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Zion I, one of the veteran Hip-Hop acts out of the Bay Area, were the target of thieves who robbed the crew of $90,000 in camera equipment by gunpoint. Zumbi, the face of Zion I, says that the robbery is most likely part of a larger plot and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to stave off the loss.

HipHopDX exclusively spoke with Zumbi, who shared his frustrations with the moment while remaining positive in light of the harrowing event.

HHDX writes:

“When the robbery happened, I was standing behind a van across the street from where they were filming the scene,” Zumbi tells HipHopDX. “I was talking to our producer who lives on the block. One of the kids in the video came riding up the street on his bike yelling, ‘They got us!’ When I came out from behind the van, the whole crew had their faces buried in their hands. It felt like I had been violated straight up.

“A part of me took it real personal,” he continued. “My ego was saying, ‘Don’t they know I’m about the community? I rock with the youth, I’m trying to do good.’ But then, the reality set in that there is so much damn hunger in these streets. The youth are struggling to survive, especially with all the drama around gentrification impacting the city so hard. It made me take a breath, and when the producer’s grandma, who was also letting us use her house on the block said, ‘Well, thank the lord no one got killed. Y’all okay,’ it really put things in perspective. Yeah, we got robbed — it fucked up my day. But I get to have another day. From that moment, I started trying to figure out how to turn the lemons into lemonade.”

Adding to Zumbi’s observation that this is part of an organized criminal effort as the cameras themselves require high costs to operate, R&B vocalist Bilal and crew were similarly robbed at gunpoint in 2015 and there has been a recent rash of related crimes in the region.

Check out the full interview and story by following this link.

To support Zion I’s GoFundMe efforts, go here.

Photo: GoFundMe/Zion I