Zion I was originally a hip-hop duo from Oakland California. It consisted of MC Baba Zumbi and producer Amp Live, before Amp decided to move away from hip-hop. After releasing several projects in the early 90s, Zion I gained the attention of critics with the release of their first studio album, Mind Over Matter, in 2000. It was known for its futuristic-sounding beats and its socially conscious lyricism, and was nominated by The Source for the Independent Album of the Year.
Their ninth album, Shadowboxing, was included in SF Weekly’s “10 Best Bay Area Hip-Hop Records of 2012." They’re also widely recognized for their hit single “The Bay,” an anthem for the local Bay Area. Between their EPs, studio albums, and compilation albums, Zion I has released 28 projects overall. Zion I has also worked closely with Bay Area artists Grouch and Eligh.