Legend You Never Knew is a full length album from hip hop artist, Zone00 (pronounced “Zone double O.”) Zone00 grew up in Texas but is well-traveled thanks to his stint in the military. He’s been around the block musically as well and has released several independent projects.
While the album cover is pretty epic and grandiose, the album itself has a lot of artistic, grounded substance to it. There’s no empty flash and posturing here. It’s also awesome that Zone00 actually raps over a variety of productions to include LoFi beats, rather than canned, overproduced pop. It gives the songs an old school analog quality while retaining top notch mixing and production standards. These tracks are smooth and easy on the ears right from the get go with Birthday Flow. A lot of indie rappers are just dudes tinkering around and seeing what they can do, but Zone00 stands out as an obvious professional. These tracks are polished and meticulous, and he raps like someone you can tell has been in the game a long time and has his own style totally perfected. He makes it look easy in fact. Don’t try this at home folks.
The main single of this album is The Pimp. Even though it’s only the second track on the album, this is the jam where he reveals his power level. The piano backing gives the song an intensity which is matched by Zone00′s speedy delivery and substantive lyrics. He displays a knack for conversational storytelling and run-on monologues that would leave lesser men breathless. Each occasional well-timed pause and echoey vocal interlude functions as a unique moment for the listener to reflect with a “wow.”
Excerpt from The Pimp:
Bars in my bars
I never been behind the bars
But still hold down the bars
I never did buy the bar
but I also didn’t buy my bars
Also worth noting is that on the hook for The Pimp, Zone00 is paying homage to late great “Pimp C,” and one half of legendary super group UGK whom he is an absolute fan of.
Another notable track is Ride Wit Me, which features a kind of candyland, circus music beat which both charms and serves to provide a nice complement to the casual, laid back seriousness of the song itself. My favorite musical backing though is the one on Usual Suspects Part I (there is no part II yet.) It has a light folkish rock tune that is both futuristic and retro 50s/60s.
Every song on this album is worth listening to, and there’s both variety and artistic consistency. Zone00 clearly has a recognizable style and persona, something which is crucial for success as a hip hop artist. I kind of wish I had some constructive criticism to give so this review doesn’t seem too over the top gushing. This is just a really solid release and Zone00 is no amateur. He has this down an exact science.
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