I May Attend The 2019 ZimHiphop Awards Ceremony Even Though I Don’t Know Half The Nominees
Rapper King 98 performing at the launch of his Album Francesca and Wingate Golf Club in Harare. He is nominated for 8 awards, among them Best Album. Image Snip/263Chat

I May Attend The 2019 ZimHiphop Awards Even Though I Don’t Know A Chunk Of The Nominees

The 2019 Zim Hip-hop Awards sound quite promising for a genre that has for long been on the receiving end of mortifying criticism for failing to revolve and blend with its people. 

I’m still in love with hip-hop. It is the best trendsetting and brand-building community in the world that transcends racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is the way of life for the youths and young adults: the fashion, the talk, the walk, and everything else. It is the reason why myself, along with my peers, devour anything hip-hop-related.

Whether it’s about samples, studio sessions or historiography, the culture of hip-hop and the music are part of the fabric of my being and have been for many years now. I could listen to a two-minute story about a two-bar loop or hours-long rap interviews and feel entirely like it was time well-spent, no regrets. Besides the three things I dearly love – God, family and my job, hip-hop has been my life’s jewel.

Granted the love I have for hip-hop never goes away, the way I have been interacting with the hip-hop culture closer to home hasn’t been the same as it ever was three years ago.

The Zimbabwean version of hip hop, stylishly termed Zimhiphop, has for a long time now been at the receiving end of mortifying criticism for, among many other things, failing to revolve and blend with the people, who in true sense should be its primary consumers. With a lifespan of about three decades, the culture stand charged of not really doing much to impact the lives of its people. Its critics insinuate that the majority of it barely looks or sounds like a local culture and it is crafted so badly that it has become more like a sonic jackhammer that kills the good vibe every time it is played. The interweb is replenished with journal pieces that castigate most Zimbabwe hip-hop visuals as eyesores and unwatchably terrible to fans and rants about a general conceptual nuisance in most of its content.

While in many countries across the continent they have found ways to incorporate hip-hop in the mainstream and turned it into a top-billing industry, the case has not been homogenous in the Southern African country. We have seen many artists getting booed off stages and leading underdog lifestyles even when they are armed with streaks of hit songs. Earlier this year, one “flamboyant” and iconic rapper reportedly hit hard times that he had to go back to stay with his mom in Glen Norah. Although he denied hitting rock bottom, the moment spotlighted the plight of rap artists in the country.

But if anything else, it is the annual Zimhiphop awards ceremony that has invited more imprecations to the local rap phenomenon. The ever-controversial Adrian “Beefy” Harrison organised initiative has been trashed as a circus, a disorganised event of frustrating unscripted work and non-reflective of the state of the culture in the country. Ad nauseam, it has been rocked with allegations of nepotism and awards buying. Every time nominees are called out, there are always questions about the credibility of the nominations and the criterions used in shortlisting them.

“…these awards are bogus. How can artistes hang around with organisers? It was obvious to find a bunch of them on the list. Some are paying to be nominated, which is not fair. I don’t have a grudge against the organisers, but I want justice,” an angry fan ranted in 2014.

Where one would have thought that each edition of the awards presents organisers with a chance to rectify past mistakes and deliver a better experience, the Zimhiphop awards season have in recent years simply means a new chapter with the same old problems. The frustrating thing about this has been that the award show directors even acknowledge the shortcomings of their institution but does little to change it, at least as far as we could see. At one point quitting almost became an option for them.

“It does hurt and at some point, it got to me. I think it was three or so years ago where I almost quit as I asked myself why we are sacrificing money because this is something I fund personally,” founder Beefy once told The Standard newspaper in 2017.

Two years later, Beefy had successfully pulled off the heist despite criticism and controversy. For all intents and purposes, he hasn’t quit. Actually, it is November and the Zim hip-hop season is upon us again, and as has become quite typical of him, he is promising a bigger and better ninth edition of the award show.

The 2019 Zimhiphop awards ceremony will be held under the theme, “Culture over Everything” and if we are to take him for his words, it will be bigger than its predeceasing editions.

“We have taken a lot of time to prepare for the ninth edition. We took all criticism and invested time and resources in making it a memorable event. I have no doubt, a lot of other awards will take a few ideas from this year’s ceremony, as we are bringing in unique untapped concepts to the local entertainment scene,”

Beefy told Herald Senior Arts Reporter Tafadzwa Zimoyo, who under a year ago dressed down the award show as a “circus”.

I don’t know about you, but I might attend this year edition, for the culture. The issue I may struggle with, however, is that I have been reprehensibly disconnected from the local hip-hop scene long enough to be extraordinarily unperceptive of half the projects and the names that made it to the shortlisted nominees.

I might have listened to King 98’s Francesca with his titillating new wave raps, but someone needs to balance me on who Calna, Lady Eef, Six OH, The Shoemaker, Tonic The Manic, Saidi or Tanto Wavie are. For me, that is my reason to check out the awards ceremony.

FYI, my delightfulness about this year’s ceremony has more to do with my dire need to reconnect to our local talents and check out the new Zimhiphop faces, than it is about how they chose to announce their nominees. No disrespect, but those short video clips didn’t do much to create FOMO in me the same way seeing a bunch of rookies with quite spellbinding names making it to the nominations.

Anyhow, the award show will be held on December 13 at Wood Sensation at Long Chen Plaza in Harare and, here are the nominees;

1. Best Male
• King 98
• Asaph
• R Peels
• Scrip Mula
• Ti Gonzi
• Brythreesixty
• Crooger

2. Best Female
• Calna
• Kikky BadAss
• Natasha Muz
• Phreshy
• Lady Eef
• Trae Young

3. Best Collaboration
• Mudiwa Ft Trevor Dongo Amai Vakandirera
• Ishan & Ti Gonzi- Kure
• Bryn K Ft Crooger – Tungamirai
• Bry Threesixty- Ft Jskxxvi – Big Mad
• N Jay Oh Ft Jnr Brown, Gze- Pena Remix
• R Peels Ft Ti Gonzi –Moto
• King 98 Ft Lay Lizz, Nasty C- Wacko

4. Best Hip-Hop Group
• Team Bhoo
• Mula Nation
• Uchiha The Empire Clan
• Dollar Sign

5. Best Producer
• Jamal
• Hillzy
• Scrip Mula
• Mars On The Beat
• Msiz’kay

6. Best New Comer
• N Jay Oh
• Six Oh
• The Shoemaker
• Msiz’kay
• Tonic The Manic
• Saidi

7. Best Local Brand Supporting Local Hip-Hop
• Zvanhuwa Fashions
• Kingsville Clothing
• Stars29
• Changamire Hip Hop Festival
• Team Legacy
• Red Nation Live
• Grape Vine

8. Best Album
• King 98 – Francesca
• Asaph – Peoples Rapper
• Stunner – Ghetto Chronicles
• R Peels – God Is My Therapist
• Scrip Mulla- Scripian

9. Best Promoter
• Zimboy
• Thorne Laroq
• Naboth Rizzla

10. Best Diaspora
• GT Beatz
• Mab
• Dj Simonsays
• Mlue J
• Jimi Maleta
• Benvolio

11. Best Radio Dj 
• Thorne Laroq –Khulumani Fm
• Lady K And PD The Ghost Zifm
• Mic Sprinter Heart And Soul
• Mox Star Fm
• Prometheus –Power FM

12. Best Club Dj
• Raydizz
• Tk Beatz
• Dy Joey Lion
• Dj Drew

13. Best Gospel Act
• Nta
• J Soldier
• Mudiwa
• Caespidor
• Lil Megaz

14. Best Underground
• Gun X Da Pharoah
• Dave
• Cottage 47
• H files
• Fourbeat Fam

15. Best Alternative
• Coco We Africa
• Msiz’kay
• Dakid Verse
• Ishan
• Kaygee 40

16. Best Media
• Red Nation Live
• The Juice Magazine
• Zimsphere
• Unsigned Hype
• Seletine Social Architect
• Tafadzwa Zimoyo

17. Song of the Year
• Asaph – Vibe Is Correct
• Jnr Brown – Loud
• King 98 – Wacko
• Ti Gonzi – Kufamba Murima
• Ishan & Ti Gonzi – Kure

18. Video of the Year
• Ishan & Ti Gonzi – Kure
• Tanto Wavie –John Chibadura
• King 98 – Wacko
• Crooger -Handikendenge
• Scrip Mula – King Santa
• Bryan K Ft Crooger -Tungamirai
• Schingy -Kufinhura Ft Trevor D And H20

19. Best Hip Hop Hustle
• Brythreesixty
• King 98
• Hillzy
• Ti Gonzi
• Dj Towers
• Thorn Laroq
• Crooger

20. Best Hip Hop Verse (Sweet 16 Award)
• Mudiwa Amai Makandirera Ft Trevor Dongo Verse
• Ti-Gonzi – Mabazooker Enzo Nemapumacol
• Jnr Brown – Loud
• Stunner -Bhutsu Dzangu
• Asaph – Vibe Is Correct

21. Hip Hop Personality of the Year
• Raydizz
• Stunner
• Kikky Badass
• Mudiwa
• Asaph

22. People’s Choice
• Asaph
• Mudiwa
• Stunner
• King 98
• Crooger
• Kikky
• Ti-Gonzi
• Brythreesixty

By the way, the Zim Hip hop Awards academy will reintroduce the Lifetime Achievement Award. The recipient will be announced soon. Best Dressed personalities of 2019 will, however, be chosen on the red carpet at the ceremony. 


A writer, storyteller, essayist, blogger and news junkie who balances literary writing and pop culture experience. I love to captivate raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Overall, I do and share the cool stuff with the world. Follow me on Twitter @mcafrikazim
2 Comments on this post.
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