The Take Over
Label: Live Up Records
Zion I's first proper album in four years begins with a proclamation that "the system does not work for us," and it rarely relents from there. Emcee Zion rails against over-civilized latte sippers and celebrates the "caged birds" who "search for the better world." But it's producer AmpLive who steals the show. He's always been one of hip-hop's more versatile producers, and here he expands his sonic palate considerably. From the minimalist, post-hyphy bounce of "Juicy" to the African thump of "Geek to the Beat," the production is dynamic and mercurial, full of trapdoors and hidden delights.