HHAP Episode 18: Meyniak On Hip Hop, Poetry, & Politics in Zimbabwe

This month we’re releasing a bonus episode. We interviewed Zimbabwean hip hop and spoken word artist Meyniak. He’s a young artist based in Harare and has a unique style and unconventional musical path that led him to hip hop. In this short interview, we spoke about his music, his poetry, hip hop in Zimbabwe, and the relationship between hip hop artists and the state.

Episode Breakdown
5:10 I Peasant 
7:43 Past you
10:30 Interview
30:58 Ma Nna

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/meyniakartist
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meyniak
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meyniak__

21151710_1485290664882975_5477665560345796127_nThis month we’re releasing a bonus episode of the show. We interviewed Zimbabwean hip hop and spoken word artist Meyniak. He’s a young artist based in Harare and has a unique style and unconventional musical path that led him to hip hop. In this short interview, we spoke about his music, his poetry, hip hop in Zimbabwe, and the relationship between hip hop artists and the state.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 18: Meyniak On Hip Hop, Poetry, & Politics in Zimbabwe”

Willie-B Hopes to Reach the Souls of His Audience.

Panashe Wilbrod Pfunye, better known by his stage name Will-Broad is a 22 year old Zimbabwean rapper. He has just released his promo track to his debut single entitled Only Son. The song is a fusion of African Jazz and Hip Hop. From a young age, Will-Broad music has always played a major role in his life. He started writing r&b songs at the age of 12, but soon realized that his passion was more amplified when he focused on music that would preach about life lessons and the sharing of different stories that he saw different people experiencing. Will-Broad started his rap career years later as he was free-styling as a joke with a couple of his friends. In November 2016, he then met up with members of Afro Kreative music and Fashion Gang records where he recorded his first few tracks. At the time he was a “trap” rapper, but in early 2017, he was then guided at Enlisted International records, where Victor Mhonde better known Victor Enlisted encouraged him to focus on jazz based hip hop. Will-Broad is Known by the names Willie-B and Guest The Ghost in different parts of the country.

Continue reading “Willie-B Hopes to Reach the Souls of His Audience.”

HHAP Episode 14: African (Women) MCs & Hip Hop Lyricists

This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists’ social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided.

Track List

Moona (Senegal) “Revolution” |https://www.facebook.com/moonamusic/ | https://www.reverbnation.com/moona
OMG & Mamy Victory (Senegal) “OK” | https://www.facebook.com/omgmamyvictory/ | https://soundcloud.com/djpolthescratcheer
Eve Crazy (Senegal) “Alandouti Freestyle” | https://www.facebook.com/EVECRAZYY | https://www.reverbnation.com/evecrazy
Abena Rockstar (Ghana) “Abena” | https://www.facebook.com/AbenaRockstar/  | https://twitter.com/AbenaRockstar | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/abena-rockstar/id948100755 | https://www.reverbnation.com/abenarockztar
EyiRap (Ghana) “Beast in the City” | https://www.facebook.com/EyiRap/ | https://twitter.com/eyirap
Pryse (Nigeria) “Na Still Woman” | https://www.facebook.com/itspryse/ | https://twitter.com/itspryse  | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/pryse/id470236867
Stosh (Tanzania) “Supa Madini” | https://www.facebook.com/fellie.stosh | https://twitter.com/stosh_fellie
Tifa (Tanzania) “Emergency” | https://www.facebook.com/HIPHODIVA | https://twitter.com/TifaFlowz
Xtatic (Kenya) and Devour Ke Lenyora (South Africa) “BIGH” | https://www.facebook.com/OfficialXtatic/  & https://www.facebook.com/Devour-Ke-Lenyora-203940089617127/ | https://twitter.com/DevourKeLenyora
Enigma (Botswana) “Hard on Flow” | https://www.facebook.com/EnigmaTsiakoBW | https://twitter.com/267enigma | https://www.reverbnation.com/enigmabw
DJ Naida (Zimbabwe) “Zvakasara” | https://www.facebook.com/DjNaida00/ | https://twitter.com/DJ_Naida | https://www.reverbnation.com/djnaida
Gigi Lamayne (South Africa) “Gigi the Great” | https://www.facebook.com/Queen.Gigi.LaMayne/ | https://twitter.com/Gigi_Lamayne | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/gigi-lamayne/id925662382
Yugen Blakrok (South Africa) “Beastleague”| https://www.facebook.com/YugenBlakrok/ | https://twitter.com/YugenBlakrok | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/yugen-blakrok/id814084117
Kanyi Mavi (South Africa) “Ingoma” | https://www.facebook.com/kanyimavi/ | https://twitter.com/Kanyi_Mavi | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/kanyi/id535359468

This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists’ social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 14: African (Women) MCs & Hip Hop Lyricists”

The Love for music Boxed Up

The song I selected for this assignment was Studio in the Cemetery by UG Boyko. Boyko music was unique and well put together. The music had some sort of techno beat along with a trap feel to it. Throughout the song, he talks about not being put inside of a studio. Boyko is saying that if he enters the studio he will drop incredible lyrics. He has a great amount of confidence in his music, and one can notice that from his lyrics. He does not care about anything in the world if he has his microphone and studio. Boyko claims that he can teach other artist a couple of things. According to this track, Boyko cares about the studio more than he did attending school. One can tell after listening to the studio in the Cemetery, that Boyko has several women and haters. He describes one of the women that he is dating to have a butt that is as a big as Hippopotamus. He was very descriptive through his lyrics, painting a picture of events for anyone that was not there to witness the events themselves. He also explains through his lyrics that the studio is down in the cemetery. Boyko is at great distress, and smokes to help deal with all issues he has faced in the past with his father. His dad caused him a great amount of pain as a child. In Boyko’s younger years he was timid, and did not make clear life decisions. He has also had to deal with the death of people close to him, which caused him to gain a great amount of pain. Overall, one can really enjoy the song, because it has a great amount of life lessons that are expressed throughout it.

 

Korokoza – Comrade Fatso & Chabvondoka ft. OutSpoken & Lassane Diabate

Korokoza is the Shona word for “hustle” – and the hustle inspired the inception of this song. Comrade Fatso, a multi-talented spoken word artist, and Chabvondo use their musical platform to speak on the trials trying to make it in spite of poverty and questionable government in Zimbabwe, or as Nomadic Wax puts it,”Korokoza is a hopeful song dedicated to the resilience of Zimbabweans and people across the world who struggle to survive.”

korokoza

The hook of this song repeatedly  shows how the artists celebrate the somewhat universal theme of persevering under socioeconomic hardships.

“Everyday we hustle, Korokoza!”

The second verse explains how the media and others view the hustling as criminal, but to Zimbabwean citizens, it is just a means of living.

Korokoza was written by a multi-ethnic and diverse group of artists, which explains the musical uniqueness of this song. The instrumentals are a little rock and roll, the flow and rap verses clearly make it hip hop, and there are some influences from music local to Zimbabwe. The traditional nuances along with the liberal use of the Shona language make this hip hop song very Zimbabwean and is relatable to the people at the heart of the subject matter.

“I’m not afraid of the risks. I gotta keep going to survive.”

The music video shows many aspects of Zimbabwe, including the people making a living hustling in the streets. This lyric seems to embody their mentality.

Interestingly enough, the musicians and film crew were detained while making the video while in Zimbabwe, which makes the song even more special.

https://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/korokoza

 

Taku Mazire – “House of Hunger”

Taku Mazire, who also goes by Master Con Fuze, is a South African rapper, born in Rusape, Zimbabwe. As a self-proclaimed revolutionary, he aims to promote love, freedom, and peace in his music. A few years ago, Taku Mazire released a track that uses those ideals to describe the modern day socioeconomic conditions of Cape Town, South Africa. It is titled “House of Hunger” and the song, its lyrics, and its message I find very relevant to similar conditions in the United States.

The music video for “House of Hunger” starts with a voice over referencing slavery, and suggesting that politicians are just as “owned” as slaves were. Taku Mazire, wearing a shirt with his logotm that says “More Justice, More Peace” sits and lays down on a bench labeled “Whites Only.” While these are all likely references to the racism and injustices that stemmed from South African Apartheid, I cannot help to notice the parallels to the United State’s own history with said issues – the mention of slavery, the bench reminiscent of those seen in the Jim Crow South, and the slogan on Taku Mazire’s shirt that mirrors a chant from the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the first verse, Taku Mazire mentions the “system”, a term commonly used in the States to describe unfair governing bodies. He goes on to explain how the system “devours freedom.”

“Minimum wages, mass arrests. Society trapped in economic cages, we work too much, peep out weary faces, in many places it’s mostly men with more melanin, but less benefiting…”

While Taku Mazire is describing what he observes in Cape Town, this lyric undoubtedly applies to many cities in the United States.

As the song goes on, many other truths and similarities between oppressive conditions in South Africa and the United States are told through Taku Mazire’s lyrics. His tone is angry – as it should be – and “House of Hunger” highlights a need for change in both countries.

Black Bird: The Queen of Zimbabwean Hip Hop

blackbird-430x244

                 Black Bird is a hard-hitting female emcee hailing from Zimbabwe. She is credited as being the first female rapper in Zimbabwean history to release a full album. She is aware of her position and influence within Zimbabwe’s male-dominated Hip Hop community. Black Bird is currently mentoring the younger generation of girls, in hopes that they will follow her lead and take the male-dominated rap community by storm in the same manner that she has.

                  As a child, Black Bird listened to some of Hip Hop’s illest female rappers, so there is no wonder her flow and lyrical prowess is exceptional. At a young age, she was drawn to female Hip Hop heavyweights like MC Lyte, Left Eye, Da Brat, and Queen Latifah. Although these females had an influence on her style, she has developed her own unique sound and approach to rap. Her songs allow you to connect with her on more than a superficial level and she is not afraid to be vulnerable within her music. Black Bird takes you on a journey from the start to finish of her songs by way of her outstanding storytelling abilities. When you check out her work/videos you will immediately notice her flow, confidence, creativity, and of course her beautiful ombre locs. She is the true embodiment of a female lyricist and an artist. Her videos often coincide with the story in which she is telling. She has been referred to by many lovers of Hip Hop as the Queen of African Hip Hop. She has solidified her spot as the Queen of Zimbabwean Hip Hop but she is still pushing to solidify her position as the undisputed Queen of African Hip Hop. Black Bird has released five of her own solo projects and has been featured on over 20 mixtapes. Black Bird has received a lot of backlash for opting not to use her native tongue. Unbeknownst to her language critics, her ultimate goal is to bring an international awareness to Zimbabwe and its Hip Hop scene through her English lyrics.

 

Author: Marquisha Taylor

Resources:

https://iamblackbird.wordpress.com/

http://www.thezimbabwean.co/entertainment/music/54333/the-future-of-hip-hop.html

Outspoken

Outspoken

Hip Hop Artist Tongai Leslie Makawa born September 22, 1983, in Southern African nation of Zimbabwe Capital of Harare. He grew up with two working parents who are now retired, his mother was a bank teller and father was ministry of education then became the director general for the Zimbabwe Association of pension funds which he had retired from. Both his mother and father are farming full time. He is the last of four siblings, one sister and two brothers who all use to rap. He started writing in fifth and six grade and from that day on he continued to write.

Tongai is also known by his performance name Outspoken, one of Zimbabwe leading spoken word poets and activist who became a part of the house of hunger poetry slam. He is a hip hop and spoken word artist and also the co founder of Magamba network that is an organization that promotes events, artist, word fusion activities and the expression on the urban cultural scene in the country. Outspoken works as a solo artist or with his band the essence, who plays the drums, bass, guitar, violin and brass. They have been working together since his upcoming. His work has reached different parts of the African continent and U.S. Zimbabwe, to South Africa, to U.S.A, Kenya, Senegal, Germany, Belgium and many more. Outspoken and the essence released their double debut album uncode and overrated and God before anything released in 2012. He is a hip hop mentor for power in the voice a British council program, which seeks to better the performance art by targeting talented youth and mentoring them in their various disciplines. He is alpha intellect some may call him.

Outspoken Music

Tongai music and poems are politically motivated and inspired by the educational system, when he started to his education he had many question to why they want him to know what they want him to know that he don’t want to learn, what’s going on, being a part of the system but why can’t the system attend to his needs. He felt there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered his music and poetry are more like questions to individuals. His song slave master’s whip draws attention to where our people came from and the institutional racists system that has people stuck. How we are from a place of political outcomes, but we have to keep it moving even with the slave masters whip on the back of the people. I’m going to quote a view of outspoken lines that it may broaden your horizon. “I do not work a 9/5 white collar. Black scholar poetry is my occupation. Labeled an enlightened nigga, my mind as the trigger with words as the bullets”. This piece basically is saying that you don’t have to work a job to be a black scholar; you don’t have to use a gun for it to be the bullets of retaliation just allow your words to be the bullets, because as many say words can kill too right.  Outspoken music is the depiction to how out people move from slavery to being colonized to a state of freedom that hasn’t been fully achieved. As many may know how slavery was for blacks. Africans, African Americans and even though the people are free we are not really free because they still manage to have prison that are basically enslaved people changes, shackles if you catch my drift. With Artist like Outspoken also a poet brings a different taste to hip hop his style, versatility, lyrics and passion. He touches me in a very soulful type of way and that’s what the community needs all over. Instead of rappers talking about bitches and hoes he calls the women beautiful way that I like. Please check him out.