Whither Zim hip hop?

Xolisani Nyathi Arts Reporter
Financial problems are threatening the growth of many emerging Zimbabwean hip hop artistes.

Only a few acts have been basking in the limelight, notably Tehn Diamond, PeeKay who has collaborated with Busy Signal and Maskiri who has collaborated with Keisha White.

However, the same cannot be said of most of the emerging artistes.

Questions about quality and originality quickly come to mind when one considers the failure of the genre to make headway in Zimbabwe.

The genre does not seem to be sufficiently customised for the local audience as the case is with Zimdancehall.

One hip hop fan DJ Carlton Prince Mutsipa said the artistes need to strike the right cords with the young urban population.

“Zim hip hop can do better if it gets support from the artistes’ neighbourhoods.

“Zimdancehall has managed to get the full support of the ghetto.

“Hip hop needs to work go the same direction”, Carlton said.

A number of hip hop artistes such as T-Gonzi and Calvin also hail from the ghetto but it seems there is not just enough ghetto reverberation.

The Hip Hop Awards may be a success story, but they do not make much noise like the top gongs ZIMA and NAMA.

The launch of Marcques and Mile’s album “Lost in Translation” was attended by approximately 32 people of the 50 invited. About 26 stayed to the finish.

The sound quality was good and the songs on point but some people still walked out while the show was still on. One wonders whether the fans who are supposed to promote the genre are not sabotaging it.

“Zimdancehall has conquered the young Zimbabwean audience so hip hop has no chance.

“It will require resilience and strategy to change that pattern,” said music fan Denyse Bernard.

Award winning Christian hip hop artist Lil Megaz also lamented that fans show far less appreciation for the genre.

“The shows I have attended show that we are far from making it.

“If a person a sends a song via Whatsapp, they think it is enough – no need to go to a show. This has killed the genre,” Megaz said.

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