Zion I & the Grouch: HEROES IN THE HEALING OF THE NATION

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Zion I & the Grouch - HEROES IN THE HEALING OF THE NATION

Ian Birnam's thoughts on Zion I & the Grouch's album, Heroes in the Healing of the Nation.





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With so many rap albums promoting messages about sex, guns and drugs, Heroes in the Healing of the Nation aims to counter these by promoting leadership, morality and inspiration. Emcees Zumbi (of Zion I) & the Grouch (of Living Legends fame) eloquently deliver these words with flow and finesse. Backed by AmpLive's (Zion I) ill beats, the ensemble proves that hip-hop can blow your mind without the brutality of guns.

Zion I & the Grouch go all out for this album, incorporating guitars, horns and various strings into the beats that reverberate with soul. These rhythms back clever, well-delivered lyrics as they advocate hero ideologies.

Even with obscure tracks like "I Used to be a Vegan," with raps about - you guessed it - being a vegan, the Bay Area hip-hop partners manage to make mozzarella cheese sound dope.

Although the album promotes living a virtuous life, it never sounds preachy. The rhymes and metaphors that Zumbi & the Grouch spit are not direct enough to sound instructive, but still project a vibe of morality. AmpLive's DJ skills also make the ideas more approachable, as the ethical beliefs in tracks like "Healing of the Nation" are easy to understand and agree with when propelled by slick lines and ultrasonic beats.

With all the negativity surrounding rap and hip-hop, it's a refreshing change to see Zion I & the Grouch shine a positive light on the genre. Heroes offers a poetically virtuous outlook on life, encouraging people to elevate themselves. These hip-hop "heroes" invite all to rise above thug life by becoming saviors of a nation in desperate need of healing.

Tags: ZION I & THE GROUCH, HEROES IN THE HEALING OF THE NATION






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