Voltz JT - Mkoma Brian is a Melancholic Reflection on Mental Health

Hip-hop as a genre, has been a tool for storytelling pretty much since it was created. On top of storytelling, it has also been an art form for igniting conversations. These are both things we can attribute to "Mkoma Brian". Voltz JT's latest release is a mirror reflecting easily recognizable narratives within Zimbabwean society. Mkoma Brian sees him being his brother's keeper.

Voltz JT - Mkoma Brian mp3 download

The track is slow in tempo and dominated by a certain melancholy that tugs on your heartstrings. It evokes sadness but the nature of Voltz's cadence is such that you can listen to it again and again. 

Told from the perspective of men he knows within the community, Mkoma Brian is centred around men's mental health. It reflects on relationships, substance abuse and depression. Mkoma Brian can also be said to be the story of the vulnerabilities of our role models.

The first verse, which tells the story of Mkoma Brian, kicks off by talking about him as someone Voltz wanted to be. Until he realized that not all that glitters gold. To best sum it up would be the Shona proverb, "Chakafukidza dzimba matenga". Loosely translated this means that the structure of the house hides what happens within the home. Here Voltz is reflecting on having aspirations for a picture that wasn't the true reflection of Mkoma Brian's life.

You think mafunnies kusvika yava nguva yako
Ukawana time ingochengetedza moyo wako
Make sure haurarame movie mumusoro mako
Usazofunge pane anosenga mutoro wako - Voltz on the chorus for Mkoma Brian

In the second verse, Voltz talks about Mkoma Givhi. A guy who kills himself over a woman. Voltz questions why it had to come to that in a world full of women. A part of him wishes Givhi could be resurrected so he could explain. He even touches on our cultural practices concerning suicide when he says, "Kunhamo kwenyu kwakanzi azviuraya haachemwe".

Mkoma Brian can easily be placed alongside the likes of Jnr Brown's "Tongogara" and Holy Ten's "Ndaremerwa". Certainly not (yet) in terms of its impact or iconic status but the quality of the storytelling and social commentary. In my book, it already stands within the frame of Voltz's catalogue. He is already on his way to winning Zimhiphop's Best Social Impact Award again.

Mkoma Brian was released accompanied by apt visuals, directed by Blu Mordecai. The director tells a story on the screen that is equally as brilliant and as compelling as the music.

Checkout the video for "Mkoma Brian" below:

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