This is a story of a rivalry that never was. This is a battle where blood was never shed. The new school Zim Hip Hop rappers R Peels, real name Tanaka Mungoyi and Tafadzwa Tarukwana aka Asaph are just the embodiment of talent, ambition and resilience. The two wildly ambitious rappers have a a lot in common that can either brew a fierce rivalry or the greatest duo.
Asaph’s music has clearly gained more traction from the period he dropped the chart topping and award winning Mambo. He has also performed at bigger platforms, the Star FM awards, shared the stage with Emtee and also Shoko Festival 2018 edition amongst a host of other deals revealing his ability to hustle. This is not the case with R Peels. Perhaps the boy’s time ain’t just now but it’s guaranteed. The case of Zim Hip Hop of course needed hit makers, the likes of Takura, Jnr Brown, Stunner etc. In the same way Zimbabwean Hip Hop needed a certain degree of originality, Ti Gonzi assumed that role. Now that the genre is on a fire fast track growth, it does mean that the underrated stars and unsung heroes of this culture will shine.
Crazy but very sound and solid, the goods on display are meant to attract and give detail of what’s inside the shop. The same applies to music particularly this borrowed phenomena, the hip hop culture. This is a genre that has been sidelined for a longtime now for intriguingly wrong assumptions. People say the artistes are pompous and their actual lives do not resonate with what they portray in the songs. In as much as art is a reflection of reality it doesn’t end with the emcee. Music is for the people. Zimbabwean hip hop artistes are representing a culture that we see everyday on the streets, in the ghetto and in the burg.
The fans have never bothered to look beyond the noisemakers in this genre. It’s easy to predict that hip hop is the next big genre in the country. This assertion is backed by the growing numbers and emergence of great talent on the hip hop arena. In the face of socio-economic hardships and political oppression, Zim Hip Hop seems to be the only genre with in-depth content relating to the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. In the end the rappers will be influential voices in the revolutionary trajectory ahead.
Asaph and R peels both subscribing to different beliefs and work ethics have the most attractive personalities in the game. The energy in their music represents unstoppable zeal and eagerness to prove many points. They say that they are the best rappers on the mainland. I’m stuck in between. I have never declared that anyone is the baddest emcee. I have only agreed to what these rappers say – Kingpinn is the GOAT.
Asaph claims to be the reincarnation of Kingpinn and R Peels is with the same notion. In Hate To Say, Asaph warns Harare niggas that he will burn the whole city down – such energy! In this song he addressed his off studio politics, the awards and perceived rifts. R Peels came along in 2019 with the femcees not working controversy. He was unapologetic and reemphasized his point with an impressive freestyle, Not Impressed, keeping it musical. The difference between the songs is R Peels shot his enemies right in the foot and publicly name shamed them. The battles are the same but fighting methods were divergent.
Asaph gave us the People’s Rapper EP on May 30, dropped exquisite visuals for the banger Vibe Is Correct and the EP is nominated at the Zim Hip Hop awards 2019 edition. R Peels dropped an EP earlier in January named Legend 20, he also dropped his 3rd album in 3 years on the 3rd of august at 3 pm (Mr Three Three), gave us a dope video with the biggest artiste this year Ti Gonzi on Moto, a collaboration of hard hitting bars and the album God My Therapist is nominated at the awards.
The People’s Rapper EP was simply a voice of the voiceless. You can get the review on this website. God My Therapist album was a prayerful monologue. Both projects are conscious and soulful. In an academic set up I would say Asaph is that student who is both intelligent and has a clear handwriting whilst R Peels is a student who is intelligent and uses cursive writing. It takes a sound hip hop character to appreciate the work of R Peels.
Now that my favorite rappers are lined up for the Zim Hip Hop Awards Best Album category. I would celebrate if the gong goes to Bulawayo the same way I would if it stays in Harare. This showdown does not belong to the actual albums entirely. It’s a battle of the two major cities. Zim Hip Hop is unique in a way that it is the biggest genre in terms of width. This is the only genre that cuts across the mashona-ndebele divide in terms of quantity and subscription. The hip hop culture is much more visible and easily marketable in Bulawayo than Harare where riddims have locked the streets though the main actors in hip hop are also in the same vicinity.
Asaph dared R peels to hop on the MamboChallenge and he later complied. It might have been on the basis of the fact that R Peels declared that ‘hapana anondikunda kuBulawayo’. Asaph did not share his thoughts and that’s what makes him a smart emcee. Listen, there is no battle here or likeliness of it. In as much as rivalries have transformed many genres, I hope it won’t be the case.
The 2 are again nominated in the best male category but it’s a category we won’t be talking about, Ti Gonzi is the runaway leader of the game at the moment. It feels a bit uneasy trying to think of the frustration if one of the two loses the award, which is exactly what’s gonna happen. We will live to cherish the year 2019 for these projects and how they are changing the pace and growth of this beautiful genre. Before we even start feeling anxious, King 98 is also nominated in the same category, just a line of thought. In terms of reception, Asaph had it better. In terms of pushing the project R Peels had it better and clearly that collaboration with Ti Gonzi added the hype. Congratulations to the new school. Long live the culture. Whoever takes the best album home should acknowledge that it was a tight contest.
More news, our blog, The Zimbabwe Sphere, [ZimSphere] is nominated at the 2019 ZimHipHop Awards Best Online Media running under the theme Culture Over Everything.
And remember, fam, it’s CULTURE OVER EVERYTHING, okay? Yeah.