The Pharcyde, Cypress Hill, Bob Marley helped mold Zion-I’s MC Zumbi

Zion-I founder MC Zumbi
Zion-I founder MC Zumbi

It’s no secret that Oakland MC Zumbi, the driving force behind the long-standing Zion-I crew, has long been a passionate consumer of cannabis. He plays at cannabis events, is an outspoken advocate and has even devoted an entire mixtape, aptly titled the 420 Mixtape, to celebrating the plant.

But even his most devout followers may be surprised to hear about the roots of his relationship with cannabis, as heard through his favorite songs to pair with smoking, in this episode of The Hash’s recurring segment “High Five”.

Although Zumbi has largely made his career as a Bay Area artist, he traces his roots to the East Coast. As he recounts in the podcast, attending Morehouse College — one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities — in Atlanta was a particularly formidable experience, shaping his appreciation of hip-hop, social smoking and freestyle rapping.

All of the tracks he pinpoints here, including classics like Bob Marley’s “Them Belly Full” and hip-hop classics like The Pharcyde’s “Pack the Pipe,” are tied inextricably to profound memories, including discovering hip-hop culture in Atlanta, training with a family kung-fu artists who he met while they performed on campus, and some real backseat freestyling with his friends. For the whole story, listen in below.

Songs heard in this episode:

Zion-I – “Coastin’ (Instrumental)”

Cypress Hill – “Stoned is the Way of the Walk”

Bob Marley – “Them Belly Full”

Rebelution – “So High”

The Pharcyde – “Pack the Pipe”

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