Album in Focus: Vanga By Kae Chaps. An Alternative Sound.

Kae Chaps is a singer, rapper and a songwriter. At the age of just 23 he's one of Zim hip-hop's fast rising stars. Born Kudakwashe Chapepa hailing from the Rugare surburb in Harare, Kae Chaps uses a combination of soulful vocals and masterful storytelling to give us his own twist to good music. Riding on the wave of songs like Handife ndiri rombe and Kilimanjaro released earlier this year, Kae Chaps has finally delivered a full length project.

From the project title Vanga/scar there was an inclination it would be a very emotional album. Because whether we're talking about what caused the scars or how they healed, emotions will always be involved. Kae Chaps himself is said to have a scar from a near death encounter one night when he was going home after a performance. 

Vanga is a 12 track project filled with various influences from urban grooves to RnB and trap music. It's his second full length project after the EP A Pretty Short Life which was released earlier this year.


  1. Ndozvazviripo (Intro)
  2. Mai Boi ft Tytan
  3. Mavanga ft Sakina Godwin
  4. Nguva
  5. Makuhwa ft Quonfuzed
  6. Honawo ft Killz
  7. Kuhope
  8. Six MaLabel ft Punchline
  9. Sahwira
  10. Kwete This Time ft R Peels
  11. Ana Baba Vacho (interlude)
  12. Ambuya (Outro) 

Ndozvazviripo (Intro) features a slow tempo that doesn't change dynamic throughout the length of the song. Kae Chaps masterfully mixes vernac and English to match the instrumental and he delivers a beautiful sound. It's a song that speaks on his battle between choosing love or his dream of making it in music. His verses feature soulful backing vocals and the switch in melody between the verses and the chorus is an amazing thing to listen to. The push and pull between music and love is revealed in lyrics like, "Ndaisada kuenda asi ndozvazviripo... I love you but the truth is I love music way more."

Mai Boi ft Tytan is a track that features a faster rhythm and the instrumental is more typical of the present hip-hop sound. The texture of sound is heavy on instruments and Kae Chaps vocal length is less explored here but it's still a damn good song. It has a deeper focus on lyricism. Tytan delivers great flow on his verse and overall it's a really good smooth jam.

Mavanga ft Sakina Godwin is a true love song complete with a monologue that sounds like poetry from the heart. It's a serenading sound with a wide range of influences mixed in. Kae Chaps goes, "Kana wafunga kuda inini nini bhebhi ndide nemavanga kana wafunga kutora moyo wangu chibva watora nemavanga" and those lines cut deep. It's a love song in full form sprinkled with ingenious lyricism and great melody. "Rudo ibofu havareve nhema asi rako bhebhi ngaritange ranatsondiona."

Nguva carries on the theme about love and it speaks on how you should hang on because it's only a matter of time before things are alright. It's an RnB jam that Kae Chaps sings passionately and it's offset with different styles in singing from high notes to soulful singing and the backing vocals typical of a church choir. 

Makuhwa ft Quonfuzed is a plea by Kae Chaps to the love of his life. It speaks on how she shouldn't listen to what other voices have to say or the stories they have to tell. It's principal theme is about coming together and communicating to make things better.

Honawo ft Killz is slow and serenading and features Kae Chaps signature style of blending vernacular and english. Killz delivers a great verse well worth the feature. Kuhope is a deep and poetic expression of regret. It's a love song that speaks about the past and the rebirth of lost love. Kae Chaps dives deep and showcases his vocal length on this one.

Six MaLabel ft Punchline is a purely trap song. It has an instrumental that's highly electronic and heavy in texture which is typical of trap music. It offsets the theme of love which is principal throughout the album by being just a song for the vibes. The chorus is extremely catchy and the rhythm of the beat sticks in your head. Sahwira although having a mellow tempo is another hip-hop song but bordering on the alternative. It's a speech about friendship and to a friend and it's an extremely easy listen.

Kwete This Time ft R Peels delivers vibes and great lyrical wordplay. The man of the moment R Peels delivers a verse equal to anything from his latest album which has garnered him 7 nominations at this year's Zim hip-hop awards. Kae Chaps holds his own and the track is a great sound. Ana Baba Vacho (interlude) has a slight interruption to the music as it begins with a person who I assume to be Kae Chaps grandmother giving a speech of gratitude.

It sounds like a throwback to the hip-hop of old and it sounds sort of like old school Busta Rhymes

Ambuya (Outro) is a song of gratitude. It almost has the quality of slow gospel music and although relaxed in tempo it's rich in emotion and meaning. All around Vanga is a really good body of sound. It features great production work from DJ Futronic and Sir Rodman whose instrumental creations were essential to the overall sound.

Greedysouth rating: 7/10

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