Rick Ross Live Performance in Harare Zimbabwe Review

The glorious thing about existence is the fact that there is at least something for each one of us. Let’s just say it is the sovereignty to perceive the blocks on which life builds.  At this point, we embrace the illumination that circumstances are not a generalizable concept. The Rick Ross show epitomized this daunting reality that those who afford something and those who do not are in a premeditated tug of war when it comes to rationality.

Review written by Tafadzwa Madzika and Takudzwa Kadzura.

2022 is a year that Hip Hop has finally had its moment in Zimbabwe, not that the genre hasn't had moments before but this moment might be the genre's biggest. Hip-hop has constantly fallen prey to elite interests. However, the urban culture in contemporary Zimbabwe has found this utility to amplify young people’s aspirations. Zimbabwe Hip-Hop has taken over the airwaves, invaded all the live shows, and infected almost every DJ's playlist, and what better way to cap off such a year than to have a concert with one of the genre's biggest artists ever in The Biggest Boss, The MMG CEO, Rozay himself?

Rick Ross Harare Zimbabwe show review

This past Friday 18th of November, Rick Ross was in Harare for possibly the biggest Hip Hop concert to grace Zimbabwe. An event hosted by Roar Entertainment and arguably the most highly anticipated performance of the year, second only to Burna Boy's Space Drift Tour. MTV Base was part of the red carpet, Nasty C was coming and some of Zimbabwe's current big acts in Nutty O, Takura, Saintfloew, Holy Ten, Hillzy, and Kikkybadass were set to be there.

For a genre that is arguably sitting at the pinnacle of Zimbabwean music, its biggest concert was a bit of a dud. Not in the lack of sensational performances but in its organization. The artists leading this current wave or resurgence of Zim Hip Hop didn't get their moment to shine. Thus, we are mandated to revise what we may view as a broad consensus and live one day at a time. The past months have been quite tense for event organizers. First, it was the collective call by Zimbabweans to ‘stop’ Winky D or Jah Prayzah to be part of this show to pave the way for hip-hop artists. We remain in the steadfast belief that hip hop is here.  

Fast forward to the day of the show, that goal to see local acts shine on blockbuster gigs did not materialize. Things seemingly fell apart when the scheduled line-up was totally ignored when the show started. The likes of Kikky, Saintfloew, and Hillzy were sideliners performing on the red carpet as however intended. One could be invited to think that the miniature stage was not deserved by these artists especially when DJs on the main stage were doing all they can to somehow keep the crowd engaged as the show approached a new 4-hour delay to the start of artist performances.

As midnight approached the crowd was throwing cans & missiles on stage like it was Sting 2016. They were about to lose the crowd and credit to the quick thinking of promoters, the show started just a little after midnight with Rozay himself. 

From the moment he set foot on stage to the moment he left, Rozay just oozed extravagance and coupled with his luxury raps, the crowd was instantly hooked. From the "Roo-zay" chants that would erupt almost after every song, to the swelling of the crowd's voice in unison after Rozay's MC said, "Ziiiiimbabwe sing that shit". It was a sensational rap performance and every moment seemed planned to a tee, from Rozay's gestures to his messages to the crowd and the song selection. We got all the best music from the Illuminati era. 

The Boss took to the stage, with I'm A Boss, and left with GOD DID. At the end of the show, he put on the now infamous and polarizing Zimbabwe flag “Presidential” scarf now associated with ZANU PF but that was an action that just seemed minuscule in the bigger picture, it paled in comparison to what we had got to beat witness. We had gone on a journey from nostalgia to euphoria as we witnessed songs we had loved for almost a decade, performed live for the first time.

Enzo Ishall was the surprise of the night as he took to stage next and you know what, what a performer. Rozay owns the story of the night but Enzo had the streets because with him gracing the stage that is the loudest the crowd got on the night. It's no embellishment calling him a "serial hitmaker" because the strength of his catalogue in terms of hits is pretty much unmatched. 

Nasty C had the difficult job of following after Enzo Ishall, but he braved the monumental task with ease. His cadence and stage presence made for an intriguing performance. There was something simple, yet intimate about it and on a night he was sharing the stage with a global superstar, he left his mark. 

Maphorisa a late edition to the lineup, went on after Nasty but somehow it already felt like everything was winding down. Phori displayed that he is a good DJ but there was nothing that really left an impression about his set.

Holy Ten and Takura closed out the night, or the morning rather and I don't know if was the crowd that was slowly trickling out by then or just a bad day in the office but the ‘it’ factor was just no longer there. Nutty O never made it to the stage but the elation at Rozay's performance seemingly stayed with everyone.

The story of the night was that of a poorly organized event with sensational performances among a few missteps. For once HICC is definitely not conducive to handling high-volume entrants quickly and the long lines spoiled the fun. 

The event had no disability access at all and it's such a shame that event promoters and artists keep having concerts that exclude an entire segment of the population. Another thing to note is that event organizers failed to respect concertgoers and artists, by presenting a schedule they couldn't stick to and not ensuring artists had everything they need to take to the stage at the right time.

Our two big takeaways from the night are as follows; 
  1. It's high time promoters realized the importance of engaging professional event managers to avoid unnecessary blunders and ensure events run according to schedule. Being a great promoter does not make you great at event management. 
  2. The death of Zimdancehall has been highly exaggerated. The HICC acoustics were up several decibels compared to any other moment when Enzo performed and thinking back to the Unplugged Ladipoe performed, Nutty O owned the night too. 
The thinking that Rick Ross coming to Zimbabwe would somehow mark an ordainment for our local hip hop talent has left many disappointed. Ross did justice to the only 50 minutes he performed, at least!

Greedysouth rating: 6/10

Enjoyed reading this entertainment news report? Support Greedysouth by buying the team a cup of coffee. Your support assists in the production of such quality reports. Thank you.
Takudzwa Kadzura

I leave a piece of my heart in every writing, hope you find it.

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post