheap.

sooo gooood!!

i love all of zion i stuff. deep waterslang was my favorite album until this came along. seriously this album is soo dope. ive always been a fan of amp live electronic type of beats and this album definitely has some of that vibe, which probably why i like it so much. but it still has alot of the old hard beats of amps too. i think some people are probably gonna say they sound a lil more pop on this but its still a really a solid album from beginnin to end. nicely done zion i


Straight heat. In my humble opinion, one of the tighest rap groups ever stepped up their game to even a higher level with this album. Not to take away from their other amazing albums, I was just fully amazed front to back on this one.


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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ShadowBoxing, Zion I
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Customer Ratings