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Zumbi (Zion I) Interview

Zumbi is an emcee from Oakland, CA. He is a member of the Bay Area hip hop group Zion I, alongside producer AmpLive. Zumbi was intrigued at a young age by Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, and A Tribe Called Quest. He wrote his first rhyme in high school and began rapping in local cyphers. In 1998, Zion I released their first single, “Inner Light”, from the Enter The Woods EP, only available on cassette tape. In 2000, their official debut album, Mind Over Matter, was released with features from Planet Asia, Rasco, and The Grouch. The album was nominated in The Source Magazine for Independent Album Of The Year. Their second album, Kos U5tak, was shelved in 2002 after the record label folded. They released Deep Water Slang v2.0 in 2003 and started their own label, Live Up Records. Zumbi and AmpLive have released nine studio albums, including collaboration projects with The Grouch and their 2012 album, Shadowboxing.

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