No. 1," delivers a blend of styles on his upcoming mixtape, "I'm in Da Building."
On album opener "Wanna Ride," Zone lays down his lyrics atop a smooth, crisp beat about girls at the club. It's reminiscent of Jamie Foxx's "Can I Take U Home," and cruises at an R&B-like speed. Zone doesn't croon words like Foxx, but he gives each line a relaxed pace that works.
Shifting immediately from the down-tempo, Zone accelerates into "Got Money," a track dominated by a synthesized rhythm that guides the song from start to finish. The "money over mind" headspace that Zone possesses here shines alongside an appearance by fellow rapper S.O.S. On this track, Zone gives us his best T.I. impersonation while rapping, almost matching the iconic Atlanta star's manner of rhyming and timing.
"What's Da Big Deal" is similarly paced, but Zone switches the theme from money and women to his own ego. He kicks it off with a real swagger, boasting about everything. In the hook, he asks, "What's the big deal?" which he answers, "Me." Supported by a steady beat and lyrics, Zone asserts himself as the alpha male.
His music steps away from the big beats and dance crazes that are often stereotyped in modern rap. Instead, he relies on lyrics to make listeners use their heads for more than bobbing.
Zone will debut "I'm In Da Building" Friday at Club 101, 1051 12th Ave. Northeast in Norman. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/zonesh. "Luke Atkinson