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Zion-I The Takeover

On their fourth full-length, the Bay Area duo of producer Amplive and MC Zumbi returns with an album grounded in ’80s influences, yet conceived with a forward-thinking thrust. Tribal drums segue into 808-enhanced freaky funk on opening track "Geek to the Beat" to create something as energetic as hyphy or crunk, but with consciously militant lyrics. "Take Over" finds Zumbi—whose once-thin voice has matured into a weapon to be reckoned with—scolding non-believers: "Burn an incense, they tried to call us yoga/A couple years in, set to take this game over." Tracks with Brother Ali, Devin the Dude, Ty, and Jennifer Johns add to the album’s breadth, but Zion-I does most of the heavy lifting itself.

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