June 2019

On the 29th of June the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre came alive as Bulawayo congregated to celebrate its outstanding creatives.The Outstanding HipHop Act category at this year's Bulawayo Arts Awards was closely contested with M.U.S.E,Cal Vin,Guluva 7,Msizkay,Kbrizzy and Asaph all in the running for the biggest rapper in Bulawayo bragging rights. Asaph who  recently dropped 'The People's Rapper EP' ultimately walked away with the Outstanding HipHop Act gong while Cal Vin got the Outstanding Male Artist award proving that HipHop is indeed alive and well in Bulawayo.Asaph's new offering is available on all online stores and on his personal website.

An apple does not fall far from the tree or as they say in Shona 'Mbudzi kudya mufenje hufanan'ina.Simply put one's offspring is likely to mirror one's beliefs,mannerisms and talent.That statement really rings true with Jah Prayzah's son Mukudzeyi Jnr who has previously wowed fans with his knowledge of art at his father's shows.Jnr seems to be fully embracing his father's artistic side as he is the leading star in the Dangerous video off Mukudzeyi Snr's Chitubu album.The fun and bubbly visual piece was directed by Vusa Blaqs and it also features popular radio personality Hazvineyi Sakarombe.

When he is not providing killer choruses on joints like Asaph's Mambo or T1nda's Majarakara you can find him behind the production desk at iLDuce Dynasty producing bops for artists from Bulawayo and beyond.His name is Fish McSwagg aka The Trap Ndaramu and he loves to mix traditional Ndebele aeshetics with modern trap sounds.The latest offering in that unique set of offerings is Ethulini an outcry at a Bulawayo art scene that seems to favor a certain demographic artistwise.The song comes with a video or is it a young film directed by Urban Legend Pictures featuring a young McSwagg at a Sangoma's oracle being told the game was his for the taking since he is of royal blood.

Each year Forbes Africa releases their 30 Under 30 lists made up of young gamechangers and potential giants in various fields that include Business,Creatives,Technology and Sport.These 30 young males and females from Africa range from established to upcoming talents with potential to shape the future in their various spheres of influence.This year's list under the Creatives tag was of particular interest to us as two Zimbabweans earned seats at a prestigious and exclusive table that includes BET best newcomer Sho Madjozi and BET best international Act Burna Boy.

The two Zimbabweans in question are Kim Jayde Robinson and Gilmore Tee.Kim comes from Bulawayo but is currently based in South Africa where she has made strides as a model and TV hostess.She is the first Zimbabwean Face Of Revlon,literally lives in many a magazine page plus she is a fan favorite on MTV Base.Gilmore Tee is a content creator,radio host,TV presenter,fashionista,influencer basically a jack of all trades and master of quite a few.Below are the rest of the creatives who made the list alongside Gilmore and Kim

1. Karabo Poppy Moletsane, 27, South Africa, Creative Illustrator, Street Artist & Graphic Designer
2. Rophnan Nuri, 29, Ethiopia, Electronic Dance Music Artist
3. Henry Amponsah, 28, Ghana, Designer, Founder & CEO of 101 Clothing
4. Austin Malema, 28, South Africa, Photographer & CEO of Pixelkollective
5. Harmony Katulondi, 29, Democratic Republic of Congo, Presenter, Model, Actor and Voice Over Artist
6. Kapasa Musonda, 29, Zambia, Fashion Designer
7. Richard Akuson, 26, Nigeria, Founder & Editor of A Nasty Boy
8. Menzi Mcunu, 22, South Africa, Founder of the Afrocentric Gentlemvn
9. Trevor Stuurman, 26, South Africa, Photographer and Creative Director
10. Burna boy, 28, Nigeria, Musician
11. Kim Jayde, 28, Zimbabwe, TV Presenter, Model & MC
12. Petite Noir, 28, Democratic Republic of Congo, Singer, Songwriter & Producer
13. Aisha Baker, 29, South Africa, Business Woman, Influencer and Style Icon
14. Karun, 24, Kenya, Musician
15. Gilmore Moyo, 27, Zimbabwe, Creative Director, Content Creator, Fashion Facilitator, TV & Radio Host and Founder of Paper Bag Africa
16. Boitumelo ‘Boity’ Thulo, 29, South Africa, TV Host, Entrepreneur & Musician
17. Hermann Kamte, 27, Cameroon, Architect, Founder & CEO of Hermann Kamte & Associates
18. Helen Chukwu, 25, Nigeria, Fashion Designer, Founder & CEO of Helen Couture
19. Luis Munana, 27, Namibia, Creative Director, Model, TV Host & Founder of Voigush Africa and Waka Waka Moo
20. Upile Chisala, 24, Malawi, Author & Poet
21. Joseph Awuah-Darko, 22, Ghana, Contemporary Artist
22. Joe ‘Human’ Nawaya, 25, Democratic Republic of Congo, Graphic Designer & Co-Founder of Creative Mind Space
23. Thando Thabethe, 29, South Africa, Actress & Radio DJ
24. Rich Mnisi, 27, South Africa, Fashion Designer
25. Kevin Njue, 27, Kenya, Producer, Director, Writer & CEO of Rocque Pictures
26. Sho Madjozi, 27, South Africa, Musician
27. Sarah Owusu, 28, Ghana, Artist & Painter
28. Abisola Akintunde, 28, Nigeria, Founder & Creative Director of MakeupbyAshabee and Beelashes
29. Yaa Bonsu, 28, Kenya, Fashion Stylist & Creative
30. Paola Audrey Ndengue, 29, Côte d’Ivoire, Host, Producer & Co-Founder of Fashizblack

When it comes to traditional healers in the limelight Sekuru Banda is one of the most famous with newspaper articles,appearances on the news and various online listings dedicated to him.A few rap lines have been inspired by him in the past but young  Doc Jay from Kwekwe took it a step further dropping an entire song celebrating the exploits of the Malawi Born healer.The trappy ode to Sekuru Banda is aptly titled Banda The Great and on production Doc Jay went with Dj Themba also from Kwekwe.Do stream Banda The Great on the link below and tell us if you think Sekuru Banda will like this trappy reimagining of his image in pop culture.

One thing we love about ZimHipHop is how diverse and all encompassing  it is.Every other part of Zimbabwe has a rapper calling it home and telling stories about those communities and what they go through.If you go to Bulawayo names like Asaph,Cal Vin,AWA comeup while Masvingo has emcees like Noble Stylz and Jungle repping it.In the Eastern Highlands we have MK47 (formely with Project Fame) and Flexxo whose latest release happens to be the subject of this article.MK47 and Flexxo have over the years used every chance they get to showcase their rich samanyika dialect via HipHop.

For his latest drop 'Madzimbahwe Muka' Flexxo taps Fun F for production and the hook while V.V.S  directed the video.The song is a history lesson of sorts outlining what we have been through as a nation from being the bread basket of Africa to being one of the poorest nations in the region in terms of the standard of living.Flexxo then goes on to implore all Zimbabweans to jump onboard and help rebuild this nation we call home.Zimbabweans from all walks of life feature in the video holding placards which outline their hopes and wishes for a glorious Zimbabwe that takes care of its inhabitants.

Everyone's favorite ZimHipHop Papa seems to be in his music pocket these days.Earlier this year Noble Stylz dropped Kanyika Kanaka which was a witty take on Zimbabwe and everything its going through.Word on the street is that a joint with Ti Gonzi and Quonfuzed is in the works and while we wait for that particular song Noble made sure we had something to listen to in the form of a new tune titled  Kamuputukesi.

Quazor handled production on Kamuputukesi besides also lending a few vocals to the chorus.The song is a potential anthem for victims as well as perpetrators of the universal phenomenon we call heartbreak.Noble tells the story of Kamuputukesi a girl from Mozambique whom he loved dearly leading him to splurge on her while making  wonderful memories only for the girl to ditch him and sponsor eternal heartache.

On the 18th of June it was Garry Mapanzure's birthday and we decided to drop a few facts about one of the most talented Zimbabwean vocalists on the comeup

1: His birth name is Garikai Garry Mapanzure and he recently turned 21 on the 18th of June.Garry being his actual  name that appears on his birth certificate not a shortened version of Garikai

2: He started singing in Church and in the school choir at Kyle College in Masvingo and his first ever original composition was Wapunza which he recorded in August 2017

3: His mother is  a Pastor who prays for the boy before each interview and shows clips of said interviews as well as Garry's music videos to her friends.Vicky whom he features on Wapunza is his actual blood brother so talent basically runs in the family.

4:He is currently studying Architecture in China but that has not stopped him from linking up with other talented folk back in Africa.A recent example is his TV Room collaboration with Hillzy which initially began as a chat online.The two plan to tour Zimbabwean Universities soon 

5: Garry was one of the 100 young musicians handpicked by Mr Eazi for his Empawa program which is sponsoring videos for talented kids across Africa.He subsequently dropped a beautiful video for his groovy AfroPop banger Slow courtesy of Mr Eazi.

On the 1st of May King 98 launched his debut album at a star studded event in the capital city of Zimbabwe.Continental giants like Davido,Nasty C and Nadia Nakai were in attendance as well as local superstars like ExQ,Tamy Moyo among others.The album named after King 98's mother Francesca has some big names on it and one such album cut featuring Nasty C and Mozambican star Laylizzy has been blessed with visuals.

The single is titled Wacko and King 98 chose respected production company Uprooted Media to shoot the video for him.The trappy song is premised on the notion that if one does not give up and works on his grind long enough he is likely to end up moonwalking to the bank like Michael 'Wacko' Jackson.The video has King 98 visiting the Mbare flats and vibing with the kids as well as scenes which see him,Nasty and Lizzy dropping bars against a backdrop of plush mansions,fancy rides and beautiful ladies.

Cal Vin reckons he could do away with the 'Zimbabwean musicians are always living hand to mouth' stereotype and become a rich rapper in a few steps. The Bulawayo emcee recently dropped an album titled Intwana KaManax to honor his father and he plans to secure the bag via this album.He is pushing a #ProudToPayCampaign tag which is basically a call to a thousand of Vin's truest fans to pay for his music via 0776998556.By his calculations if a 1000 true fans part with US $5 or RTGS $20 he can eat off his music and invest in videos for the album resulting in a win win situation for everyone.

Intwana Ka Manax

Stream Intwana Ka Manax, an album by Cal Vin. Producer: Cal Vin & Freak. Added on: May 31st, 2019.

When Mr Eazi picked acts to shoot videos for via Empawa Africa he took his time choosing the cream of the crop and the visuals by Zimbabwean rappers under that program thus far are a testament to that.One such stunning video is No Playin by Denim Woods with SimDoc Films behind the camera.The song is a PSA by young Denim on how he plans to do niggas dirty on his road to greatness for reasons best known to him though we suspect it has something to do with mans who never gave him the time of day until he got Mr Eazi's attention.The video switches from  striking scenery of Sam Levy village at night to Denim Woods in denim in the woods with his pals and the result is a refreshing visual.

On the 10th of June 1968 Zimbabwe and the world  welcomed one Alick Chisale into the common fold that is humanity.The boy we would later know as Alick Macheso went on to attend Enterprise Primary School in the small town of Shamva before evolving into a national superstar and one of the most commercially succesful Zimbabwean artists of all time.Even though he is now a national hero who often ventures outside the country to mesmerise crowds with his guitar and microphone skills the Orchestra Mberikwazvo band leader still has a soft spot for Shamva in his heart.

This June Alick has decided to celebrate his birthday by going back to his roots in Shamva and giving back.Macheso has pledged to sponsor the education of 109 underprivileged children at his former school.Extra Basso is also building an ECD block for kids who up until now were learning under trees.Kudos to Alick Macheso for not forgeting his roots and giving these children a shot at a better life.

1. On Sunday R Peels woke up with the need to tell the world what he thought about the state of female rap talent in Zimbabwe.Turned out he wanted all and sundry to know that he was not impressed with Zimbabwean female rappers who have plied and are plying their trade this side of 2010

2. A few cats seemed to agree with his pov that female rappers are lazy but the majority took to their Facebook walls and his to tell him his thoughts were untrue and uncalled for.

3. Longtime mentor and friend Noble Stylz took the opportunity to remind Peels of certain female rappers who had welcomed him as a brother,helped him during his comeup.Noble even went as far as saying some female rappers had outperfomed Peels in terms of stats from awards,stages killed and chart shows.

4.Lady K a hiphop radio host rhetoricaly asked what Peels was smoking but the question being rhetoric did not stop Kikky Badass from replying "MaSoft Wire aanosunga muhuro"

5.Begotten Son took to his keyboard to explain that while he did not fully agree with what Peels was saying ultimately Peels was entitled to his opinion.Keep It Real Friday podcaster/retired rapper Brian Willis told R Peels to not let ego influence his mindset since a lot of females had better videos than him.Brian Willis later apologized to the nation for overhyping R Peels and declared #OperationBandeKuvafana to discipline truant young rappers eventually unfriending R Peels.

6.Multitasking blogger and respected Zim Hip Hop head McPotar made it clear R Peels was out of line as did Dj Krimz who at one time signed Peels and introduced him to the Zim Hip Hop fraternity

7.R Peels reiterated that he was still not impressed by Zimbabwean femcees and declared that he would not be bullied by anyone be it OGs,rappers or bloggers for making his thoughts clear.He later released a diss track with subliminals at Noble and clear "fuck yous" to Brian Willis,McPotar,Sunna and Natasha Muz.He also declared that he wanted smoke with every rapper from Bulawayo and told us once again that he was not impressed with Zimbabwean femcees

8.McPotar also took to the booth for a scathing rebuttal to Peels titled Usazvifurire which ironically happens to be the title of a song Peels did with Noble years back.

9.Lady Kuda tweeted how she thought the R Peels diss was weak while Ray Dizz asked why Zimbabwean rappers prefer dragging their sisters instead of uplifting them.The majority of the internet thinks Potar lynched Peels but a few say Peels took this one chief among them being Brian's KIRF cohost Seletine.

10.We are still waiting for action or lack thereoff from other parties attacked by Peels but popular opinion seems to suggest that many people will just disregard the Mwana WaPharaoh boss's shenanigans because they dont want to give him undue relevence.

On the 31st of May 2019 Asaph launched The People's Rapper E.P at the Bulawayo Art Gallery.The project was supposed to be available on digital stores soon after but due to reasons beyond the Burg Boy's control we are still to get the project.However to hold us down as we wait for the EP to hit the internet Asaph dropped a video for 'The Vibe Is Correct' which has been met with mostly positive reviews.

The video was shot by Urban Legend Pictures who also shot the docuseries that shed light on the making of this particular EP.On production Asaph had Aykay King and Larynx while VIC Ijita dropped a few bars on this joint whose title has been stylized V.I.C.The song itself has a kwaito/turnup feel but the message carried in it goes beyond the party.As the People's Rapper Asaph is aware that he has to get his priorities straight if he is to inspire a broken generation thats increasingly turning to booze and drugs to forget a painful present.

When the sages of old said 'What does not kill you makes you stronger' they might have had Ti Gonzi in mind.After surviving a nearly fatal incident Ti Gonzi is having one of the best years of his career.His singles,feature verses,videos and perfomances have been getting mad love from the radio to the streets.

His latest drop is an ode to Zimdancehall titled MaBazooker,Enzo nemaPumakol named after Chillspot chanters Bazooker,Enzo Ishall and Boss Pumakol.The Mangoma Depot trio also feature in the Leoy V directed video for the song alongside JMP and Gary Tight who happens to have a track with Ti Gonzi on the way.Zimdancehall references abound in the song with chants by Seh Calaz and Jah Signal being woven into the intricate wordplay Ti Gonzi is famous for.

She might have been born and bred in Harare Zimbabwe but it seems like Hanna Kuruneri is about to catch her big break on foreign shores.Hanna is currently based in Cape Town where is she studying for a Bachelor Of Sciences in Computer Engineering but she still dedicates time to her passion which happens to be Hip Hop music.When she is not putting in work on her books you can find her posting fire freestyles on her instagram  account.Previously her freestyles and rap clips online have gone viral with some of them receiving nods from African powerhouses like Nasty C a development that was setting her up for the explosive 2019 she is having.

Earlier this year she was one of the 100 talented young acts who got sponsorship from Mr Eazi and Empawa Africa to shoot a video subsequently shooting the Peace video which is doing well on the interwebs.While that might easily have been a peak for some she went on to enter the Lift As You Rise competition where she was part of the 11 winners chosen from a pool filled with thousands of aspiring talents.Now she is in studio putting in work with Nasty C and Tellaman and we can only imagine the fire they are cooking at Tall Racks Records.Do follow Hanna on @itstherealnigist to keep up with her boss moves,also peep the Peace visuals below and tell us what you think of this talented young lady from the motherland.

In the immortal words of Julius Caesar Union 5 came,saw and conquered.After emerging top 10 in Mr Eazi's Empawa Africa proggrame which seeks to empower young African creatives with skills and actual money to propel their careers foward Union 5 is ready for Africa.Having shared studio time with Mr Eazi,Shekinah,Diplo and Simba Tagz the young rapper/beatboxer/producer finally dropped his first offering courtesy of the good folk at Empawa.

The single which came with a video is titled Falling and it sees Union 5 in front of the microphone while Tafadzwa Croft Furusa was responsible for the camera work.The easiest way to describe the song and the video is to say it smells like Teen Spirit much like that Nivarna classic.Union 5 raps about falling from the sky,landing feet first and enjoying the company of those close to his heart which he proceeds to actually do in the video (enjoying time with friends not falling from the sky of course)

It seems like just yesterday when i was foraging for continental hiphop on satelite TV and on these digital streets.A group of young talented males hailing from Zambia going by the name Zone Fam immediately caught and kept my attention with cuts like Shaka Zulu on them and Contolola.Around that time Ammara Brown was proving she was her own woman though remaining  super respectful and working to maintain her father's legacy still.Now we are in 2019 and these two musical worlds i never thought would collide have come together full circle.

Jay Rox a member of Zone Fam who has won a Channel O award as part of that collective before going on to become the first ever Zambian nominated for an Mtv African Music Award as a solo act decided to rope in our very own highflying superstar Ammara Brown for his latest release.Their duet  is titled uchi (honey) and its an easy listen with its afropopsque flavour not to mention that the theme of a love that tastes sweeter than honey will find favor with many lovebirds.You can watch the video below before it hits satelite cable like many Ammara Brown as well as Jay Rox cuts have done in the past.

For someone who has been very visible on the Zim Hip Hop scene since 2016 it might come as a suprise to some that Scrip Mula is only releasing his debut solo album this year.The marquee star of Mula Nation Ent has previously topped charts and got nominated for plaques thanks to his monster joints like Christopher Columbous,Inyanga and Maria Musande.As part of Mula Nation recognition has come in the form of a Zim HipHop award for best group and a nomination at the same awards for video of the year.

In 2019 it remains to be seen if he will replicate the success of his earlier years in the game but Scrip Mula is super confident his debut project will connect with his target audience and sprout a few bangers along the way.Keith (as his mother likes to call him) says this project was inspired by the day to day lives of Zimbabweans everywhere and he is looking to package the Zimbabwean experience in a fresh yet edible sonical buffet.The album will also talk about personal issues and his zeal to succeed not only as a rapper but as a young entreprenuer.

On production he decided to go the Tyler The Creator route making all the beats expect just one that was made by Mcylne.However the mixing and mastering process was placed in the capable hands of producers like Fun F,Rayo Beats,Jamal and Rodney of Millitary Touch.The feature list is really impressive with artists from both the old and new school getting verses among them Gze,Asaph,R Peels,Mariachi,Tanto Wavie,Jah Master,Da Kid Verse and Natasha Muz.The project is set to be released on 29 June and thereafter videos galore will be shot and gifted to the people in keeping with  Scrip Mula tradition