When launching their MTF Academy early this year, Multichoice Africa said and I quote “The African continent is steeped in a rich and diverse history of living passionately through language, art, music and colorful storytelling. As the continent continues to change rapidly, the entertainment industry has become ever more relevant” I have reflected a lot on the vision and truth behind that statement and never has it been truer or more relevant than right now especially with regards to the Zimbabwean entertainment industry.
By Robson Murambiwa
With Zimbabwe on the cusp of a maybe economic revolution/ meltdown and at a period when there is raging debate in the Hip-hop community as to whether a “Mambo” can exist in Bulawayo or not, Nkanyiso Moyo better known as Guluva Se7en, the President of the Kasien Republic dropped his sophomore 10 track studio album aptly titled Command Hustle on the 21 of September 2018 and in a nutshell it’s an impressive and important body of work from the MC that arrives at a time when there is need for young and alternate voices and narratives about the country. It’s by no means a Joshua tree but definitely an enjoyable and collectible hip hop album worthy of the 38 minutes running time and that space in your CD cabinet/ Bag where you keep your most treasured music.
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There’s no doubt that these are lean times as Zimbabwe continues on its downward economic spiral and it is against this backdrop that G7 unleashes his lyrical prowess, skilfully merging some catchy, tuneful and interesting melodies with distinctive, rich and expressive vocals that do justice to the varied and competent beats that his team of producers put together. Weaving together a sometimes hauntingly bleak story of the everyday struggles that a Kasi boy goes through in order to provide for himself and his mother but ultimately celebrating his triumphs and expressing his hopes and dreams and his desire to achieve them despite the prevailing economic conditions.
The album grabs hold of you from the onset with the subtly banging track Pharaoh (one of my favourites) where G7 explains his brief but noticeable Hiatus from the music scene and builds up from there (with a few bumps along the way of course) never letting go until you hit Makorokoto which closes off the journey on a satisfyingly happy note.
Easily the best track (and another favourite of mine) on the album is Khanda Cool which features the great but often underrated Lord Skeelz and produced by a beastly Rayo Beats. It’s a very good song with distinctive, original and punchy lyrics coupled with a vibrantly rich and authentic beat that you can’t help but bop to as soon as it kicks in. And then there is the beautifully mellow and playful track Ansi Phone where G7 shifts gears and delves into his personal relationship with some love interest that is blue ticking him for his perceived unreliability and shenanigans, you can’t help but shake your head wryly and smile as it plays out! However, as with all things there were a few misfires as far as I was concerned. One of them is Dreams which features Just Percy and Mc Chita. Great lyrical content with one of the best verses on the entire album from MC Chita but somehow I felt all that was squandered by the overwhelmingly chaotic instrumental accompaniment. I could feel what the producer was trying to do (listen to Pray by Jay Z) but he couldn’t quite pull it off although if it were re-mastered it could turn out great.
So should you buy yourself a copy of Command Hustle? The answer to that is a resounding yes, in fact get extra copies for your friends and relatives as Christmas gifts. It’s a good album, a worthy follow up to his debut album Colour of Dreams and I can’t wait to see Guluva Se7en performing some of these tracks live.
The album is available online and in stores at an affordable $5. Go get it!!!
Album Rating- 4/5 stars