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Video: Zion I – “Masters of Ceremony” 

Filmed at Exclusive YouTube Studios Headquarters, New Vid Features Substance Over Hype Dance Crew


Critical Praise for Zion I:

“Zion keeps the revolutionary fire spirit lit in the minds of the people.”  – Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

“Producer AmpLive and emcee Zumbi want you to be moved not just by the music, but also by the message.” – HipHopDX

The Video:

Calling up the homies, finding a place to chill, laying down some cardboard, and popping a cassette tape in your boombox seems like something people would have done 20-30 years ago, but that’s exactly what rapper MC Zumbi and producer AMP Live had in mind for the latest Zion I visual for the the title track of their recent project, Masters of Ceremony. The good people at YouTube Studios, an exclusive $100 million dollar production space, invited Zion I and LA-based dance crew Substance Over Hype so they could film dancers popping, locking, doing cirque tricks with the cyr wheel and martial arts tricking over Amp Live’s production, heavy with Sister Nancy samples and low, cutting synths that slide between octaves. The track is from The Masters of Ceremony EP, the first of three free EP’s.

Composed of rapper MC Zumbi and producer AMP Live, Zion I wants to change the perception of hip hop by simultaneously infusing elements of spirituality and a mix of genres including trip hop, R&B and a bit of Latin flavor. Recently, the duo released part one and two of their three free EP series: The Masters of Ceremony EP and Libations EP. Following the sudden death of one of his closest friends, Zumbi turned his pain into the Libations project that broods with reflection and deep emotion. In creating The Masters of Ceremony, MC Zumbi says, “We took it back to ground zero in creating these songs. The sole purpose of the emcee is to energize, invigorate and guide the listener to a higher state of mind, whether that be reflection, relaxation or enlightenment.” Producer Amp Live adds, “For this first installment of the EP trilogy, we took it back to the simple essence of hard, straight banging beats and tight raps and these visuals of the dancers, with their bright colors and attention-grabbing movements complemented that perfectly.”

Check out the HipHopDX premiere here: http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/videos/id.16278/title.zion-i-masters-of-ceremony-

Watch the “Masters of Ceremony” video: http://youtu.be/7oK85F2ApFM

Listen to Libations EP: https://soundcloud.com/therealzioni/sets/libations-ep

Listen to The Master of Ceremonies EP here: https://soundcloud.com/therealzioni/sets/the-masters-of-ceremony-ep

Please contact Michelle or Rory if interested in talking with Zion I.

Zion I’s Background:

Since 1999, Zion I has released seven critically acclaimed LPs, including Mind Over Matter (1998), Deep Water Slang (2000), True & Livin’ (2003), Break of Dawn (2004), The Take Over (2009), and Atomic Clock (2010). They also have two highly acclaimed albums under the name [Zion I and The Grouch with long time collaborator The Grouch, Hereos in the City of Dope and Hereos in the Healing of the Nation. Voted best Bay Area hip-hop group by the SF Weekly numerous times, Zion I have been featured in media outlets from XXL, The Source, Vibe, YRB, 944, Prefixmag.com, Popmatters, 7+7, SF Chronicle, and SF Bay Guardian.

Having opened for rap royalty including De La Soul, Rakim, and Run-D.M.C, this duo of genre-bender pride has made a name for itself on the Bay Area scene. Oakland’s MC Zumbi and DJ/producer Amp Live blend hip-hop and trip-hop beats with lyrics focused on a message of unity, hope, and spiritual awareness while successfully mixing spiritualism and hip-hop. Their debut album, Mind Over Matter, was released in May of 2000 and features collaborations with fellow Bay Area rappers Rasco, Planet Asia, and the Grouch. Although Zion I operates out of Berkeley, the group was originally formed in Atlanta, making their music difficult to classify as strictly West Coast hip-hop. Their musical style makes them even harder to define. With a style that borrows from hip-hop, trance, drum’n’bass, and reggae, Zion I’s style is equally mystical and mystifying.

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“Masters of Ceremony”: http://youtu.be/7oK85F2ApFM


Master of Ceremonieshttps://soundcloud.com/therealzioni/sets/the-masters-of-ceremony-ep

Hella Freshhttps://soundcloud.com/therealzioni/hella-fresh-fest-mixtape

ShadowBoxing: The Remixes https://soundcloud.com/therealzioni/sets/shadowboxing-the-remixes