King Pinn:An underrated Zim hip hop pioneer or an over exxagerated rap myth?

Hip hop within Zimbabwean borders is yet to surpass the level that its proclaimed pioneers laid ground on in the times of its ignition. Fast forward to these times in its new school era,it stills lies  like  a virgin  on a bed awaiting to be deflowered and unchained of its naive nature and mediocrity’tine mota nema yellowbone’ sound.Times have changed and so has hip hop and its undertakers.Aligned to the fact that the 90s class of cats could argue any given Sunday that hip hop confined within the borders of Zimbabwe which bore a political and poetical flavour in the earlier days, now in its present  day  is nothing but a “dead dog hit by a speeding bus”but it is  also debatable if hip hop on  Zimbabwean ground ever grew to the extent of being termed as ‘dead’ in our decade.Gone are the days when the birth of Zimbabwean hip hop was moulded within the hands of great acts such as Raas Kaai,the rapping side of Chiwoniso,Mau Mau, Mbare born Metaphysics,  the late Mizchief, not forgetting also ,that  Zimbabwean hip hop  enjoyed its defining moments in the anchoring times of the late emcee,King Pinn who took his sound beyond the borders of Zimbabwe and found homage also on South African radio stations even the U.K astoundingly.Some have defined him as the best thing that has come out of Zim hip hop:quite a big tag to bestow on a man who only had one song known by the ordinary music listener(I Salute You) playing on radio stations ,some may say ,but not most hip hop heads knew the battle rap and freestyle side the late emcee possessed in his prominent days.Decades later,a great many might feel his relevance is rather misplaced and exaggerated considering the fact that most of the hip hop heads only got to know and hear about his works after his death and for some of the hip hop heads,nothing else is known about this modern-day god besides his radio single ‘I Salute You’,let alone bear knowledge of the album he left  entitled Verbal Vitamin.king pinnKing Pinn was a lyrical emblem,calm on character but beastly on the mic,a son of hip hop  that Southern Africa should bestow hero-ship as his legacy continues to live on, for those that acknowledge his existence, in the form of the decadent will he left for his listeners – his album.I hold count of the numerous rappers that have been inspired by this work of art,R peels in mind, and how its relevancy surpasses its years of existence.So who was this King Pinn every hip hop head claims to know and well inspirations from?Is he merely an underdog of irrelevant artistry or does he clearly deserve our respect even if he lies six feet under?Is King Pinn worthy to talk about in the Zimbabwean context,as our own,considering that South African’s are quick to associate him with their country,the same way they stole our Oskido?Didn’t we overally push his greatness to find closure within our failing hip hop days maybe claim him so that the audience could feel kuti takabva kure and our music was just as good as his and far from being termed ‘bubblegum’?Widely considered as one of the most prolific lyricists in the history of Zimbabwean rap,the late King Pinn was born Tonderai Makoni on the 25th of March in the year 1980 in Leicester before returning to Zimbabwe with his family.Growing up in the small town of Marondera familiar with Amiz,King Pinn started making a name for himself together with like-minded emcees,Adopted One and Mundawg.He fast became a force to be reckoned with becoming a well known artist within Harare and managing to gain a strong presence on previously Radio 3 Fm( present Power Fm)Known also to be the younger brother of a lyrical poet cum emcee in those days nicknamed Raas Ai who was a member of pioneering hip hop group named the BlackFoot Tribe,King made his official debut featuring on a track on Black Foot’s Tribe debut album.In the year 2000 King Pinn relocated to Cape Town,South Africa where he attended the University of Cape Town South Africa majoring in Cinematography and Theatre.During his stay in South Africa the King collaborated with south African rap cults such as The Others and Groundworks while making a name for himself at local events while his singles ‘I salute you’ and ‘Inauguration’ received moderate airplay in both South Africa and Zimbabwe.


On the 12th of May in the year of 2003 the King Pinn passed on having been a lyrical hurricane on the streets of South Africa and also back home being considered as one of the best MC’s from Zimbabwe during his lifetime.He left behind a rap bible that we can steal notes from in the form of Verbal Vitamin.Gone,but never forgotten, his dynasty will forever be a guiding yardstick for hip hop  in Zimbabwe for those that glorify his run in the hip hop marathon.Whether he simply is an overdecorated rap ideal or an unappreciated underdog to some who feel he isn’t credited enough, he represented well the future of Zimbabwean hip hop and pioneered it in the years he was alive.As we continue to stand and ascertain our worth as a genre and a subculture,lest we not forget those who paved the way in the times when Whatsapp broadcasts were unheard of,in the  primitive times when Soundcloud and Vevos  were yet not considered,in the times when the upcoming rapper didn’t have to molest bloggers and friends’ inboxes and Facebook walls with  links to their bedroom produced music.Despite not having the most favorable ideals of getting their sound heard they survived the times,giving us a starting map to guide us on our lyrical journey.Featured today is also the freestyle he did with the late Chiwoniso and Capone in the late 2000’s.All hail to the king,we march on!As you go about perfecting your grind ,as you go about recording your tracks on that Dj Mustard beat we clearly know you you give your audience a performance that makes you look like a headless chicken running from the thought of being turned into Chicken Slice for Cashbid’s consumption…Dear rapper, as you perforate our hearing announcing your debut albums that do not hold lyrical artistry,take time to look at your art  and question,but what would King say?

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