Album in Focus: Rudo Ibofu EP by Tanto Wavie. The Godfather Of TrapSu Is Back At It Again



The first time I ever listened to Tanto Wavie was when he dropped his hit track John Chibadura some years ago. A homage to a Sungura legend and one of Zimbabwe's greatest artists. I instantly fell in love with the energy and combination of sounds. It was accompanied by visuals that were rich in humour, throwbacks to the 80's and fashion transitions before tiktok made them popular.


It was a track that featured the heavy electronic beats of trap music and vocals that had the slightest hint of hip-hop but they were actually far from it and only after a while did I realise the lyrical delivery was distinctly of the nature of the sungura genre. Following more on his musical journey that's when I learnt that this art form of music born out of the marriage of trap music and sungura was called TrapSu (Trap Sungura). A genre originated by Tanto himself.


It has gained him a steadily growing following over the years and he's working tirelessly to cement the genre within Zimbabwe's music industry. He has recently released a 6 track EP titled Rudo ibofu and it's his second full project this year after his album Wavie 2 released around February. He's one of the hardest working men in town and he shows no sign of stopping. His EP has no features and it's just Tanto in his element.


Tracklist:

  1. Mukadzi Akanaka 
  2. Moyo wese
  3. Tsamba kumudiwa wangu
  4. Kusvika Tachembera 
  5. Rudo ibofu
  6. Zvakatovharana



Rudo ibofu (Love is blind) the title track on the album features those richly distinct sungura vocals that take you back to an earlier age in the genre. Tanto's delivery on the song sounds more like James Chimombe & John Chibadura and less Tongai Moyo & Aleck Macheso who are the more recent stars of the distinctly Zimbabwean genre. The visuals for the song are rich in metaphor as Tanto sings while blindfolded with a red cloth and it paints a deeper message than what's seen on the surface.


He sings, "Moyo wangu urikubaikana..." expressing the pain in his heart and this is a theme echoed throughout the album. The chorus goes, "Rudo ibofu handiona, hapana kana chandakaona" which directly translates to love is blind, I couldn't see it, there's nothing that I could see. It's a reflection on how love can lead you down a path you don't choose and one that might go against things you've always said you'd never do.


Mukadzi Akanaka (A good wife) features a more up tempo beat and Tanto quickens his vocals to match the rhythm as he talks about how a good wife comes from God. He speaks on his dedication to such a woman and although the lyrics are sincere it's not one of my favourites off the EP. Moyo wese (My whole heart) comes through expressing total dedication, Tanto sings "Ndinokuda nemoyo wese mudiwa, ndinokuda kupfura zvaunofunga..." which expresses how he loves with all his heart and beyond what his girl would think.


Moyo wese features slight RnB influences in the chorus and this blends with the trap beats and sungura verses seamlessly. He asks his love to never let him down and as with the rest of the album it has the distinct features of 80's sungura music.


Tsamba kumudiwa wangu (A letter to my lover) has a slower tempo but there's no change in subject matter. Tanto goes, "Uchirikundida here mudiwa wangu...", which is him wondering if the love they had still exists. Tanto is wondering why the habits have changed and his lover is acting different from how they used to. The song title is brought out in how Tanto sings, it's like a letter being read for a loved one asking if we're still what we were. The sungura vocals are interrupted with a slight delve into hiphop but it works out somehow.


Zvakatovharana (Its already over) talks of heartbreak, betrayal and the heaviness of moving on. He consoles himself over what was a bad relationship and the principal message is to forget closure because what's done is done. Kusvika Tachembera (Until we're old) features the classical strummings of a guitar on sungura songs of old and the trap beat is infused with sungura instruments to produce a song which is more closer to the pure genre that everything else on the EP.


Tanto alone has the production credits for the entire album and this is a testament to his talent and work ethic. TrapSu is definitely here to stay and gaining more fans by the looks of it. Although rather short Rudo Ibofu is a great body of sound. It shows his growth from his early beginning in the genre to now.


Greedysouth rating: 7.1/10


1 Comments

  1. Angori ma key🔑🔑🔑🗝️😤💪

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