CultureMap Countdown - 30 days, 30 Artists
Day 7

Zion I merges socially conscious hip-hop with EDM that doesn't suck

Zion I merges socially conscious hip-hop with EDM that doesn't suck

Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_zion i_feb 2013_video still
Courtesy of Zionicrew.com

Name: Zion I

Featured track: "Human Being" from Shadow Boxing

Country/City of origin: Oakland, California

Genre: Hip-hop

In one sentence: "Anyone that has listened to Amp Live and Zumbi for any length of time knows the tried and true formula: Amp Live brings the up-tempo, electronic-fused production; Zumbi makes you feel better than you did when pushing play on the stereo; a few tidbits of social awareness are gleamed; you decide to go see them rip a stage when they come through your town." - Hip Hop Authority 

Why we chose them: With seven studio albums in the hopper, this crew isn't full of a bunch of new, entitled kids. Zion I have been competitors in the hip-hop arena since 1996, and their distinct ability to adapt and experiment with current sounds (worked with Bassnectar, among others, on Shadow Boxing) without losing their focus on positive socio-politically conscious hip-hop continues to impress. Also, we're a sucker for Zumbi's vocal tone which is deeply reminiscent of Q-Tip.

SXSW official show: TBD, but check back with Zion I's official SXSW showcase page here.