Zion I and the Grouch, a hip-hop group from the Bay Area, will perform in the University Union (UU) Plaza during UU Hour Thursday.
Missi Bullock, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) programs coordinator, said the performers are actually two separate acts in collaboration.
The Grouch, the alias for Corey Scoffern, is a rapper from Oakland, Calif. and a member of the indie rap group Living Legends, which started in the ’90s. Zion I is a hip-hop duo, comprised of MC Baba Zumbi and DJ AmpLive. The Grouch collaborated with the duo in 2006 on their album “Heroes of the City of Dope,” and both acts came out with a new album in 2011 titled “Heroes in the Healing of the Nation.”
“It’s rare for us to be able to bring hip-hop (to Concerts in the Plaza),” Bullock said. “So this is a really great opportunity for students to be involved in a hip-hop scene, if that’s what they are into.”
Jacki Iwanski, the ASI musical entertainment supervisor and a business administration senior, said she booked the group because it has “good name recognition” on the Cal Poly campus, and a lot of students have already heard of them. Iwanski said she recommends the group to people who like hip-hop or dance music, and said the performance will be fun and upbeat.
According to the event’s Facebook page, more than 700 people are planning to attend.
“It’s nice because a lot of hip-hop now is huge people, like Jay-Z and Kanye West, and these guys are just as talented, but they are underground,” Iwanski said. “They are not quite as well-known, but they are definitely well-known in the area and in California.”
Iwanski said she tries to book musicians who come through the area. In this case, Zion I and the Grouch will also perform at SLO Brewing Co. the same day from 8 to 11 p.m.
“They like keeping to a smaller scale,” Iwanski said. “They don’t want to be huge; they don’t want to have a million views on their YouTube videos. They kind of like having the underground vibe, I’d say.”
Computer engineering junior Michael Chamoures said he was excited and surprised when he heard the group would be at Cal Poly.
Chamoures was first introduced to The Grouch’s music in high school by a friend. He said he is a fan of non-mainstream hip-hop. Although he follows The Grouch, he has only heard about Zion I.
When Chamoures listened to the collaboration, he said it was a perfect match.
“If The Grouch is in it, it must be awesome,” Chamoures said. “Some of it’s really upbeat, some of it’s really mellow. Just kind of nice to listen to.”
Although the group has toured in San Luis Obispo before, this is the first time Chamoures will attend a live performance. Since the group has been on the underground scene for a long time and it has a big following, he said he has high hopes for how the concert will play out.
“I think it’ll be a big turnout,” he said. “It’s really cool when a lot of people turn out at the plaza.”