August 2018
Hipu Hopu Yeku Ghetto boss Ti Gonzi launched videos from his Best Mero album at  1 + 1 around mid August and finally the videos are popping up online starting with Misi Haifanane.The video to the  Bilbery produced song was shot by Reezy Pictures in a number of locations including the hood,the CBD and the studio and it features cameos from comedian Boss Kheda,HHYG rapper Forbes and mans from Ti Gonzi's crew.

The premise of the song and video is that each day brings its own set of problems and triumphs and as such worrying about what was and what will come instead of taking each day as it comes is futile.The result is refreshing  social commentary delivered in Ti Gonzi's signature fusion of humor,outrageous bars and oftentimes disjointed delivery
From the small town of Kwekwe comes Smurfie who is currently putting the finishing touches on his KANVAS album which will drop in September.The lead single from KANVAS is a celebration of feminine strength titled Mhamha Ndanyora Song and it was produced by Dj Sanchoe.The sentimental song is dedicated to Smurfie's own mum for every hurdle she ever jumped over so that Smurfie would stroll through life but its a perfect fit to everyone who has survived a harsh world safely cocooned in the embrace of a mother's love.

In an industry where alliances and friendships are expendable and short lived Noble and Trae have stood out frequently collaborating in studio while maintaining their close friendship outside the booth.It was only a matter of time before they devoted the same energy they gave to their collaborative singles to a full length project and this year looks like the realization of that vision.The two recently announced a duet album whose working title is G.O.A.T as in Greatest Of All Time not the meee meee type we find ekhaya.

The first single from that project is already out and it features Elli-ot on the moving chorus.Titled Mwari Haasi Mbeveve (God is not a mute" the song tells the story of an innocent girl who was defiled by an evil pastor who was paying for her schooling though the pastor later cut all ties with the girl when she got pregnant.The story is told from the percpective of the victim,the girl's homeboy and the homeboy's twin sister who only gets to meet the victim when she has pulled her life together and the heavens have meted out the requisite punishment on our immoral "man of God".
You know how you tell your Papa to "go deeper" when he is dropping fire sermons?This aint it fam,this is more like when you and your miner homey are digging for gold but aint found it yet so you gotta go deeper.The gold in this instance is a good time with someone's daughter and the miner is Ashe an upcoming rapper who decided his Ashetray mixtape needed visual content alongside it for further reach.

The song sounds like a page straight outta "The art of seduction" as Ashe tries to charm his way into some fire mamacita's pants while the video leans towards an old school aesthetic what with the disused storeroom littered with artifacts from days gone by.My only only gripe with the song and the College Central directed video is the faux Jamaican chorus by Wastak which really sounds uninspired if we are being polite.
Zimbabwean HipHop has been on a steady albeit slow rise over the years but consistency and hard work has been a mainstay of the culture.Over the years isolated cases of dope videos were the norm but in recent times local rappers have been dropping visuals in rapid succession hence the need for an unbiased curate to separate the hot from the lukewarm and subsequently the cold.Outspoken Media enlisted the help of two fanatics of the culture one Effiel Gumbochuma and his partner in crime Ngoni Chimhau to put together a playlist of local videos they feel owned the first half of 2018.

The extensive list features artists from around Zimbabwe with Harare and Bulawayo providing the bulk while Masvingo,Norton and Chitungwiza make up the remainder.Old faces are mixed with new kids on the block and sonically all aspects of hiphop from trap,boom bap,freestyles to perfomances are catered for.Artists playlisted include Stunner,Guluva Se7en,DexterBaysiq,Asaph,Mariachi,Savage,Narga,Oddesy,Sparta,Te3vo,Collin Ceezay,Sachaa,Crooger,Jnr Brown and Meister.The Zim HipHop Heavyweights series is set to be a monthly drop and artists can mail or hit the Zim Heavyweights Facebook page with their fresh visuals for a chance to feature on the monthly playlist.

As if his Phases EP was not enough the straadi kingpin Vic Ijita decided to bless the game with suprise visuals for his Different joint.The crisp visuals were shot by Blaq Ink Creates and the song originally appeared on Charlie Zimbo's Tell Your Friends 3 project.Different is basically a statement by the lyrical fiend on how he differs from other rappers  the game what with his unique delivery and witty bars.Beautiful girls,beautiful architecture and beautiful landscapes characterize the video which is another feather in Bulawayo's cap on its quest to be the country's HipHop capital.

Guluva Se7en or Nkanyi Nkanyi as he likes to call himself recently dropped the second video of his career for a single that is likely to appear on his sophomore album Command Hustle.The single titled Khanda Cool  features Lord Skeelz and it was produced by Guluva's go to producer Rayo Beats and Rasquesity directed the video for Creative Pot Africa.The song and video are a celebration of Kasi culture in line with the Kasien President's Ndebele rap lane and it highlights the concept of getting the bag nomatter the circumstances,looking fresh while at it and taking care of the fam while making moves  with your day ones.If that aint the definition of Command Hustle we don't know what is.
Asaph has been having the best year of his career to date and it looks like his reign is far from over.Having won Best HipHop act at the Bulawayo Arts Awards Asaph proceeded to drop the mega hit Mambo which has terrorised local radio since its release.The unapologetic claim to HipHop's highest office has been dominating the Zi FM weekly chart show with 6 consecutive weeks at the top at the time of going to press.

Asaph is aiming to translate that success to the stage as he makes a date with Harare for Unplugged alongside famed South African songbird Shekinah.The lineup also contains our very own Tamy Moyo,Reverb 7,Buhle,Those Guys Vacho,TK Beats,Dj Trill Angel and Magitare Live with Zi FM dj Amard playing the hostess.This edition of unplugged will be held at ZB Sports Club in Vainona and tickets are already live on the website.
September is fast approaching and with it R Peels's sophomore album which he swears will be better than his award nominated and critically acclaimed debut.On the road to the album he decided to link up with fellow Chitown muso Beav City for a pitstop in Chitungwiza that seeks to clarify the myths,facts and folklore surrounding Harare's cousin.Beav City croons the chorus over a laid back Mzeem beat opening up about drug abuse in the city, depression and how millenials are making it work in the High density without tertiary education.

Peels then comes through with the verses shining a light on how the city lacks street lights,the poor healthcare delivery system besides detailing their days as youngins in Chitown.Mwana WaPharaoh goes on to touch on broken dreams,the co-existence of high and low class citizens,those who migrated to Harare looking green pastures and those who look for greens in other's pastures before concluding that Chitown is actually a stellar city for all its faults and merits.
Takura has never been the one to starve his fans and in a relatively short space of time after releasing his SHTDi playlist he is back with a new single dedicated to the most high.On production he enlists the services of upcoming Mas Vegas producer Jon while Director AM handles the lyric video that is actually crispier than a lot of official videos.The aesthetic aspects of the video are handled by the Chasers group.

Jehovah is basically a set of prayer points delivered in trappy fashion with prayers for enemies who dont know better,prayers for a cleaner heart and an appeal to the heavens for them to look after Takura's daughter in case he dies young.Mr Okay Okay also urges Tytan and Olinda to stay together amid the social media storm involving  them which went down recently while also quoting the biblical verse which urges believers to not envy that which they dont have.