Thursday, July 27, 2017

Zion I Robbed at Gunpoint in West Oakland During Video Shoot, $89,000 Camera Stolen

By Nick Miller
Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM

click to enlarge A still image from the video shoot on July 10, when Zion I and his crew was robbed at gunpoint. - COURTESY OF ZION I
  • Courtesy of Zion I
  • A still image from the video shoot on July 10, when Zion I and his crew was robbed at gunpoint.
Beloved local hip-hop duo Zion I was robbed at gunpoint during a recent video shoot in West Oakland — and now the artists are asking for fans to help.

On Monday, July 10, Zion I, a crew, and extras — 12 to 15 individuals total, including young kids — were filming in the Prescott neighborhood of West Oakland near Willow and 11th streets. Baba Zumbi of Zion I said the video was about the "lack of opportunity" for Oaklanders, and scenes included characters wearing masks of GOP presidents Trump, and Reagan.

"It was more a short film than a music video, actually," Zumbi explained in a video interview.

He said that, at around noon that day, men showed up at the shoot. "They hop out of the car, put a gun to the camera man's head, and take all the equipment," Zumbi said.

Kimu Elolia, the PR rep for Zion I, explained that three men allegedly arrived at the film shoot in a rental Gig Care Share vehicle, then pointed a gun at one of the crew members, and made off with a Red Camera, which has an estimated value of $89,000. Also lost was all of the video-shoot footage from that day.

"When somebody takes something that you're working on ... it just kind of fucks up your day," Zumbi said.

The director, David Telles, is also a West Oakland resident, as were many of the crew members live on the block. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the camera was insured.

But they need to raise $7,500 to cover the insurance deductible, get the camera back, and re-shoot the video. Zion I launched a Go Fund Me page, and as of this afternoon it had raised just more than $2,500 of the $7,500 goal.


Earlier this year, Zion I released The Labyrinth, and the video was for a single off that project.

(Look for more updates on this incident after the Express obtains a copy of the police report.)

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