MP3 Elemental Zazen - Nothing To Lose But Change
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (44:15) !
Related styles: Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop, Spoken Word: With Music, Type: Political
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The son of international school teachers, Elemental Zazen was born in the US and raised in Al Taif (Saudi Arabia) and Beijing (China). Despite growing up in vastly different countries, Zazen saw a similar pattern of injustice everywhere he called home. Unwilling to accept a system that produces inhumane poverty and opulent wealth side-by-side, Elemental Zazen focused his fury into his 2004 debut The Adolescence Weapon - which The Weekly Dig praised as "one of Boston's most enlightened hip-hop discs in recent memory." (5/07)
When Elemental Zazen started working on his sophomore release "The Glass Should Be Full," he envisioned the album as a political manifesto for radical social change - revolutionary hip-hop in the tradition of Public Enemy. Over the next two years, a series of tragedies in his personal life interrupted his plans and forced Elemental Zazen to shift his focus to survival.
In 2006, he lost a close family member in a tragic accident, and then lost most of his worldly possessions when his house burned to the ground in a five-alarm fire. On June 6, 2007, Zazen was taken to the ER after suffering a concussion...the consequential MRI revealed a tumor in his right occipital lobe. A month later, shortly after being featured in The Weekly Dig as one of "10 to watch for in 2007," he checked into the hospital to undergo brain surgery. During his recovery period, Zazen had to relearn how to walk and also to cope with his newly acquired handicap- the damage caused by the surgery robbed him of a large portion of his sight. Zazen started writing about his too-soon confrontation with death, recorded the bulk of "The Glass Should Be Full," and before too long got back to touring with his five-piece band. "The Glass Should Be Full" narrates the fear, hope and anger of a disillusioned revolutionary struggling against both political injustice and personal tribulations.
In The Boston Globe's "5 Locals on the Verge in 2008," Zazen was described as " fast, furious, raw, and reflective...verbally nimble and righteously indignant." The Boston Phoenix added "given the pain that moved his pen at such agonizing angst-addled angles, his sophomore release is as hardcore an opus as Tupacï¿½s Me Against the World... it certifies that honesty, vulnerability, and introspection make for better hip-hop than masked insecurity and bullshit every single time." (5/08).
In the summer of 2008, Elemental Zazen embarked on his first european tour, featuring shows in England, Spain, Germany, France and The Netherlands.
This spring, Zazen is set to release his third album, "Nothing To Lose But Change", on Gnawledge Records. Although the new record maintains Zazen's dense lyrical style, it is a departure of sorts in that it is his first solo release to contain collaborations with other emcees. Guest vocalists include Jean Grae, Fashawn, and Canibus; guest producers include Jake One, Blue Sky Black Death, Eligh, Metaform, M-Phazes, Joe Beats (Non and Kno (Cunninlynguists).
Zazen has also worked with several other elite producers, both veterans and emerging; including DJ Vadim, Eligh (Living Legends), Kno (Cunninlynguists), Blue Sky Black Death, Metaform, Maker (Glue), Joe Beats (Non-Prophets), M-Phazes, and more. He has also recorded tracks with Fatlip of The Pharcyde, Vast Aire, Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers, Insight, and Qwel.
Zazen has shared stages around the world with artists such as Immortal Technique, Kool Keith, Mr. Lif, Cage, Animal Collective, Devin the Dude, and many, many more.
After living in Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts, for 7 years, Elemental Zazen recently relocated to Seattle, Washington, where he is currently working towards his PhD in Sociology at The University of Washington. For the previous six years, he supervised residential counselors at a home for mentally ill young adults in Arlington, Massachusetts.
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