Album in Focus: Muchinjiko by R Peels. A Defining Moment Is Everything For An Artist

Zim hip-hop has been a genre that has seen so many ups and downs. It seems to dominate the airwaves in a series of highs and lows or silent periods for some reason. Now I hadn't come across R Peels' music until only just recently when I was listening to Crooger's latest single Ice lolo and he was featured on it. I instantly recognised him from a number of Ray Vines' videos. He managed to hold his own on the track and he actually delivered quite a decent verse. I promised myself I would check out more of his music after that but never really got around to it until his latest album was released. 

And I don't know why but after listening to him that first time I just assumed he was a new artist. Maybe because I had never come across his music before that me think he had recently joined the industry but through later research I came across his discography of 3 solid albums with a fourth about to be released. And listening through some of his work, I realised his musical trajectory had remained very much the same over the years and although there's a maturity in the subject matter of his songs, the style is still the same distinct one from 2017 projects like Zviri Eva Beautiful.


Muchinjiko: The crossover, carries all those same elements R Peels has had in his music for so long but it has a different weight to it. The album title gives one the perception of a turning point or a critical stage that's been overcome. It feels like a debut album although R Peels has been around. It's a body of work that speaks on his maturity in music and he's presenting himself to the world anew while also finally getting the recognition he deserves.

The latest body of work is a double sided 18 track album filled with uplifting tempos, tracks of slowed rhythm filled with rich lyrics and stories featuring R Peels subjective perception of life with only a short interruption by Ray Vines on an interlude. R Peels has described his style of music as energetic and catchy which is clearly brought out in the sound of Muchinjiko.

Muchinjiko the title track has a slower tempo and R Peels matches his lyrical delivery to that same rhythm. It's an easy listen filled with deliberate storytelling. Elevation is another smooth sound with great work in terms of production, there's ridiculously good beat drop that coincides with the beginning of the chorus and the song is just rap in its element. My favourite line goes, "Pandinotaura ndinotaura zvine passion, stay humble that's never out of fashion..." 

Vanondinamatira carries with it much faster tempo, it's a track filled with religious themes as is most of the album and it speaks on hope. It is effortless and at it's base level it's a prayer that speaks on the present societal issues in Zimbabwe. Eke is a track true to the nature of trap music, gone is the lyrical ingenuity and although more bubble gum in nature it's still extremely catchy. Whatever it misses in lyricism it makes up for with vibe and an impactful electronic instrumental.

Biggaz to me kind of feels like the hip-hop equivalent of Smart inotangira kutsoka. I listened to the song along with the visuals which often biases opinion. The video features a series of high end sneakers which are displayed every time the chorus hits. It has that same trap feel along with switches in tempo and at the end R Peels gives a shoutout to the other guys killing it in the rap game.

I swear has an amazing beat switches throughout, Ruchiva is a throwback to hip hop of old that 90s rhythm and it tells the story of the ghetto, selling drugs, hustling, crime and other bad decisions. All the while there's a sermon that drifts in and out during the song. Special meat is filled with influences of RnB, Andiroya is a beautiful duet featuring Ishan and it has an afrofusion feel to it. I was sold on the sound.


Uripo is hands down my favourite song on this album, the feel of it, the flow, the lyrical play and my goodness those vocals from Yolanda Cream. Yolanda penetrated threw right to the deepest cracks my heart has from past heartbreaks and she soothed my heart right at its core. It's a beautiful beautiful sound and R Peels offsets Yolanda’s melody well with his delivery. Life is another slow track that tries to reach for depth more than entertainment value.

Mwari Anoona comes through lifting up the mood again, it's an optimistic sound that speaks on faith and it's true to it's title in how uplifting it sounds. Nutty O continues his run of impressive features on Thankful and so does the queen of hip-hop Kikkybadass on Verenga Ishoma. I see shades of Nicki Minaj from Tashamiswa on the Eke (remix) and that's definitely another banger. The production credits on this album were done by various people from Dj Tamuka to Oskid. 

The album features vivid story telling and then it has its side of well mumble rap, a side just for vibes, no story to truly follow, no complicated lyrical ingenuity to decipher but just vibing for the sake of vibing. It's a well crafted body of sound and I'm in awe of the production work.

Greedysouth rating: 6.7/10

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