On Monday after the Hip Hop Awards the Herald published a report on the Zim Hip Hop Awards and painted a gloomy picture on the recent event. There wasn’t a lot of hype about the awards and less excitement from the winners until the piece sent shocking waves of alarm and despondency that saw several artists and enthusiasts respond. I have decided to give my opinion , to briefly break down the article said for those that didn’t read it
What it said
“ it essentially labelled the awards as a farce and described some of the attendees as broke and wanna be”, but that’s not all, it was an elaborate piece and also carried a comment from the organizer who affirmed and dismissed some parts. Well, the one I just mentioned became the basis for the backlash from hip hop heads who did not take lightly the “wanna be, broke (couldn’t afford beer) and seated like orphans” jab.
In one lengthy social media conversation I asked if the article had lied and misrepresented anything. To date no one has answered this or substantially refuted the report but simply their anger dwelt on the use of “inappropriate language”.
As the outcry was dying, some got the memo late and quickly dashed to respond. Stunner went on to do a Live video trashing both the article and name calling the writer.I find it worrisome that non of reactions dismisses the facts mentioned but the reactions are focused on semantics and choice of language.The other thing is that Stunner and others claim they heard that the writer had openly divulged to someone that he was going to trash the event well before it happened. Interestingly no one claims to have heard this apart from hearsay so I will stick to the facts of the event.I will share a video link to the event livestream. Stunner alleges that the article puts a threat to his and others’ livelihood. He further states that “You can not diss an entire genre as they standby”I have a problem with this “Touch not our anointed genre approach”. Hip hop is not for the faint-hearted. Hip hip is not for cry babies.
Are you calling a bad reflection on the awards an attack on the genre?
At the past two Zim hip hop summits the general consensus was that the genre is struggling, either from malnutrition or stunted growth. We all know what happens when something is stuck, it stinks and don’t blame the reporter for writing about the stench.
This is not the first time we have seen an unfavorable reflection on the awards and the genre itself. That is not the problem. Our worry should be, what are the true facts ? What are the challenges, how do “we”solve these problems and not be in perpetual denial.
There is a problem and it’s not the writer or the article. Yes the language might have unsettled you and others but it’s less gross as compared to some of the phrases used in the actual music.
Hip hop in Zim has been present for many years, possibly longer than in SA where it’s gone global. We have had generations of artists coming one after the other. Some blow up and blow out quickly. A few have managed to hit the national grid. A lot are not even known in their own hoods, including some of the award winners. There is a lot of great music coming out and a lot of trash too. Sadly the good music struggles to get airplay, even the streets don’t give it any ear. The genre suffers from a myriad of challenges, a lot of them connecting to the narrative generally pushed, the “wanna be” syndrome and many others. Instead more energy should be going towards pushing content, doing shows, changing the audience belief system towards the music not just through PR but content and grind driven.