Record Review: Elemental Zazen

Elemental Zazen
Nothing To Lose But Change
Boston, MA

“Ferociously reflective independent hip-hop”

Nothing To Lose But Change opens a new chapter for Boston’s furiously polemic lyricist Elemental Zazen. His third studio album follows a lifetime of struggle and survival, and emerges thronged with determination.

Zazen has created an album amalgamated by song styles, track cameos, and diverse beats backing deliciously real lyrics and an enviable production team. Nothing To Lose But Change is a heterogeneous expression of contemporary hip-hop, blending sounds and styles with relevant samples of political and social diatribe. The beats are the gems – gliding easily between rock, indie-pop, R&B, breakbeat, and electronica.

The album reflects relatable life struggles, but is rooted in sociology and takes a radical stance against capitalism. One of the hottest tracks, “Barbie Doll,” featuring the notorious Jean Grae, is about gender stratification and the plight of women’s self-image in the face of popular culture.

While Elemental Zazen isn’t an incredibly polysyllabic rapper, he doesn’t need to be. His syllabic stresses combine with the swiftly-woven genius of his witty lyrics, steady rhyme, and flow to create a crafty, indie style of hip-hop that continues to remain raw –  true to rap’s core.

Zazen’s sharp, controlled lyricism, his industry collaborations, and his instrumental breadth make him one of Boston’s most on-point and inspiring hip-hop acts. (Gnawledge Records)

Recorded by J. Ferra at The Rhythm Section // Mixed and mastered by Matty Trump at Cybersounds, Boston, MA // Artwork by Landon Richmond

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