Zion I & The Grouch, Heroes in the City of Dope

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Heroes in the City of Dope

Zion I & The Grouch

Zion I are Bay Area legends, instrumental in shaping the area's sound and also responsible for some of hip-hop's most memorable singles. Their records are fantastically restless, unwilling to settle into any one style but rather hell-bent on dabbling in all of them. Their 2000 debut, Mind Over Matter, blended both synthetic and electronic sounds to create music without clear precedents or antecedents (that album's "Mysterious Ways" is still one of the most wonderfully obtuse tracks in all of hip-hop).

Heroes in the City of Dope furthers that legacy. A collaboration with Oakland rapper The Grouch, Heroes draws from disco and dance music and 70s R&B, making tracks big on both primal thunk and eerie electronic wails. This is hip-hop operating at peak, a team of legends doing what they do best and making it seem effortless.