In action since 1997, Zion I
has become one of the Bay Area's finest hip-hop acts, releasing six albums that have consistently shown off the duo's versatility. But in these times of rampant piracy, MC Zumbi and producer AmpLive know that their studio prowess alone won't butter their toast. Working in a genre that isn't always known for translating well to the stage, Zion I has stood out from its peers by making the most of its time under the heat lamps.
"I definitely think the live show is important, especially nowadays," says Amp, who has a new solo album dropping in May. He's also made a name for himself in more rock-oriented circles thanks to his MGMT and Radiohead remixes, the latter of which found Amp turning In Rainbows
into the celebrated Rainydayz Remixes
. "People want to be entertained and feel like they are seeing a show with effort put into it. You have to rock the crowd and keep them wanting to come back and see you."
The Oakland outfit continues to support last year's The Takeover
, having spent nearly two months on the road earlier this year with reggae bands Rebelution and Soja. But now Zumbi and Amp are ready to bring their beats and rhymes back home, with gigs scheduled for tonight at Rickshaw Stop and tomorrow night at The Independent.
"Performing in the Bay is home, so it's always the best," says Amp. "Some people here have heard our first songs we came out with in 1997, so the roots run deep."For music news sent straight to your mailbox, sign up for
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