November 2016

I'm sure most of us know Vic Taks,if not personally then at least as that deadlocked dude who always pops up in this Freeman video or that Jah Prayzah video having a good time and enjoying the music.He is a staunch supporter of music in general and Zimdancehall in particular.He even has a few riddims named after him and countless namedrops from that genre's  elite pool of artists.For his latest project however he decided to show his love for Hip-Hop and roped in a stellar cast of both rookies and veterans to showcase their rapping skills on a Forcy production recorded at Vic Taks studio.

The song Bhawa Rules which came with an Andy Cutta directed  video reveals a completely different side to HKD chanters Freeman and an on fire  DaRuler as they go bar for bar with established rappers Mc Chita and Shingy.The song also ropes in Dozae,Nashverb and Nina Grande who adds to the female fire power with hot sixteens of her own.Then again Hip-Hop and dancehall are basically kin so we weren't really surprised when DaRuler  owned her verse with lines like
     "Mambokadzi ndotora mari kunge minibus
     Zuva rechi two mwedzi wechithree ndiri too much"

All the verses follow a common theme which is basically Bar Etiquette for imbibers the world over.Apparently every bar has it's rules and following them almost always results in a night of fun and disregarding them results in the complete opposite.Buying your own beer is a must,as is bringing your own boo and sneaking into the V.I.P when you are broke will only reveal you as the wannabe you are.Dozae really slayed the chorus and Chita and Shingy held it down for Hip-Hop with Nashverb adding a touch of Bulawayo to the joint.The video is available on YouTube as well as on the Vic Taks Facebook page

Heads might remember Coded from that chorus of his on Sharky's rusununguko or better yet the single he released soon after titled faraway.If one didn't know better they would assume Coded grew up in Gari,Nigeria munching away on jollof rice because the afrobeat  vibe is so heavy in his music and this Nags & Rayo production is no different.In fact so  naijaristic is this song it won't even sound amiss in say a Wizkid catalogue.

Money simply talks about the age old untenable position of people not feeling you when you are broke and the equally unenviable position of people loving you for your bank balance.Coded,after musing on this unfortunate situation goes all out in trying to convince an unnamed character (whom we assume is bae or potential bae) that money won't really buy love so she is better off giving him her  sweet potato and he is bound by honour to give her his sugar banana.All this of course if he gives her money because if he does not she will laugh in his face.

Seeing as afrobeat is fast going global any self respecting playlist or would be Dj should consider this a must have for their summer party collections.Its available for streaming on:

The Hardest Working Man In Town Yagi Dojo has teamed up with Jnr Brown,Tytan and Shasha to give bossniggaz and youngins looking to elevate to bossnigga levels a joint to nod their heads to while doing whatever it is that bosses do.Shasha did the honours on the chorus crooning bout how any real boss is posed to know what it takes to keep a high class lady satisfied.Breezy and Tytan quip in to add extra flavour to the chorus repeatedly chanting 'boss,Mdhara' as Shasha assures them that they are indeed the bosses.
       First verse sees Breezy getting his fresh on and hitting the streets to get that money (even bosses gotta work right).He doesn't shy away from the fact that its all for the Queen in his life stating matter of factly that after getting the keys to the city he will pass them to his lady because that's the Boss thing to do.He also handles the second verse proclaiming he is gunning for glory on his own as many hang around friends just wanna use you for their own betterment.
   "Vanokusveta ropa Buka maVampire
Wotsvaga chiCookie chako wovaka empire"

Tytan aka King Mukoko adds a ndebele flair to the whole affair dropping ndebele sixteens on the last verse.He doesn't really deviate from the theme tuning his lady that she doesn't have to work since he is hellbent on transforming her from peasant to "Queen Mukoko" with all the perks that come with that title.So from henceforth the focus is on profits till they conquer everything and become "Boss Zonkes".A couple of pictures accompanied this release and we only hope it turns out to be evidence of a video already done and dusted after all that's that Bossy Life.

This year has been particularly good for local Hip-Hop and while a great number of talented artists have invested blood sweat and tears for this to happen there is a select few whose grind has been both consistent and attention grabbing they've made choosing man of the year an uphill task. Yours truly has narrowed down that list to four individuals who have put Hip-Hop on a certain pedestal.

Jnr Brown
Breezy opened the year with the controversial "We Run It" which many rappers took as a direct insult to their grind as Jnr Brown declared dominion over each and every major city. The joint spewed a few great replies including fellow Man of the year contender Cal_Vin's used to run it and Best Underground nominee Jungle Bango's Tochimhanya. Breezy followed this up with the socially conscious Tongogara which was commercially successful earning thousands of dollars via WhatsApp sales in its first week, a rare feat in a land were music is mostly bootlegged and spread for free. With the numbers to prove it the endorsements also came among them Super Chibuku, TelOne and Astro mobile proving that even though money doesn't make the man,the man of the year gotta make the money.

Just last year dude was channeling his inner Sele Bobo performing chart topping Afro Pop joints as part of Soul Africa.2016 saw Takura try his hand in the subgenre of the moment Trap and he killed radio with two monster singles Zino Items and MaObama before dropping High Definition videos for both songs. Did I mention he also gave us the Stripped Ep which inspired a Stripped Tour were we saw Takura performing at campuses around Zimbabwe before hitting Cyprus for a show. Takura seems to be taking over one dab at a time.

One of the most refreshing young voices in the game whose mastery of  heavily africanized bars and show stealing guest verses and double/triple entendres has gained him many fans. He launched his Soko Matemai album at a well attended event and the reviews have mostly agreed the boy who raps the monkey totem made a classic. Even the Senegalese for whom Sharky performed for at the Festah Festival seem to agree Sharky is onto something special.He also held his own at Shoko Festival amongst industry heavyweights like Jah Prayzeh, Winky D, AKA, Ammara Brown etc etc. Stage presence and music that resonates with the ordinary person are Sharky's greatest attributes.

Straight out of Luveve and putting Bulawayo on the global map is the Loxion Obama himself. He was recently in Germany co-headlining the Urban Africa Festival with Cassper Nyovest and Awa Khiwe.The Vin has banded together a group of talented young turks going by the moniker Kontrol Tribe making sure the next generation of rap superstars has a platform to launch their own successful careers. He also dropped the Planet Vin which is in the running for album of the year and has slayed stages all over the country. A few endorsement deals have been teased and guest features killed.                       

Dodger Zw is a Zim Hip Hop Awards 2016 nominee at

Facebook: Dodger Zw
Instagram: @dodgeraviboy

From time to time Cashbid gets annoyed by the level of "mediocrity" in the game and takes it upon himself to bring in a dose of fresh air to supposedly ventilate the culture.The 3rd one in his Ventilation series was mixed and mastered by DJ Krimz and the beat was provided by Seengy.A random listen will leave one in awe at dude's mastery of the ancient art of rhyiming with enough punchlines,double entendres and even triple entendres to cause a minor seizure.However even the most dedicated ear will miss a bar here and there and Cashbid,fully aware of this decided to bless us with a lyric video to catch all those lines we missed.
      "Like Mufasa's son I'll tag your shit as the crap it is if you claim you can grab the next nigga's bitch"

This play on Mufasa's son Simba and Zimbabwean artist/producer Simba tags while driving home his contempt for substandard generic bars is just an example of what a barfest this is.Weak features on mad beats aren't spared and rappers who feel some typa way with each set of manipulated  1000 datafile downloads and praises from the gallery also receive a swipe.Company logos and actual pictures are used to drive home some of the not so apparent lines and even then it takes 3 watches to deduce what dude is actually saying.We could rave on and on about what a lyrical masterpiece this is but we'd rather you visit YouTube and judge for yourself if Cashbid really ventilated the game with this one.

Bulawayo femcee Awa (African Women Arise) has been having the best year of her life.She recently won an award at the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council in the Best Inspirational film category for the Noisey Raps documentary on her directed by Max Thurlow.The documentary details her journey from the dusty streets of Makokoba to her first ever plane ride when she performed at Zimbabwe's biggest Hip-Hop festival with a German band.Since then she has been all over the world with her Sangoma act at the Urban Africa Festival alongside Casper Nyovest and Cal_Vin and at the Voices Of the Revolution meet with a diverse pool of female artists from across the world all the while tackling social ills through Hip-Hop.Peep the documentary below

A verified MTV base sourthen Africa twitter account published a Zim top ten emcees for 2016 and one particular name immediately had tongues waging,Indigo Saint and rightly so because many outside his hometown of Bulawayo had never heard of him.A few days after,Indigo dropped a remarkable EP and the MTV cosign started making sense to those who came across this sometimes gloomy,sometimes depressing yet so musical piece of work that tackles real issues faced by many youths which society tends to push under the rug from drug abuse,depression and even suicide.The best part is the message is clothed in musical excellence far removed from that annoying nasal tone favoured by your motivational speaker.The track has no features and the only other voice we hear is a girl venting about her frustrations.This is particularly relevant because the project besides being a journey into Indigo's psyche  also serves as a dedication to his friend Thee Immortal aka DT who committed suicide.Her heart wrenching last tweets have been immortalised in the digital booklet that comes with the book and serve as a chilling reminder that just the little bit of attention on our part could save many a young life in this crazy world of hours that spends every moment on some pretentious bs.
"I wanna pass some knowledge not a blunt to these kids
But my plug was my uncle and to him I was a kid"

The album in keeping with it's wisdom from behind the blunt theme is divided into 8 tracks i.e  3 joints,the joint he and DT couldn't finish and four sheets of Rizzlas.He makes no excuses for his addiction though he admits its messing him up as his highs kinda feel like lows now,he however urges other stoners and junkies alike to not take the route of his friend DT pointing out that we all have personal demons we must fight and it doesn't pay to base our happiness on pretentious and judgemental humans.Dig deep into this tale of a young man trying so hard to not get swallowed by life with all its challenges and if you are in the same situation hopefully the music will be as soothing as he planned it to be.
Follow @Int_Zw on instagram and Twitter and get the EP on datafile

We all have that one friend we feel can takeover the world if only she could concentrate for just the right amount of time.For me that friend is Emilia Mandaza aka True North who has a reputation of spitting her heart out when it suits her.Granted the times when it suits her are far and few in between but when they happen a dash of excellence is apparent.Allow me to rant a little bit more (no Jidenna) and say North only hooked me up with this joint today and I've had it on repeat since the wee hours of the morning.

  On production she chose Zim Hip-Hop Awards nominee Fun F who provided just the right amount of kicks and snares to allow the various bar-barians featured on the joint to showcase their skills.Meyniak (nominated for best underground at this year's Hip-Hop awards) opens proceedings taking demons for demonstrations and demolition (his words not mine) followed by Tru North waxing lyrical about rapping till she can not breathe.Ash and Dro also pull through with memorable verses with the Dro verse standing out as he spits
"Boys dzesmoko nekasystem kekuzvida
Nema church girl vachizunguza chiuno
She a mix of Mother Mary and Babes Wodumo"

The patois chorus also helps give this bars of fury collabo an uptempo feel.Do stream the jam on Tru North's soundcloud

Ahysayn the beatmaker teamed up with Sharky to for this track taken off his Algorythm album which tells the story of a young fella abducted by mermaids  and forced to live with them for the longest time on a diet of worms and all sorts of rotten delicasies.The abduction turns out to be a blessing in disguise as the worms actually help Mandipe to survive years were many  die of hunger.As a bonus Mandipe's brain is enhanced and he is gifted with great superpowers and on his return the very same people who had no respect for him line up to get help in a classic case of "chaitemura chave kuseva".

Sharky picks off were the vocal talents of Ahsayn leave us to detail the irony of the game and life in general i.e people won't lift a hand to help you in the various challenges you face expecting you to fail.Funny thing is the very same people are the first to ask for handouts and a helping hand as soon as you reach a certain level of success.Soko Matemai further thanks the ancestors for the level of success he has reached detailing how it hasn't been easy but he has dealt with the frustrations and backbiting to persevere although the journey is far from over.Those who are listening would do well to heed the "magical" words of Mandipe though a few are likely to plug logs into their eardrums and shun wisdom.

   Smooth vocals from Ahsayn (who also produced the track) and Afrocentric delivery on the part of Sharky aside the track's fusion of an old school R 'n' B sound with the mbira and the soft female backing vocals give it a unique feel and one can almost feel the still whispers of the river Mandipe called home during his stay with the mermaids.Stream the track on soundcloud

The Zim Hip-Hop Awards committee today released this year's nominees on their Facebook page and as expected visits to the feeling station have already started and opinions over who should get what and why are already flying all over social media.A quick perusal of the nominees list will reveal that this year the committee tried to encompass every single person who was relevant to local rap culture though a few suspect characters have been bundled in.The breaking new ground theme is embodied in the decision to leave the ultimate decision on who gets what award to the fans through a texting based voting platform.The list is mostly fair but as with any awards rappers and fans alike will cry foul for having been left out and some sections of the Hip-Hop community believe the submission based criteria used to select nominees should be changed.Anyway without further ado here is the full list,go through it and be sure to hashtag #ZHHA16 and to vote for your favorites.

Best Male
Jnr Brown

Best Female
Black Perl

Best Group
Kontrol Tribe
Burg Boyz
Winner Circle
Doller Sign Music
Yedu Entertainment

Best Producer
Yung Nash
Fun F
Charly Zimbo
Krimz Beatz
Tash Manhize

Best Newcomer
Huby Blakes

Best Brand
SOG Clothing
Ethniq Inc

Best Album
Ti Gonzi – Hipu Hopu YekuGhetto
Cal_Vin – Planet Vin
Asaph – KingsVilla 2
Sharky – Soko Matemai
Tehn Diamond – A Few Good Poems

Best Promoter
In The City
Shoko Festival

Best Diaspora
GT Beatz
Flame Fleezy

Best Radio Dj
Krytic Igwe & Lampy (Diamond FM)
Mox (Star FM)
Butterphly (Power FM)
Prometheus (Power FM)
Danny That Guy (ZiFM Stereo)
DJ Emmity Smooth (Power FM)

Best Gospel
J Soldier
General Jay Tee
Jay Son
Courtney Antipas

Best Club Dj
The Family
TK Beatz
Korrupt King
DJ Brew

Best Collaboration
8L ft Tocky – Mainini
DJ Tawaz – Mablesser
Jnr Brown ft Cal_Vin – Amen (Rmx)
Tehn Diamond ft Gze – Bho Tsano
Ti Gonzi ft Ras Caleb – Ende Makaoma

Best Underground
Psyko Tektonic
Jungle Kid

Best Online Media
Fokus Mag
Shona Boy Conglomerate
Urban Culture

Best Hip Hop Hustle
Jnr Brown

Best Verse
Gze – Imhandu 2nd verse
Jnr Brown – Tongogara 3rd verse
Brian G – Skiri 1st verse
Cal_Vin – Mafacts
Sharky – Garai pasi

Best Dancer
John Cole
Tendai Guzha
MC Tatts
Sean Mumba
Billiard Kumbona

Best Dance Group
Lethal Firm
House of Animates
Dance 1st International

People’s Choice
Ti Gonzi
Jnr Brown
MC Chita

Best TV
Trey NCube – Basement Cyphers
Naboth Rizzla –Hiphop263
Nafuna TV –Nafuna Now
Miss V Candy and Mandisoul –Club E

Best Journalist
Tafadzwa Zimoyo (Herald)
Leroy Dzenga (Herald)
Sindiso Dube (NewsDay)
Bongani Ndlovu (Chronicle)
DaKid Verse (Zim Rap Cities)

Song of the year
8L – Mainini
Takura – Zino Irema
Jnr Brown – Tongogara
Gze – Imhandu
Brian G – Skiri

Best Video
Dice ft Cal_Vin – RAD
Takura – MaObama
Karizma – Shisha Pipe
Stunner ft Sir Ford – Inna Me Head
Scrip Mulla – Inyanga
Manyonz ft Tagz and Jmak – Kutsvaga Mari

Best Alternative
Tehn Diamond
Simba Tagz

Resilience Chekera better known as Gze has been consistently putting out work this year and in his latest joint he attributes all of the successes he is currently enjoying  to prayer.He gets help from Cal_Vin and dancehall chanter Goldfinga to bring to life this Fun F production which is a G on the block's take on interaction with divinity.
"Ten mahail Mary just for one blessing" he croons on the chorus while pointing out that sometimes all that's needed is knees on the ground because only the man above knows it all.Goldfinga adds a Caribbean feel to the chorus and tells us its not easy making it in this world but ultimately its not Juju but prayer that did it.

"Gotta get my people out of the ghetto into the promised land black Moses
Freaking awesome how we blossomed on the concrete black roses"

The above lines perhaps sum up the whole song which besides being a thank you for blessings received and a plea for his bars to be blessed,is a chronicle of how things have been bad for Gze till Yahweh intervened and made him an example to the rest of the hood of what prayer can do.Rides in police cars barefooted in handcuffs turn to balling in a believable ex-jap ride,jewellery and high end fashion through grace. Addiction to codeine and popping pills gets beaten and lil boys are reminded that drug use will turn them into black Zombies,all this delivered in street lingo your flashy prosperity pastor might wanna borrow.

That Luveve boy Cal_Vin goes ham on the second verse mixing ndebele and English to narrate how at one point everything was going against him ,ex girl friends were fabricating stories about him to tarnish his image but he stays focused on the positivity and Godwilling he will employ his aspirations and make his dreams work.Its been rags to riches,sweat and hard work that has led him to the cake and since nobody human gave it to him he bout to make sure nobody takes it from him either.Prayer is available for download on datafile and to keep up with Gze and Cal_Vin follow them on their social media.

Let's face it realness is a blurry utopia many strive towards and never reach,its also an ideal most don't really buy into especially when its self pronounced. So when Nash Da King announced that was the working title for his next single many would have taken the declaration with a pinch of salt but yours truly had no such reservations having been exposed to earlier gems from the "Sleek Mampara" e.g Super Mandiwanzira, Low Low and Umshini wami. On production he didn't stray from the Hitmen crew,a production house he has worked with so well in the past.

The joint starts off with an almost comical deep voiced chorus were Nash proclaims he is the real McKhoya but things turn serious real fast as dude dives into a well executed verse littered with some pretty insane bars.Seems y'all don't support your rappers enough and stay telling them they won't blow anytime soon, Nash on the other hand kindly asks us to grab some popcorn and seats and watch as he,matchsticks and T.N.T combine to make a big explosion that will prolly see him getting a beat from No I.D. The similar sounding rapper brigade with their ripped jeans and suspect sneakers get frowned upon as does their fake boy tendencies before Nash calmly informs us
"This go make my real people jump on some Kriss cross
These are heavy  16s like a middle aged Rick Ross
I keep one eye on the prize like Fetty Wap
Revolutionary flex I'm the next Malcolm X"

The bridge and closing verse are but a formality after this and dude uses them to show his squad love,a squad he says is full of Young Jack Mambazos (not really sure who that is though).While he has a clique he proclaims he ain't really that social on social networks and negative energy is a click away from the delete button.Great work from the young rapper and y'all will agree with me its time we get a full length project from Nash. Peep the joint on his soundcloud and follow him on his Facebook account Panashe Ndebele to keep up with his moves and new music.