There are countless times where Zimbabwean hip hop artists have faced a barrage of attacks because they don’t have a clearly-defined identity, that what they all do is being copy-cats of South African and American hip hop.
Zim Hip Hop artists are attacked on the basis that they profess a life which they do not possess, live and experience. They have been attacked for trying to import ideas in our own space, something people say is incompatible with our way of survival. Thus, Zim Hip Hop does not progress, so they say.
But with Ti Gonzi it is a different story. Ever since he set foot to the Zim Hip Hop scene,he has put emphasis on “Hipu hopu Yeku Ghetto”. He has an album which has this name, an album that did well in the Zim Hip Hop circles. He is easily identified with “hipu hopu” and not hip hop.
His stance is that of a ghetto mouthpiece, through hip hop, so you know, it becomes hipu hopu. Ti Gonzi proclaims that he does not use the genre to brag about material things which he does not have, as other artists do. To him, the genre is about conveying the message of what happens in real life and the struggles of the ghetto, hence it becomes hipu hopu.
“I was born and raised in the ghetto and this has influenced me so much and made me who I am lyrically and as well as my music style,” Ti Gonzi said, as published by the H-Metro.
Ti Gonzi is of the assertion that today’s hip hop by our own artists is “uptown-ish” and “bragging about materials”.
We actually like Ti Gonzi for this. Staying true to what you believe is best for your musical career.