HipHopDX Premiere: Directed by Mohammad Gorjestani, “The Boombox Collection: Zion I” is the second film of the Boombox Collection, an intimate portrait and performance series peering into the minds pioneering “working class” Hip Hop artists. At the helm of Zion I is Bay Area MC Zumbi, who has been steadfast in his choice not to rap about “money, power, and bitches,” and instead shares his knowledge and wisdom at the cost of mainstream acceptance.
“Growing up, Zion I was one of my favorite artists and helped me piece together my psyche as an adolescent,” Gorjestani tells HipHopDX. “Listening to Zion I, along a handful of other underground artists, I think shaped me emotionally. [It] taught me to value introspection, critical thinking, and self struggle in a way that wasn’t taught in the classroom, and certainly not in the mainstream. I’ve always have felt indebted to artists like Zion I. Their music often completed thoughts I couldn’t quite grasp fully, or we’re catalyst to my own creative ideas. This series is a very small way of me giving back, and trying to capture these artists cinematically with the goal of representing them authentically. These guys are getting older, they are evolving, and growing wiser. I really wanted to dig into that.”
The nearly 10-minute film is produced by Even/Odd Films with cinematography provided by Mike Gioulakis (known for his work on the movie, It Follows), additional production from Malcolm Pullinger (Emmy Award-nominated producer and editor, and producer/editor of Winnebago Man), and editing courtesy of Carson Porter. Watch it above and revisit “Sauce” from Zion I’s most recent album, Labyrinth.