Modern hip-hop has been often criticized widely for lacking the 5th element of Hip-hop.
Well of course the critics are either deaf or we can blame the media for highlighting hip-hop only from its dance-worthy perspective. This of course dominantly gets us stereotyped as druggies, womanizers and worshipers of mammon!
Notably we have seen Begotten Sun, Sharky, Upmost, Outspoken, Noble Styles, R.Peels, myself (yes I am plugging myself) and Godobori among others address socio-political themes. Again how many times do you hear them on radio?
Activism is being widely used in Hip-hop.
Juan Take joins the long list of modern Griots with his recent mentally provoking seven track project in which he also had a hand in production along with Canrus The Don at HWMiT Studios. Impressive engineering by iconic producer Marc Blaze makes the masterpiece easy on the earlobes. The project is being distributed by Begotten Sun.
You can access it for free via this link
My Personal Top 3
I must make it known that my top 3 upon attaining an album always changes over time depending what phases my life is going through. The following are tracks my eardrum fell in love with at first listen. They allowed me to continue with listening to the rest of the project.
Number 3 – Zim Juan
His title track sits at number 3 in my mind. Usually introductory tracks are predictably short with some shout outs and such. If you have been downloading EP’s a while you know this.
However, Juan started off at a peak. Guns out (brrrr)
He highlights the social injustices in Zimbabwe and introduces himself as poet like Moses to the Israelites came to give hope to the people of Zimbabwe.
Zim One is of course the president’s car, so Zim Juan is a punny play on that.
Number 2 – Mandela
The last track of the album is not the least but it makes the list. It had tug of war in my mind before I decided that it’s number 2. As the name suggests it’s about the luminary Nelson Mandela, whose legacy the emcee admires.
The second verse is a fire that will light up your mind and give you a lot of perspectives to reflect on. The song praises the Nelson Mandela mindset at acknowledges that it may have been imperfect but ultimately progressive.
Number 1 – Ice cream
For a long time I jokingly said the Mnagagwa biography would have Gigi Lamayne’s soundtrack, despite it not being political. Well finally, here is a song that can actually fit in and not be appropriate!
It makes the song title takes advantage on the 2017 allegations leveled against G-40 that accused Grace Mugabe of poisoning current president Emmerson Mnagagwa. He was vice president at the time.
Of course the song makes no name calling, the beauty of poetry is deniability. He addresses a lot of social ills in it that most Zimbabweans can relate to.
The opening lines,
“Politics is hot these days, niggers eating ice-cream,
City’s pretty dirty but these dudes are looking quite clean,”
The project was reportedly done before the incidents that led to Cde. Robert Mugabe’s ouster as head of state. The censorship board was a pain as expected.
No further spoilers from me.
Get the project yourself.