Talking to Zumbi and Zion I about Hella Fresh Fest 4

September 15, 2011

Zion I has been in the Bay Area scene for so long they’re starting to enter some rarified air. They are also the exact opposite of wallflowers, working and collaborating with an impressive breath of artists, whether its with other hip-hoppers across the country and even indie rockers. They now jock their local booster hat as they put on their next installment of the Hella Fresh Fest, scheduled for September 16 in The Fillmore Auditorium, featuring buzzworthy local notables The Jacka and Hustlah, Los Rakas, and the Honor Roll Crew, including Josie Stingray, Mike Baker, and Trackademics. (Tickets are still available at

Zumbi, the MC of the duo, took some time aside to answer a few question for us about the show and what else Zion I might be doing in the future.

The Fillmore Auditorium is a legendary venue for San Francisco and for many Bay Area musicians of many stripes. What does it mean for Hella Fresh to be in the Fillmore?

Zumbi: Off top, the Fillmore is my favorite venue to play in the Bay Area. But, beyond that…the vibrations in that room from all of the legends who have graced that stage is rarefied. I mean literally, anyone who I’ve ever respected as a musician has played in these hallowed halls. So, for us, it’s an honor to be able to bring our festival here and also give younger artists the experience of rocking a historic stage.

Zion I, as a unit, and as individuals, seem to be doing a ton of collabs lately. Who haven’t you worked with that you have on the radar or want to do something together?

Zumbi: Real…we just stay working on this music that we love. I still need to record something with Blu. It’d also be dope to do something with MF Doom, Andre 3000 and Lykke Li.

What is the state of local Bay Area hip-hop right now in your view?

Zumbi: I honestly feel that the West Coast is going hard right now. The Bay in particular has risen to the occasion, what with Lil B innovating his own style of self-promotion and marketing, and all the hype around Kreayshawn. But, there are also a lot of hungry MC’s who are more about straight up lyricism and beats. It feels as though we’re steady breaking ground with our unique brand of Bay hip-hop. It’s a struggle anywhere you are these days, but we’re doing a good job despite the circumstances.

Why should I spend my hard-earned 22.50 to buy a ticket to Hella Fresh? I mean, I can get like two super burritos with extra guac and sour cream for that. Will Hella Fresh Fest 4 give me a lasting impression comparable to two super burritos?

Zumbi: If you can only get 2 burritos with 22 bones then you’re eating at the wrong taqueria! Let me put you on to game. But, fa real, every year that we put on the Hella Fresh Fest, we aim to create something historic for the Yay area to vibe to and feel invigorated by. This is about the whole Bay coming together and celebrating all the different styles and ways we communicate. A burrito is good for the body, but the Hella Fresh Fest is good for the soul.

Check out Zion I’s site for more about the show. Check out the flyer below.

posted: September 15th, 2011, 1:11pm


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