What A Time To Be Alive For Zim Hip-Hop!
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.
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 www.shonaboyco.co.zw