Of Rhyme and Reason






"HIP HOP is a term that describes our independent collective consciousness" according to temple of hip hop.org as they try to define this diverse and rich subculture and art movement that began in the Bronx New York City during the late 1970s. Origins of the word is often disputed as much as the fact that hip hop began in the west or south Bronx. The term is often used to refer exclusively to hip hop music also called "RAP".

The matter of the first rap song to be recorded has been a subject of debate but there is no argument on issue as far as U.K radio is concerned. The first rap record to chart in the UK was “Rappers Delight" by the SUGARHILL GANG in 1979. Djs played a pivotal role in developing the Hip hop culture and one such individual of note is Lance Taylor, a Bronx raised Disc jockey, singer songwriter and producer who released a series of genre defining electro tracks in the 1980s that influenced the development of hip hop culture
Popularly known as Afrika Bambaataa, he is one of the originators of breakbeat djing. Afrika Bambaataa ‘The Godfather’ and "Amen Ra of the hip hop kulture" co-opted his street gang THE BLACK SPADES into the music and cultural UNIVERSAL ZULU NATION and helped spread the hip hop culture throughout the world. Fast forward to probably when we all thought it began , youth in the inner city used hip hop as their outlet to air their issues against the system and also spread black consciousness, by now your thinking bulb should be on as you put N.W.A in the picture as one such group that did protest records but in the back drop of all this, Hip hop music as an art is growing and other than just protest and hate lyrics others were busy on educating society in cleverly written lines and exhibiting prowess of being wordsmiths and street philosophers - empowering audiences with unlimited knowledge  passing their wisdom through rhyme and reason.


Money started coming in the hip hop comunity and the the fibre became thiner each day as most rappers went on to just sing about women and cars although quite a number remained true to the culture and society and continued to sing about matters of substance.

A friend asked me where we are as far as rhyme and reason is concerned, i guess he just wanted to know if we still have mcs in our local industry? Zimbabwe has had a fair share of talented and knowledgable mcs who have used the mic as a tool to spread consciousness in diferent subject matters, quick to come in mind are the likes of the late Kingpinn, Zion Oasis (though electric and specific) the late Sivo Gambino, Killa Klan, Rapperholix, Lost Tribe, Munetsi, Icon Clan (now Camp Rebirth), Biko Maximus, Orthodox s.i.x, just to keep the list short from this class of late 90s throughout the millenium generation.

Currently a few individuals have carried the torch and continue empowering audiences with conscious content while entertaining them with lyrical artistry in true word smith fashion. Psykotek, Doc freezy, M.U.S.E and Synik are some that have stood ground amidst the dillution of hip hop as a genre as fusions of other genres have infiltrated the industry and artists have been lost in the web due to pressures of chasing fame and quick breakthroughs. Women, money, fast cars, alcohol are now the daily recycled concepts by the bulk of rappers today. We have failed to re-produce the Rakims, mos def, common, talib kweli , Nas and the likes in our current crop of graduates.

I know you still waiting my response on whether we still rhyme and reason. let me just say I miss hip hop!


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(c)mc tytoh
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