Zim Hip-hop did great in 2015, there was a lot of life in the industry, though some may have seen the beef culture that began in August as regressive. As the Potardent I am happy to announce my new definition for Zim Hip-hop which you may adopt for 2016 and beyond. You will easily notice it is made up of the acronym Z.I.M.H.I.P.H.O.P
Z -imbabwean :
This is a no-brainer! In order for our culture to stand out it has to be Zimbabwean . This means to say it has to be in a format that characterises the identity of a Zimbabwean. I am not talking about language here. I mean to say that music must be packaged in a way that a person from India can tell that this must be from Zimbabwe.
I -mage :
Artistes must now focus on image more. A few artistes like Simba Tagz, Sharky, Tehn Diamond and cal_Vin have managed to create certain brand images for themselves that make them distinctive. Image is important in getting hip-hop taken seriously. My friend Leroy Dzenga, a student of McLuhans teachings always quotes, “The medium is the message”. Let’s dress and look like authoritative mediums. Album art, the way emails are written and Facebook pictures must not be taken for granted.
Money is the most widespread medium of exchange of value. I quoted McLuhan’s “The medium is the message”, now additionally I’d like to suggest that , “The message is the money”. In order to start deserving money for the value we give, we must begin to give a message that adds value to our target markets and adds value to their lives. Whether it’s a party track like Winky D’s buzzing disappear to get them past struggle or a typical Tuku theme to spread wisdom. Let’s do this and actually monetize our music… especially those who have been on exposure payroll for years.
So now that we have dealt with the Z.I.M in Zim Hip-hop let’s go on to H.I.P.H.O.P
Hip-hop must always be “hip”. “Hip” is a word that defines something that is adaptive to trends. I know many Hip-hop heads are enemies of trends and stuck in Run DMC’s time but what they do not realize is that the pioneers of Hip-hop when they created it were actually creating a new trend. Had they been conforming to the old rules of “how music should be made” they would not modify scratches, West African griots poetry progressions and so forth to create Hip-hop. So I believe, we can’t say we are being “hip” by sticking to the so called “Real Hip-hop” because the REAL HIP-HOP was made by trendsetters.
While we adopt to trends we should also be innovative as a people to create our own trends and also support our own platforms. I was happy to download a new application for music on Google Play Store called StereoGuru , it is in it’s beta stage and will be monetizing Hip-hop and other music content. We are not going back on the monetization process and Zimbabwe will support us if we craft our images to make good messages.
Not in a political sense. I don’t talk politics but this one is for the DJ’s, events organizers and online curators. It’s time to be patriotic by giving local hip-hop airplay over other countries that probably do not have us yet in their playlists. Like I have previously said, Nigerian or South African Hip-hop is great but they did not climb those ladders by their only curators giving special preference to the music of another people. There is so much talent in Zimbabwe and we can’t be having 95% of a party playlist being foreign. Stop it!
Zim Hip-hop has become such a little society. I think the number of people I see in Hip-hop circles can now actually fill a neighbourhood or more. Therefore any societies growth is dependent on people helping each other mutually. I am not talking about one sided help.Let’s help each other achieve our goals… appeal to people interests and they will listen to you. Share tracks together, help each other to perfect tracks. Give others opportunities that you think will be best handled by them.
I was going to have my O as original, but that’s already defined in Zimbabwean. However I want you to be OUTSTANDING and Outspoken (like the Humble Neophyte). In attempts to be hip do not focus on rap delivery styles that are beyond your cadence abilities or it will come of fake. If you sound wack in English raps and are home and comfy on Shona bars, then do those. Don’t come up with enunciation like drayzie when you mean drezi it’s not cool. Perhaps what i’m saying is do you what you good at exceptionally, there’s no more room for being “ayt”. No more making “Okay tracks” and I will not as a curator have any flattering reviews for “okay tracks” no matter who you are. Yes, even if you are Tehn Diamond and have fans that can practically squeeze my nuts with a pliers for saying, “hmmm that was weak.” – I am waiting to playlist The Perfect Tehn and other projects.
Practice will burn out all the impurities of the game. Actually have dedicated sesssions like Church Choirs do to learn and know your songs before you hit the mic, even when you have no show the next week. PREPAREDness would have made a good P. In order to monetize properly you have to bring a polished act.
That’s it from The Potardent, this may or may not be my last blogpost before we end the year. My family is in the background calling me for more cake so cheers and happy holidays. Please folow @Mcpotar on twitter for more Hip-hop updates on the go.