Boston-bred emcee and born survivor Elemental Zazen presents the first single from his forthcoming album Nothing To Lose But Change, also featuring Fashawn and Jean Grae. In 2007, a month after losing a close family member in an accident and his home in a five-alarm fire, The Weekly Dig voted him one of '10 To Watch In 2007'. Shortly after undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor - a procedure which left him with permanent sight damage - and learning how to walk again, The Boston Globe voted Zazen as one of their '5 Locals On The Verge' in 2008 for The Glass Should Be Full, the astonishing album he penned through those dark times. Of the album, the Boston Phoenix wrote: "given the pain that moved his pen at such agonizing angst-addled angles, his sophomore release is as hardcore an opus as Tupac's Me Against The World... it certifies that honesty, vulnerability, and introspection make for better hip-hop than masked insecurity and bullshit every single time."
Zazen says of working with Canibus:
"To this day, Canibus remains the only emcee in the game that consistently makes me hit rewind in order to figure out exactly what he said. His versatility is unbelievable; he can kill it with battle raps or spit an existential verse without blinking. Working with a legend like him is both humbling and inspiring. I've heard a bunch of collaborations where the emcees just ride their reputations. In this case, that's not true. I think we both brought it, and this track speaks for itself."
Hiero's DJ Prepares New Solo Album, Recruits Bay Legend and Up-And-Comer For Non-Album Track
Oakland native, and official DJ for the legendary Hieroglyphics Crew, DJ Toure lends his beats to Tajai from Souls of Mischief and up and coming Bay-Area rapper Nio Tha Gift, who demonstrate their contrasting but distinct, Bay Area-influenced styles and attitudes. Although the song is not featured on Toure's upcoming album, Toure's Theory, which will be dropping this Spring via Interdependent Media, the video is a taste of the Hiero energy that fans can expect throughout that project, on which Toure will bring together a mix of veteran and up-and-coming rappers, pairing them over his beats. For this particular track, Nio's nasal flow is paired with Tajai's own gravelly vocals, as the pair take turns flipping their polysyllabic rhymes atop Toure's urgent sounding production, complete with shrill horn stabs and distorted bass.
DJ Toure's album, Toure's Theory, will be available Spring 2011 via Interdependent Media.
Toure “DJ Toure” Duncan of Hieroglyphics grew up playing drums in church and at school, a passion that soon sparked an interest in production and he started Djing in the 6th grade. The local Oakland music scene contributed greatly to his main influences which spanned many musical styles, from Hip Hop to Gospel to R&B. Dj Toure's childhood also saw the formation of Hieroglyphics. He attended elementary school with Casual in the 4th grade, and A-Plus, Tajai and Opio lived close by in the neighborhood over the hill from Toure’s home. When Del officially started the Hieroglyphics crew in the late 1980s, Toure became Casual’s official DJ. As a producer of hits for Hieroglyphics crew, Toure began to make a name for himself as a producer in the Bay Area and he then started to work with independent artists including Too $hort, E-40, Father Dom, Beeda Weeda, Goapele, and many others. With his production company, 101% Music, Toure has singlehandedly acted as an incubator for new talent in the Bay. As a live act, DJ Toure has traveled the Americas, Canada and internationally to Japan as a DJ and member of Hieroglyphics and rocked stages alongside the X-Ecutioners, Mos Def, Wu-Tang, Nas, Common, Talib Kweli and countless others.