Zion I x lespecial + late night lespecial set

Speakeasy presents...

Zion I x lespecial + late night lespecial set

Ekundayo, DJ Nervex

Mon · March 12, 2018

9:00 pm

$12.00

This event is all ages

Zion I
Zion I
With more than two-dozen albums, mixtapes, EP’s and vibrant collaborations, the Oakland based MC/Producer Zion I (a.k.a. Zumbi) is in the top echelon, as far as conscious party-rocking hip-hop. After years of collaboration with producer Amp Live and DJ K-Genius and other notables, the Oakland-based rapper/ songwriter has evolved as an independent touring artist.

His progressive stay-true-to-the-core lyricism is uniquely embraced across all genres of music and his collaborations, with some of the greatest in the industry, is an evolutionary norm for Zion I. From the reggae-rock giants Rebelution, to hip-hop nostalgia Too Short, along with Devin The Dude and The Roots MC, Black Thought, to EDM DJ extraordinaire, Bassnectar, heavy hitting rockers Linkin Park and alternative rock/reggae-rapper Matisyahu, Zion I continues’ to impress with soulful goods.

As an MC, Zion I emulates the purest form of hip-hop, bringing forth a socially conscious lyrical deliverance and high energy party-rockin’ live show that captivates his audience, making him a festival fan-favorite from coast to coast. The international touring artist has performed at some of the most reputable music festivals across the globe. Some of the more notable festivals include: Coachella, Rock the Bells, Treasure Island Music Fest, Lightning In A Bottle, Outside Lands, California Roots Music and Arts Festival, Hangout Music Festival, Splash Fest (Germany), HipHop Kemp (Czech Republic), Rifflandia (British Columbia), Sonic Bloom, Paid Dues, Snow Globe and most recently the urban lifestyle music and arts festival, Bay Area Vibez with Bassnectar, Nas and Damian Marley. Zion I toured the summer 2016 with Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, The Grouch and Eligh on The Return Of The Redeye tour.

Some of the many other artists Zion I has performed with include, Kendrick Lamar, Wu-Tang, Pretty Lights, E-40, The Roots, Soja, The Game, Flying Lotus, Matisyahu, Griz, Emancipator, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Collie Buddz and Common.

Zion I is a gestalt of lived geographic experience. Coming from Philadelphia, he also lived in Cincinnati, Rhode Island, Houston and Atlanta – although, he views Oakland, his current residence of nineteen years as his home. “It is the place where my music first grew. I have always loved the diversity and culture of rebellion that is in the heart of Oakland,” said Zion I. There’s every shade of color here. When people see injustice, there is a collective activation that takes place and we take to the streets to fire back at the system. The history of the Black Panthers is still alive in the hearts of many. I live and breathe this energy of this community, with its turbulent rise and fall of the struggle to live with dignity. I draw tremendous inspiration in my lyrics from the town.”

“I hope to be an example for the next generation; showing that you can live out your
dreams and pursue your goals with passion and exuberance,” said Zion I.

Zion I released his new full-length fifteen-song album, The Labyrinth in October, 2016. He describes the record as melodic and bass heavy. “It was cool being able to hit the people with some new vibes and give them a current window into my world. I've also got the new ZGE - Zion I, Grouch, and Eligh record on deck, which will drop in early 2017. I’m also working on a dope project with Locksmith, which is a more lyrically driven record with classic sample-driven production. Locksmith is one of the most skilled MC's on the west coast, so this project is for true fans of lyricism,” says Zumbi

Catalog highlights include The Grouch-joined linguistic clinic “Silly Puddy,” early K.Flay standout appearance on the Electro-driven “Coastin’,” and the gritty turf-talk of “Don’t Lose Ya Head” alongside Too Short.
lespecial
lespecial
lespecial carves their own path in contemporary rock music with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band finding a remarkable creative stride, fearless in their pursuit of a synthesis of the diverse musical idioms that have inspired them as listeners and artists.
These three childhood friends from Connecticut—now based in Boston and New York—play off of a lifetime of shared experience in their writing and performance. In a power trio, it's essential that each of the players can utterly captivate you at any given time. Each individual has a lot of weight to carry and is only as strong as the weakest link. In the studio, as on stage, it seems at first blush that Jon Grusauskas—delivering lyrics that call for your attention and seamlessly moving from guitar to keys to samples—is handling the entire upper end of the spectrum… until you consider how broad the melodic embrace of rhythmatist Rory Dolan and low end wizard Luke Bemand. Injecting splashes of color and wicked chops into their heavy groove foundations or driving assaults, this dynamic battery simultaneously eases and propels lespecial through the fractious changes of cheen’s mood and tempo.
In a traditional sense, cheen is a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, by any means, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it in songs like “Stolen Land”, “American Apocalypse” and “Sound That We Do”, the last of which features the celebrated Bay Area hip hop wordsmith Zion I. Meanwhile, the band winks at Mario Brothers in the J Dilla inspired “Donut Ghost House” tracks that bookend the album. In between can be heard pensive indie rock that evokes Flaming Lips and Radiohead, down-tempo apocalyptic dub trances tinged with hints of Tool, polyrhythmic technicality a la Belew-era King Crimson and a penchant for all things Nine Inch Nails. This from a band that released an exclusive single through The Untz—one of the premier outlets for “EDM” producers—a month before announcing cheen, then did an interview with a metal mag a week later, and that can get weirdly funky with a nod to Primus. To further underscore the broad net they cast, lespecial is rounding out 2017 with a Halloween weekend opener for Disco Biscuits and December dates with Dopapod.
lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don't underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing, bringing about comparisons to The Clash, who destroyed every boundary they came across, working reggae, dub, funk and folk ballads into the socially and politically relevant punk rock they had come to personify. Here at another turning point in music and culture, lespecial has taken a huge step towards that goal of synthesizing their own varied and divergent influences, regardless of the seeming incongruity of the elements, and provides a perspective on their generation, their cultural climate, and what that all sounds like...
Ekundayo
Ekundayo
DJ Nervex
DJ Nervex
Venue Information:
Aisle 5
1123 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA, 30307
http://www.aisle5atl.com/