The Oakland-based MC/Producer Zion I (a.k.a. Zumbi) is in the top echelon of conscious, party-rocking hip-hop artists. With more than two-dozen albums, mixtapes, EP’s and vibrant collaborations with notables such as Amp Live and DJ K-Genius under his belt, Zion I has transcended the hip-hop world and evolved into an independent touring artist who appeals to a broad spectrum of the live music community.
Zion I’s progressive, stay-true-to-the-core lyricism and soulful delivery has ignited the audiences of artists across many genres, including reggae-based artists like Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Rebelution, Collie Buddz and Matisyahu, heavy hitting rockers Linkin Park, EDM icons Bassnectar, Pretty Lights hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar, Wu-Tang, Common, The Game, Too Short, Devin The Dude, The Roots MC Black Thought and cross-over artists such as The Roots, Flying Lotus and Emancipator.
Embracing the warm reception he has received in the burgeoning reggae-rock community, Zion I toured in the Summer of 2016 with Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, The Grouch and Eligh on “The Return Of The Redeye Tour.” Prior to this, he has toured internationally and throughout North America, performing at some of the most reputable music festivals across the globe, including Coachella, Rock the Bells, Treasure Island Music Fest, Lightning In A Bottle, Outside Lands, California Roots Music and Arts Festival, Hangout Music Festival, Splash Fest (Germany), HipHop Kemp (Czech Republic), Rifflandia (British Columbia), Sonic Bloom, Paid Dues, Snow Globe and most recently the urban lifestyle music and arts festival, Bay Area Vibez with Bassnectar, Nas and Damian Marley.
Zion I released his new full-length album, The Labyrinth, in October, 2016. He describes the record as melodic and bass heavy. “It was cool being able to hit the people with some new vibes and give them a current window into my world.” Originally from Philadelphia, Zumbi has lived in Cincinnati, Providence, Houston and Atlanta, but Oakland- where he has spent the last 19 years- is his home. “It is the place where my music first grew. I have always loved the diversity and culture of rebellion that is in the heart of Oakland,” says Zion I. “There’s every shade of color here. When people see injustice, there is a collective activation that takes place and we take to the streets to fire back at the system. The history of the Black Panthers is still alive in the hearts of many. I live and breathe the energy of this community, with its turbulent rise and fall of the struggle to live with dignity. I draw tremendous inspiration in my lyrics from the town. I hope to be an example for the next generation, showing that you can live out your dreams and pursue your goals with passion and exuberance.”