West Coast hip-hop stalwarts Zion I & The Grouch return with their latest collaborative effort, Heroes in the Healing of the Nation. A long-awaited follow-up to the 2006 critically acclaimed Heroes in the City of Dope, their latest effort employs a vast arÂray of artists-including Freeway, Fashawn, Casual, Mystic, Eric of Rebelution, Jacob Hemphill of Soja, Eligh, Codany Holiday, and the R.O.D-all whose individual styles compliment the project.
The trio struck preemptively in August 2010 and released two digital singles, “Leader” and “One” (the latter was featured in the major motion picture “Step Up 3D”), both of which garnered enthusiastic acclamation from fans and peers alike. “Leader”, the infectiously nasty Amp Live powered beat, provides a moving backdrop for The Grouch and Zumbi to drop knowledge about taking command over one’s destiny. “One” allows the trio to showÂcase their skills with Amp Live delivering another electrifying beat and Zumbi and The Grouch exhibitÂing crafty word play and raw emotion.
On the rousing “Life Ain’t Easy” Zumbi and The Grouch are at their best, pontificating everything from the challenge of making a living as musicians to the current state of the world over Soja’s lead singer’s reggae-inspired chorus. On the title track producer Amp Live journeys into rock after statÂing: “If You Wanna get Something Done/You Have to Do it Yourself.” “We’re manifesting a healing of the nation of sorts,” explains The Grouch of the alÂbum’s title. “Positive music affects people to make change. We realize we aren’t the first to do this and that’s why we’re “in” it. Anyone changing peoples lives for the better is a hero to me.”