“And there I was listening to new hip hop artist Zakwe, the five time 2012 MTN SAMA nominee, hoping to get eardrum-damaging punch lines. My expectations of his self-titled debut album dropped quicker…
How this nice-flowing chap got five nominations still troubles my mind. Maybe what other people find interesting in him escapes me. Maybe my hip hop conviction was severely confused when I stopped writing rap lyrics and religiously following the popular genre in 2008. But I doubt it’s about that. If such logic is anything to go by, I would have forgotten how burning tobacco smells like after I stopped smoking sometime ago.
I’d like to believe that it was his nominations that fully made him a household name, not his rhyming skills per se. My belief stems from the realisation that a lot of people began throwing the “who is Zakwe?” question after his multi-award nominations.
Nonetheless, brotherman has one of the freshest and tightest flows that definitely stand him out from the pool of mediocrity which we are forced to drink. His flow ensnared my attention upon watching his Bathi Ngiyacoma (Remix) music video for the first time. He rode on the beat with confidence and oomph that I felt no need to digest his lyrical content. The flow was just lekker. Zakwe is arguably a killer-flow rapper with average lyricism. I guess it is on this basis of his flow that some people consider him tight.
The episode on which I lost my cool came when I read a couple of comparisons punted by people between Zakwe and Pro (Kid). The two undoubtedly flow alike, employ venarc-laden kasi rap alike and even ride the beat with similar enthusiasm. But that’s where it ends, at least in my opinion. It is their storytelling abilities that set them apart.
And how he got five nominations would give me sleepless nights if I was gunning for a SAMA award against him. But I’m just a fan who wishes to see talent justly rewarded. Hence I insist that there’s little justice in Zakwe’s SAMA business, something that makes me question the SAMA nomination process. How does it work? Who makes the decisions? Maybe I should ask SAMA CEO, Randal Abrahams himself, but if any of you knows please shed some light.
The last time my doubts were cast on a mediocre rapper was when ZuluBoy bagged that Metro award for being the Best Rapper in 2008. I don’t know how big his fan-base measures but I still doubt he had enough influence over hip hop heads to enable him to win an award, let alone get nominated. Coincidentally, ZuluBoy and Zakwe are signed under the same record label – Native Rhythms.
The SAMAs are coming to our screens soon (30 April) and I can’t wait to see how many awards Zakwe takes home. Of all the categories in which he’s a contestant, my eyes will be fixed at the Best Street Urban category. He’s up against AKA, HHP, Jack Parrow and L-Tido and some of these guys are the real deal. If he wins in this particular category, then I will be convinced that our hip hop standard has dropped. Otherwise, it’s those that vote by sms who wield influence over the artist that goes home with an award.
My opinions are mine and the decision makers have their own too. If they feel Zakwe is an award-deserving artist, he’s definitely going home award-handed.”
The Author clearly stated that this is an opinion piece. He said “A good flow average rapper.” I like this Author dude.