Leo Magozz, Bling4, Brian Jeck and the entire Zero53 crew are literally having a free-run this year. The inspiring story of raw talent from Chegutu rising “from the unknown” to national stardom is one that can light up every young person’s dream. With a string of star studded remixes and already playing on international TV networks, could this be the matchstick Zim Hip Hop has been long waiting for or its a wave that will come to pass?
By Plot Mhako
Since 2011 when Stunner and BaShupi gave us the mega hit Godo, the Zim Hip Hop scene has had several popular hits from artists such as Cal_Vin, Few Kings, Asaph, Ti Gonzi! However these short-lived waves and chapters were marked by individual effort and a few group hits that somehow failed to enough gather collective mojo.
Groups like the Few Kings and MMT at one time created so much buzz on the local scene and raised the hopes for local hip hop to hit the national radar but the sadly the frenzy ended with them.
There were a number of factors that could have contributed to the seemingly “false” collective takeoffs. The Zim Hip Hop movement over the years failed to glue together, identify as a collective and rally behind a common drive and narrative that would have given them the national ear and stake.
For over a decade the Zimdancehall tide until recently has been too heavy to turn and not allowing alternative youth music to get space.
The Covid-19 induced Lockdown disrupted live shows and the public transport system (Kombis) which were major drivers of Zimdancehall. The new normal therefore changed the consumption patterns for music thereby giving visibility to emerging artists and sounds.
A song uniting genres. A song uniting artists!
Two years ago Zim Hip Hop artist Holy Ten found his break and warmed up the national ears to a new vibe and style laying out a firm path for a later veld fire in the form of Drill.
Holy Ten’s success story became an opener for more artists to gain visibility and confidence.
Music video director Leoy V has played a very instrumental role in curating this new shift in sound, style and break through his Letter Z music factory project where he shot budget music videos for the emerging artists and after a hundred of videos one project sparked a the magic which will soon be regarded as a defining moment.
The song Fire Emoji by Leo Magozz, Bling 4 and Brian Jeck, produced by VinceGood Beats, Mixed and mastered by Brian jeck at ZERO53MUSIC in Chegutu and video shot by Director Leoy V became a 2022 national anthem and ultimately the biggest record of the year.
Fire Emoji could possibly go down the books of history as the song that carried the Zim Hip Hop spirit and movement from a long-since promising genre to the mainstream with several headliners actually getting booked and paid for their craft.
With plus 1 Million Youtube views track has attracted a wave of remixes and covers from across the country and some international artists tagging along. Drill lives matter!
We are watching a new shift taking place in real time and the disruptors are coming from all sorts of directions.
Zim Hip Hop needs to hold on tight, push as an army, stay humble and never to lose the momentum until the whole country is on fire.
Word of advise, genres can co-exist, dont disrespect those who were doing it before you, learn, collaborate and build from what they did.
Special shout-out to ZimCelebs for spreading the fire!
Let there be more concerts, radio space and community platforms that promote Hip Hop.