Let me rewind us back to summer 2011. If there was a match made in heaven, this would be it. The futuristic raps of Oakland, CA’s own Zion I melts together with the jazzy-synth pop of EMPT favorite, Little Dragon. Taking the title track off Little Dragon’s 2011 release by the same title and adding a killer rap verse at the end, Zion I has found a home in Little Dragon’s production. I can’t think of anything else better than ending the work week by beginning the weekend with track of wayward love spilled over a smooth beat.
We can thank Brooklyn based producer, J. Period, for bringing together two worlds so seemingly apart, now that they’re together we can’t imagine why they’d be separated. I didn’t know much about J. Period before this track, but after consulting the internet I came to realize I’ve known him for quite some time. He’s been dropping mixtapes since 2000, one of which I used to play samples from for a while after the death of Michael Jackson. At the time I didn’t know where the tracks came from. Now I know they’re from J. Period’s 2009 tribute to Michael Jackson mixtape. His work is something to be reckoned with. What he hears in tracks and how he can associate sounds with other sounds is beyond measure in my book, and he’s done something quite good with this track. The song is very much still the Ritual Union we know and love. Listen closely and you’ll hear subtle reggae influences and a quirky synth wobble in the background. Zumbi comes in and spits his fire during the third verse, and it simply melts into the sound. The rhythm of the raps counter the low doom-doom-doom-doom-doom line of the original track in a way that enhances both sampled artist’s styles and eccentricities. It’s these unexpected expected nuances that set this track above a casual remix. It is, after all, a re-fix (not that either track needed fixing but hey).
So congratulations on getting through the week. Pour yourself something, sit back and turn this tune up. Welcome to the weekend.