March 2018
Mr Kata is probably one of the most underrated rappers from Bulawayo. Dude's flow, beat selection and visuals are usually on point. In his new Percy produced joint he is all about positivity as he seeks to inspire his people to stop wallowing in self pity and instead get up from whatever bullshit is pulling them down.

 As a preacher who practices what he preaches he details a difficult relationship with an ex which he managed to recover from before shouting out his mans and womans on the second verse and telling them unity of purpose plus tenacity is the key to greatness.
In 2016 the city of Kings was blessed with a full length project courtesy of hip hop creatives coalescing under the Burg Boiz banner.The series of songs and videos was titled Deep In The Burg and a song tiled Ara Kani Jackets by Asaph &  MH1 stood out for me. The Charlie Zimbo produced joint basically equated the squad's dreams and ability to go against all odds to shine with the meticulously put together Ara Kani Jackets designed by Bulawayo native Nkululeko Ncube who is currently killing the South African fashion scene with his creations. 

The Kasien President has finally dropped the video for the song that earned him the best verse gong at last year's Zim HipHop Awards. The Ngena Ka1 visuals come to us courtesy of Mix Masterz International with audio production being handled by Rayo Beats.The song itself is a sermon to all the hustlers worldover to not miss chances but to go all in at the first sign of opportunity. The video alternates  between Guluva having a convo with the man in the mirror and having the time of his life with a mixture of skimpily clad ladies and alcohol.

Casper Beatz is on his "Jack Of All trades" shandees for his Closer video which features King Avry.Besides rapping on the song, Casper produced the joint and co-directed the video with Anonzi Xndr. The video for the smooth love song was shot outdoors and features a baed up Avry enjoying nature with his boo while Casper and Xndr squad up with some pretty lasses for a jungle drinkup.

In his new joint 12 August Kontrol Tribe soilder GTi showcases his story telling skills and his mastery of Ndebele rap in this smooth tale about how a girl he thought was the love of his life turned out to be a big time thief.GTi meets a girl, they vibe and he invites her to a show he is performing at with the benevolent girl insisting on paying for everything.The girl brushes aside his concerns about the source of the guala but eventually the dudes she stole the money from show up at GTi's door with the cops.

Last year Noble Stylz dropped his Better Than Your Album project and an early fan favorite was Mhamha Vakati The song features Elli-ot on a serene chorus with Russo handling production. Noble raps about how we often spend our entire lives looking for help and advice from a world which couldn't care less about us when our mothers have already taught us all we need to survive planet earth.He goes on to drop qoutables from his own mother on the type of piano chords bound to penetrate even the hardest of hearts.

In 2016 two friends got together to record an urban gospel project , one was a rapper and the other was a Dancehall chanter but the message they wanted to pass united their genres and gave us an epic EP. A standout track from that EP was Izwi. Izwi reminds us of the times we ignore God's voice and try to follow our own voices in a bid to find salvation often with dire results.Vuyo Brown's backing vocals just happened to add a silky touch to an already touching song.

I was browsing through YouTube when i came across this beautiful reggae rendition of Sinach's super spiritual joint Way Maker by our very own roots reggae specialist Jah Bless of Ndichauya Ikoko fame. The video was shot in South Africa courtesy of Jimmy Jimalo and it doesn't stray far from the original combining nature and consciousness for a smooth spiritual ballad guaranteed to bring all and sundry to their knees in worship to the most high.

Takura has always matched his impressive music with equally dope videos and his latest offering is no different. Taken off his Relationship Goals EP the video for Mai Mwana which boasts of production by Young Nash sees a baed up Takura enjoying the company of his beautiful "mai mwana" so much that he ends up exchanging gaming time with the homeys to help wifey sweep the house.

Stayz has a new Osborne produced trappy joint out dedicated to nagging ladies who can't commit to one dude.Badza plays on the literal translation of badza to English i.e Hoe and hoe as a slang term which basically refers to promiscuous girls who often exchange love for material gain. 

The funny yet catchy tune sees Stayz telling a girl who is following every semi-popping dude off because he can't be applying for drama when he has so much to achieve in the game.
Tek Shawa has a new joint out and in true Shawa fashion his eclectic style of rap stands out.If afrofuturism was a musical genre it would probably sound like this love ballad about the balancing effect of opposites aptly titled Lemons and Guavas.English and vernacular,melodies and raps are fused in experimental HipHop that details how our disparities only serve to augment the purest emotion known to mankind.
Was going through Mclynebeats' All my feelings album the other day and one track really stood out.Parere Moyo aka All My Feelings which happens to be the title track validates the old age adage which states that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".

 From the hauntingly beautiful Tererai Mugwadi ~ Waenda sample to the cheesy yet touching lyrics promising a significant other eternal love in the face of hardship the song makes it hard for even the hardest of hearts not to visit the feeling station. The melodic yet Disjointed trappy sing-rap delivery El Mofo uses is just another coal in a mbaura of flames.

Staunch supporters of the Zimbabwean Hip-Hop culture have probably heard of the name SpekkTrumn a lot. He is the dude your faves  humbly pass their new heat to then turn around to diss when it fails  his strict quality control tests.

Spekk has been in love with hiphop from his formative years and he has blogged about local hiphop since 2010 which has seen various platforms trusting him enough to curate content for them. He has decided to use his knowledge of the game and trusted ears to curate a playlist containing the illest Hip-Hop joints from within our borders and heat seekers from abroad by rappers of Zimbabwean origin.

The playlist comes in the form of a podcast available on all major online platforms including IONO FM, iTunes, TuneIn etc etc and songs range from crowd favorites to exclusives from both known and unknown rappers.

You can stream or download it below

Our sermon today comes from T1nda and its a joint titled Yim'lo featuring Carlos Jiri on the chorus.Yim'lo is all about being comfortable in your skin and in your beliefs and not allowing the world to sway your way of thinking. The video features rising movie star/director Daniel Lasker and Kontrol-tribe head Cal_Vin. The duo kidnaps T1nda from a church and take turns trying to convince an obstinate T1nda to exchange his Church clothes for secular threads which will see him cashing in on his talents.

In what might be a first for a Zimbabwean rapper Don Dada's Viva Mandela single has gone Platinum in Mzansi Africa. Technically it reached Platinum status last year but industry reports only came this year to make it official.The single was released in July 2017 to celebrate Madiba's life and by October it had already gone gold.The Platinum certification by RISA comes after the song moved close to 700 000 paid digital downloads.

VI The Law has new heat out and on this one he hopped onto Drake's diplomatic Immunity beat to adress a few issues.First up was the issue of how things seldom change as evidenced by  the fake love and big brother mentality from peeps who weren't really down with him which persisted from high school through University up until adulthood.He won't let that faze him however and urges others in the same situation (his community) to quantify their worth and demand it to the very last penny. Shouts to VI for yet another life lesson dished through clever qoutables and witty bars.
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Trey XL has announced he is working on his debut album set to be released independently after he severed ties with Mix Masters International.On the road to Going The Distance LP Trey will be dropping new music every week through the Weekly Leaks hashtag.

The first edition of the weekly drop is 16.00 which we can only translate to Trey o'clock, 16.00 is a mean 16 bars meant to showcase his lyrical dexterity and outline his plans to kill everything in the way of his ambition.

Iconic Zimbabwean author Dambudzo Marechera was as intellectualy profound as he was rebellious and his anti establishment stance often saw his politically charged works banned by the system.BA7 draws inspiration from the larger than life Marechera for this video which commends activities society and the system frown up i. e earning dough from crime, blowing that fast and basically living the gangster life.Sonically the song also goes against popular culture and utilizes an old school boom bap instrumental and grimy rhyme schemes

Baller Mandizha is one of those dudes you wish could rap more. He has this measured almost too chilled flow that manages to hold its own against huge names in ZimHipHop, remember Zvenyu alongside Ti Gonzi or Hundare with Myk Pimp?He had taken a sabbatical but he is back with a new record that has no relation to the crew Shingy heads though it borrows its title from the same.Team Bhoo is squad goals music that celebrates Baller's crew, their Shenanigans and basically tells us why they are better than us.Definitely not his best effort (ending every line with Boy soon becomes monotonous bro) but its a commendable effort and we are definitely looking foward to more from him.

The University and College audience is prolly one of the most underutilized demographic on the local music scene.Enter Dough Major and R Peels and that is set to change.

The two young rappers have watched as claims of Zimbabwean Rap being materialistic and represantative of foreign culture have been peddled time and again. As such they have decided to take matters into their own hands and partner with other visionary youngins to launch the House Of Hip hop concerts

The initial show is slated for end of March and will feature performances by Peels, Dough Major, Beav City, Tulk Munny and Te3vo at the University Of Zimbabwe.The brains behind the show who also happen to be financing the gig from their own pockets hope to make this a monthly event with different acts each and every month.

Yung Yyran uses Drake's Weston Road instrumental to remind all and sundry that when he isn't dropping hits in Mzansi he can actually go toe to toe with the best lyricists on the continent.He reflects on how he came from long walks to the studio, having his music marked as spam to having peeps who can't handle how dope he is bad mouthing and telling him he can never be bigger than Cassper. Time will tell, after all mama told him he will grow through pain.Dude gives promoters who pay peanuts to rappers the middle finger and shouts out his day ones including Asaph whom he says is worth a millie.

Picture a street concert in Mabvuku right, a young rapper is rapping his ass off in English literally lost in his own world until an old lady pulls up and reminds him this is Zimbabwe and only indigenous raps are to be tolerated.Thats exactly what happened to Dough Major who later changed his set to vernac and had the crowd lit. The event must have affected the Roman Raps Soulja who later jumped onto a Boy Tricky beat for this freestyle. He alternates between English and vernac to prove to Gogo and his peers that his skill set ain't limited at all.

Te3vo has followed up his Junk Food EP drop with visuals shot by none other than Simdoc.Titled Used To, the song features Te3vo's Muqute Music compatriots R Peels and Mclyne (who just happens to have handled production on the Junk Food EP & Peels's Mbiri Kuna Pharaoh EP).

Mclyne delivers the trappy chorus while Te3vo and Peels handle a verse apiece before exchanging bars on the last verse.Trajeek,Ceezy and Antonio make cameo appearances in what appears to be an abandoned office space meets workshop for this nightmode montage thats all about changing fortunes & levels you Used To operate at.
From time to time many factors push us from the various places we call home into a cold world in  a bid to better ourselves and those we love.This migration to lands faraway is perfectly captured by Prophecy who details the challenges and not so ideal situations migrants face from Xenophobia to loneliness.

The situation isn't all the way gloomy as Prophecy reminds us that even if things don't work out it's allowed to board the next bus home for a bout of spiritual/mental rejuvenation courtesy of our mothers and the heavenly father whose love is unconditional.Baba Tencen adds a bit of humor to this wholesome hip hop sermon delivered on a sungurasque beat.
Imagine being from a hood in a nation that watches Channel O religiously but never gets to see their own superstars shine on a continental scale.Go further and imagine making a song with your homeboys,getting kids from the hood together while that one homeboy who is handy with the camera shoots culture. In 2016 thats exactly what Dexter Baysiq and BrownXin did when they recorded a joint meant to make their mother's proud and got the talented Aaron Mheta to shoot the visuals which ended up being playlisted on Channel O.

The year was 2014 and Jnr Brown hopped onto a Rhymez beat courtesy of African HipHop Blog to give us a street anthem that has remained a ZimHipHop staple to this day. On Phil Chiyangwa, a song named after the affluent Boss Phidza, we find Breezy narrating a story of rags to riches that inevitably invites haters into his space. From dealing mere phones at Ximex Mall to owning cars reminiscent of Big Phil the joint with its brazzy beat is basically a GodFather movie set in Harare.