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Zion I MC Steve Gaines Dies At 49


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Another great musician was lost this week. Steve Gaines, best known as Baba Zumbi from the hip-hop project Zion I, passed away amidst a battle with COVID-19.


Close friends said the cause of death was a complication from the disease but his family refrained from confirming. DJ True Justice, a touring DJ for Zion I, said Gaines was recovering from COVID-19 when "he had a severe asthma attack and his heart stopped. He died in the hospital. They were unable to revive him." He was reportedly hesitant about receiving the vaccine.


A statement from his family says:


It is with utter disbelief and great sadness that the Gaines family shares the news of the passing of Steve “Zumbi” Gaines on Friday, August 13, 2021. Gaines, 49 and the MC of the critically acclaimed hip-hop group Zion I, passed away at Alta Bates Hospital today in the early morning from unknown causes. The family requests privacy in this very challenging time while they await further details.


Steve is survived by three sons, his mother and his brother. 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.


Zion I was founded in 1996 by Baba Zumbi and DJ and producer AMP Live. Their debut album Mind Over Matter was released in 2000 to critical acclaim in the underground scene, being nominated for "Independent Album of the Year" by The Source and featured in HipHopDX's "30 Best Underground Hip Hop Albums Since 2000" list in 2015.


The group collaborated with Linkin Park on a remix of 'A Place For My Head' on Reanimation. The original remix submitted for the album was rejected by the band, leading them to creating the version that eventually made the album. The track was recorded at Blue Room Studios and Mike Shinoda's home studio dubbed The Stockroom. Watch below a short interview with Zumbi about working with Mike.



Source: KQED

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