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R.I.P. Steve “Zumbi” Gaines, of Zion I, Dead at 47


Steve “Zumbi” Gaines, a co-founding member of the Bay Area hip-hop group Zion I, has died at the age of 47 due to complications from COVID-19.

According to a statement from Gaines’ family, the rapper passed away Friday morning (August 13th) at Alta Bates Hospital in San Fransisco, California.


In the mid-1990s, Gaines teamed with producer Amp Live and released their debut album, Mind over Matter. Their breakout release came with 2005’s True & Livin’, which boasted collaborations with Gift of Gab, Talib Kweli, and Aesop Rock. The following year Zion I released the first of two collaborative LPs with Oakland rapper The Grouch.

Amp Live left Zion I in 2015, but the duo recently reunited and had planned to tour together prior to Gaines’ passing. “He was working on a Zion I reunion tour with longtime producer and collaborator, Amp Live, to honor the legacy of their musical endeavors for their fans,” Gaines’ family said in a statement.


 




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