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Zion I with Def3 and Kids (Live) [Review]

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Vancouver, B.C. – A sticky Thursday night saw Fortune Sound Club packed with a rambunctious crowd anticipating a little California heatwave. Oakland’s own Zion I hit the stage packed with PMA and ready to bounce, the second of three stops of their circuit of beautiful B.C.

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Kids took the stage and made it their playground. Full of energy, the three played together nicely in light-hearted harmony and while the Kids are all right, Def 3 – with a little muted trumpet and some triple time rhymes – brought a whole different level of hype. A Cuban-infused beat and some trumpet overlays had Def shining during “Chan Chan” giving the crowd a reason to be good and pumped for what was next to come.

Amp Live and Zumbi with old pal Deuce Eclipse rocked the crowd in usual Zion I form. Dynamic as ever, they kicked off their set with a the succulent “Juicy Juice” and a couple more favorites from The Take Over including “DJ DJ” and “Antenna”. The boys got the crowd high on hip-hop and kept the mood elevated as Amp Live emerged from behind the tables to show off his skills on a portable beat machine…almost a keytar. While Amp put most other DJs to shame, Deuce threw down a freestyle that made heads spin. Zumbi held his own while the beat gradually got faster and soon it became clear that when it comes to showing off skills these boys do not fuck around. “The Bay” and “Silly Puddy” brought back nostalgia to way back Zion fans, while the bass-heavy “Drop it on the 1” and “Like a G” from their  latest collab with Grouch Heroes in the Healing of the Nation couldn’t have brought more heat.  A flock of uninvited females crowded the stage and although it’s not quite what one expects from a Zion I gig, the boys were charming and courteous all the same.

Zion I could be considered some of the nicest and most down to earth dudes in hip-hop. With a laid back west-coast vibe the boys don’t sacrifice conscious hip-hop for any sort of mundane stage presence. Every year they evolve, and so does their performance -this time in Vancouver was possibly the most outstanding and energetic yet.

Written by Kassandra Guagliardi for HipHopCanada
Photography by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada

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Keep an eye out for Kassandra and Amalia’s Tag Team interview with Zion I, and special thanks to Frontline Entertainment for bringing Zion I to Vancouver and Whistler. Don’t forget to check out http://zionicrew.com/.

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