Straight from the heart of Oakland, California comes Zion I’s new EP, Atomic Clock, a ticking timebomb just waiting to burst onto the Rap scene. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Zion I, a duo of producer/DJ AmpLive and MC Zumbi, they might be described as a more Rap-based Black Eyed Peas, employing heavy keyboard beats and socially conscious lyrics which promote good intentions, such as love and unity. If you’re already a fan, just kick back and enjoy Zion I’s best piece of work to date.
Taking a similar approach as a pre-Plastic Beach Gorillaz (I have to admit, I love Gorillaz as much as a fat kid loves cake), Zion I kill it with Atomic Clock. The album’s flow is impeccable, rolling between songs without ever taking a step back. The concoction of beats and lyrics is flawless, encouraging the listener to ‘chill out’ while pumping the beats into their heads.
The Atomic Clock ride begins with “Always”, my favorite track off the album. While rapping the message that “love conquers always”, Zion I sets the mood for the rest of the album with upbeat lyrics and trumpet melodies. To pick a track which defines the laid-back style of music Zion I, “Girlz”, the seventh song on the track list, is an obvious choice. A constant drum beat and chime-like sounds calms the listener down and making you want to shut your eyes and enjoy the sound. “Girlz” is followed up by the excellent, “Many Styles”. This song demonstrates the aforementioned similarities between Zion I and other famous artists. Using a blend of Black Eyed Peas lyrics and Gorillaz beats, Zion I meshes the two musical styles into a successful four-and-a-half minute long sample which really demonstrates what their music is all about.
Zion I’s attempt at creating a fusion of musical skills is relatively successful to me. No matter what genre you’re a fan of, I encourage you to give Atomic Clock a listen-Zion I’s newest EP has something for every one of you music aficionados out there.
-Written by Samir Abu-Hamad