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Zion I feat. The Grouch – Silly Puddy

This ain’t what ya used ta.” So true, Zion I—y’all are some pretty weird cats. Of course, I’m referring to the good kind of weird, otherwise I wouldn’t be recommending this track. And “weird” is usually synonymous with “unafraid to think outside the box,” which tends to make for some good, good music.

I’ve always enjoyed the Oakland-based duo, DJ Amp Live and MC Zumbi, and their 2000 debut, Mind over Matter, on which you can find today’s Song of the Day, is just amazing. They ventured far and away from the standard sound of hip hop…so far away that it sounds like they’re reaching your ears from outer space. That’s mainly thanks to Amp’s stellar production, which harmoniously combines the sounds of two things I’ve always enjoyed: water (and with that generality I’m usually referring to the ocean) and nighttime. His undulating, futuristic beats sound aqueous and astral, underwater and spacy. But don’t worry, Zumbi makes sure we don’t float away too far into the cosmos by grounding us with his introspective, shit-is-real lyrical content.

I’m excited for you to check out the song below so you’ll know what I mean when I tell you that, at first, it sounds like an airplane (or a UFO?? Maybe I’m getting too spacy.) taking off. Then you hear those first lonely little notes on this track twinkle—just like the stars in the sky glimmer and blink, one at a time. “Silly Puddy” glistens with sparkling notes, thoughtful lyrics, gleaming beats and an otherworldly feel. Check it out below and prepare to drift off…

Best Time and Place to Listen: Whenever you’re feeling spacy. Zoning out? Might as well put a soundtrack to it—just start the video below!

If This Song Were a Celebrity, It Would Be: The glowing, underwater NTIs (nonterrestrial intelligence) from 1989’s The Abyss.

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