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.

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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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