"The Culture" as told by Malcom Mufunde on Zazise's debut single

What is Hip Hop culture? This is a question that has often divided opinions, whether within the Hip Hop ecosystem or on the outside looking in. Especially in the context of Zimbabwe. Adopting the sound from across the Atlantic Ocean, it's been a journey to find our own voice and to shape Hip Hop in the Zimbabwean image. So what is Zimbabwean Hip Hop culture? 

"The Culture" as told by Malcom Mufunde on Zazise's debut single

I think Zazise's debut single captures it best. In 4 minutes of passionate lyrical expression, Malcom Mufunde captures almost everything anyone could've said. Over 2 decades of artistry, through countless up and downs, The Culture is the story of Zimbabwean Hip Hop. Malcom Mufunde embraces the role of historian and storyteller, with an unrivalled lyrical ingenuity and not a word out of place.

As above so below, I been underground before
Seen then all come and go, here today gone tomorrow 
I did it all a hundred fold but ain't no hundreds that I fold
They say some rappers can't afford, but some would rather hundred folds
It's the culture, I separate the hunters from the vultures 

"The Culture" is not only a revelation in the message it carries or the stories it tells but how the stories are told. Blink twice and you've almost certainly missed a punchline. It is the art of rap in its rawest form but the wordplay tells you that the skill of rap on display is sharpened and refined. Malcom Mufunde gives us an honour roll, from the originators to the current names bursting onto the scene.

ExQ had us shining in them old fancy Reeboks
Still tichiri kupenya, what you think we got that bling for? (Bling4)
Fast forward we couldn't live to the hype
But Asaph jammed zveginde and corrected the vibe
Back then we had to bounce to Maskiri and Stunner
Then Breezy came bouncing neskiri raka stunna

ExQ, Maskiri, Stunner, MMT, Ti Gonzi, Kuda K, R Peels, King 98, Asaph, Dough Major, Soko Matemai (Sharky), Bling4, Ray Kaz, Noluntu, Tanto Wavie... Malcom delivers a State of Hip Hop Nation address similar to Kendrick Lamar on Control but his efforts are a lot less confrontational and still an expression of respect for the art of his peers. He even takes a moment to remember legendary Hip Hop scribe Dodger and appreciate the work of music bloggers. The Culture is not only a masterpiece in expression but how it represents the coming together of the commentators (bloggers) of the art and the artists themselves.

Conceptualized by Zazise Media the brainchild of Mukudzei Mlambo, The Culture is the first single from Zazise's upcoming debut album Storytellers of the Culture (SOTC). Twice awarded the Best Online Media, Zazise has been firmly ingrained within the Zimbabwean Hip Hop space and telling stories about the culture is nothing new to them. 

M_cky The Maker from Yaad Universe was roped in for the production of The Culture and he delivered an instrumental with just the right amount of bounce and intensity for Malcom to excel. I honestly can't wait for what this album holds. Executive produced by Mukudzei Mlambo and ProGIsTheName, SOTC is set for release on the 2nd of August.

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