Hip hop has always been known as the breeding ground for rap gangs and groups. Some of the most prominent rap crews known throughout the world include NWA, WU TANG CLAN, G.UNIT, MMG, YOUNGMONEY/CASHMONEY, BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY among others.
In the City of Kings both mainstream and underground rap crews are making a buzz. Urban culxure went out to the royal streets of Bulawayo to check out some of the hottest and relevant hip hop crews in the Hip hop scene. Below is a list of some of the hottest and talented rap crews.
Note the list has been put in no particular order…
Established in 2013 Kasi Lami Art Platform (KLAP) is also a major force in the Hip Hop scene in Zimbabwe. KLAP is a collective of individual musicians independent of each other, yet utilising each other`s strengths to push musical projects of immense cultural diversity.
To date KLAP has had two hip hop nominations on the local music awards scene. Recently KLAP released their studio album called Hip Hop Mosaic (Induced Drag) produced by P2daoh.
The album features John (SCI) Robinson) from California USA, Kapital Kthe legendary Zimbabwean emcee based in South Africa, Ifani from South Africa,Psykotech(Bulawayo),Alaina a Bulawayo vocalist, Top Dawg Khethiwe and Phil D (SA Idols 2010 Finalist) .
Production features have Thexy and Osmic (Ace of Spades) on the beat box.KLAP family emcees on the album include Lady Thug,2Dope ,Fresh T, Pozee Younga 97,Lil G from( Canada),Steezy and K.S.F(EL Mondae and Maluzing) and Thorne.
The KLAP FAME latest’s` offering Hip Hop Mosaic (Induced Drag) is available for streaming on Sound cloud.
2. Upper class
This is 4 men army made up of Big Black BEE, Lil Rapper Dat Rasta, Curse Gee Phenomenal King and Gucci AKA Good News. This crew is famous for its cultural diversity and stand out fashion sense.
This crew is also famous for its movement known as the “Shagga”movement. Instead of using the term swag this crew uses shagga and one of their tracks titled “shagga” is on rotation in some of the country’s leading radio stations.
3. Tear Dream Boiz
A young and energetic rap crew straight out of Lobengula. BretRammz, BrendzSibbs and Prince Chimsy make this lyrically skilled trio. Formed in 2012 this young crew has done well.
These young hungry lions have shared the stage with big acts like POY, TehnDiamond, Big Nuz and Trevor Dee among others.Tracks like “Bhekelaphansi” and others by this fresh crew are on repeat on various radio stations.
Collaborations to expect from this young squad include TearDreamBoizft Duncan from South Africa and Tear Dream Boizft Simba Tagz among awaited collaboration by Tear Dream Boiz.
4. Tariq’s Crew
This is one of the hottest underground rap sensation. Tariq`s crew is a hip hop group which was formed by a group of friends in 2012.The members are Brain aka “Tariq Bravo”, NdlovuNkosi “Pitch”,NgwenyaPhathisani “Phat Nc”andNcubeSindile “ Amyuzer”Moyo.For this banging crew check out an exclusive article on this site titled, “The sizzling Hip-hop Crew.
5. Red Monkey Nation
Red Monkey nation one of the well-known crew from Mpopoma, making a buzz. The 7 memeber crew has been shutting down shows and getting air play from major radio stations. Songs like “Lucifer” and “No lie” have been on the spotlight. The seven member clan consisting of GunXDaPharoah,Tazz,Kiddo,Kulprit,Mterry da rapper,Colebehk,Druboi Beatz and T flow is something to watch. The Zimbabwean hip hop streets better be on the lookout of trailblazing E.P by the Red Monkey Nation coming soon.Look out for their banging new single titled “Ebunandini”.
6. Boiz Make Beatz
Producers coming together and making beats is now an international trend. In Bulawayo such an initiative is on.Boiz make beats is group of hip hop/RnB and house music beat makers .The members are Nash Cee,LeKae,Kenzie,TKC,Tayte and Dope.This crew has made songs with young Kidd the tracks include “Shake that “and “ tippy toes”. The crew has also worked on collaboration with an Indian fellow called Ben Mike straight from India. This crew aims to bring a new sound to the Zimbabwean music circles and whole world with their unique beats.
Team Lv5 is a crew of 7 musicians which are GeekyM, Gimel, Gunyana, Spugd, Mlue_jay, Listwars, Tafmackerbeats and Flackotwins. It was formed in 2008 by Geeky M who is the a rapper and producer of the squad.The crew is based in Luveve 5 Bulawayo. This team has worked with class acts like Upperclass,Calvin and Nello a rapper from Bostwana,Mlue Jay has single with a Zimhip hop award winner RhymeAssassin and another track featuring Mr Cee the cat who started the Zim Hip Hop awards.
The song is titled” I was born in the ghetto”.The other song featuring an Lv5 member and spinning on radio stations is “Grind China” by Cal_vin featuring Gimel.TeamLv5 was part of the Changamire hip-hop festival representing the city of kings. “Bulawayo to Jozi” is another blazing song by Mlue_Jay feat Geeky M which has put the LV5team on the Hip Hop map.
8. The Army
This battalion is made up of four rap lions namely Gman Lee, Benny Jones, Roc Rizzle and Nate.This crew is under Entertainment Maestros an artist and events Management Company.In January we this crew with teamed up with Da-Grape-Vine for a show that was hosted in the capital city and the musician parties got interviewed on one of the biggest radio stations in the nation and they got to do their freestyles live on air. Currently this rap militia has just finished finalising a track with one of the best hip-hop groups in South Africa “THE FRATERNITY” famous for their hit single “Bheka mina”.
“Our fans should keep their ears on the ground for this one because it’s going to be one for the books, the single will leave a mark that will never be erased”, said Michelle Banda one of the founders of Entertainment Maestros. Gman Lee who is famously known on the ground for his club banger track #SHAPA,the track which was hugely appreciated by the masses in Bulawayo has decided to bless his fans with a remix and he has decided to collaborate with a few of the best emcees in the game like Cal-Vin,K-Breezy and Frost among others.
“The remix is yet to be released so fans stay put” said Michelle Banda.Benny Jones has just released a smash hit called “Knocking Speakers” which has gained major air play around the Zimbabwean radio stations. Roc Rizzle has just released a “Bayaz’khohlisa” featuring Calvin. This track has also been a major hit.Nate just released a dope hip hop track called “#IGatTHIS”, this track is receiving so much love even beyond our borders so people can look forward to hearing this hit on our radio stations very soon.
9. The Township
The town ship was formed in 2013; this crew consists of Lloyd, Scotty, Spliffah Ray and Mthallis Banks. The Township crew was formed after two groups merged and formed one united force .The Township was also involved in the Makokoba Project where artists from the U.K came to the country for a cultural exchange programme; the crew got the opportunity to rub shoulders with legendary rapper Rodney P.The Township has a mixtape out titled B4Rhodesia.The mixtape has got massive tracks like “Jefunde and Jodeci”.This track have received great responses. The Township has been working with LA Josh of Dope Nation Records.
10. Turn Up Gang
This is one of the latest and freshest underground high energy rap crew in Bulawayo. The urban culxure teammet this gang at a ghetto hip hop showcase hosted by Intercyfaz in New Lobengula.This 5 member rap crew is from Cowdry Park in Bulawayo. The names of the emcees are Tee Jay, Torbo, Nkoc error, Ayiman and the only femalein the crew is Qin bluez.This young fresh crew has three singles, one which titled Turn up Gang. Turn up Gang hopes to be best rap crews in Zimbabwe holding it down and representing their suburb Cow dry Park in the future.
The hip hop world will always have crews and clicks. In Bulawayo there many rap crews some which we did not publish in this list. Some of the other relevant and prominent rap crews both mainstream and underground in Bulawayo include, Alpha Gang, Magic City Empire, P.S.P Clan, Device Mansion, Kasi Lunatics, Guap Gang and N.C.T