Album in Focus: Bloodline By Kikkybadass. The Tale Of A Queen Has Another Chapter

Zim hip-hop is making an insane resurgence this year. From artists like Probeatz to Quonfuzed to the likes of Holy Ten. So it was only right for a Kikkybadass album to be thrown into the mix. Bloodline comes as her second album and third full length project since her career began. It's a 16 track feast of rap music. The progression of her project titles since she began, seems to continuously speak on royalty. Her first album was titled Queen Of The South followed by Mambokadzi (Queen) and now Bloodline.

Christabell Stembeni Mahlungwa or Kikkybadass as she's popularly known is one of the best female rappers in Zim hip-hop right now. Arguably she could knock off a few scalps of the male rappers. And this goes beyond personal opinion, back in 2017 she was the first female to win the people's choice award at the Zim Hip-hop Awards. She's often cast herself in provocative videos and she's never been afraid to push the boundaries.

I've never been really the biggest Kikkybadass fan for some reason. I come across her music here and there but it's not regularly featured on my playlist. Although I do listen to her banger one-one a little too often. After the first listen of Bloodline I had to go back in time and listen to Mambokadzi. Nothing tells more of an artist's progression like the comparison of the latest release with previous projects. The growth and style change becomes clearly evident.

Party Queen was the first single to drop off the album and it's a unique track in its make up. It's sort of like Beethoven meets hip-hop and the way Kikky rides the beat is phenomenal. Although not filled with punchlines it delivers vibes in Kikky's unique style of rap. By the end of it I was already screaming, "Ndini ndirikurira kunge hwamanda." Shamwari Dzezita carries that same classical sound to the beat and it has more of the sound of violin compared to Party Queen which is heavy on piano keys. The song actually reaches deep in the way it talks about friendships and the chorus is very catchy.

G4L (Gangsta for life) takes a different approach and it's full of wit and lyrical ingenuity. Kikky manages the mingling of shona and english perfectly. The song has a trap beat but it's not heavily electronic. The witty bits of the song are brought out in lines like: "My music overseas, pamusoro pegungwa kunge chikepe" 

Entanglements is a poetic number. Kikky serenades us with greatly worded storytelling. It's an easy listen even though it speaks to our emotions. Kikky brings out pop culture references in lines like "Entanglements, side chick what am I to you really? Another quick heartbreak like Nicki and Meekmilli? Tytan an you know who..." It's a questioning and seeking song and it'll speak to everyone because who hasn't wondered thoughts like, "Just prove to me right now that you l o v e me and not just using me right now..."

From the first listen I had Iripo Here ft Lioness tagged as club music or at least turn up music. It just has that energy that's infectious when you listen to it. I lost it when Kikky went, "Never ever met Cassper but they treat me like mufasa." 

Bloodline ft Attifaya has strong Zimbabwean influences in the instrumental, I couldn't put my finger on it but they definitely marimba playing in the background among other instruments. Kikky brings her accents to play on this song and a bit of Jaimacan is sprinkled in her tone. "I'm just tryna kick it like kante, make a billi for my kids like I'm kanye" Attifaya came with the fire and the feature added the right balance to this track.

Never Again (interlude) is titled as just an interlude but it's far from it. It sounded like some shit Kikky really had to get off her chest and there's a lot of passion in her lyrical delivery. The music is only the first half of the track before the shout outs begin but you have to listen to it. 

This Time Last Year ft Haizel Skyy feels like an RnB joint and it's not just how Haizel Skyy handles the chorus but Kikky's delivery on her verses. I love the smooth sound to it and Haizel absolutely nails the chorus. Hodha Bhero ft R Peels constantly switches up dynamic throughout but the beat is matched with delivery.

Not impressed ft Dizzy Dee and Asaph starts off with punchlines usually typical of Ti Gonzi from Kikky. She hits us with lines like: "I raise the bar super high kwete zvechamba". The standing ovation however goes how Diszy Dee nailed the songs chorus. Asaph came through with fire bars too as he always does. Bata Chiwepu ft GTBeats is a production masterpiece. The multiple beat switches and the drops it has are actually genius. The lyrics and singing just top it off to give it that edge. 

A while ago you wouldn't think we would've had this collaboration but amends have ben made and Kikkybadass & Holy Ten are on a track together. Dreams (Zviroto) talks about the dreams for a better future, the possibilities in terms of quality of life and about safe guarding the better future that's possible. Even though Holy Ten is one of my favourite artists Wi just don't know how I feel about this one. The message is great and uplifting but there's just something off about how the whole song comes together.

Kurunga ft Crooger has a chorus that mimicks the one from Rake it up by Yo Gotti and Nicki but then Crooger makes it his own by how he switches up the tone and delivery with Shona lyrics. It's not overly energetic but it's that easy to listen to hip-hop and the combination just works.

New Kids On The Block was Kikky at her cockiest throughout this album. She says "Ndiri mucheeky" on the chorus and it shows. There's a unique reckless abandonment of humility on this joint and I love the vibes it gives off. "Handibatike mumastreets but they feeling me, all these femcees (rappers) are my children are you kidding me..." is the ultimate line that speaks how much Kikky feels she in her bag. 

A big shout out to the entire production team that worked on this projection. Their work was near perfection and without them Kikky wouldn't have achieved that sound.

Greedysouth rating: 7.1

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