2020 Pogues Zim Hip Hop Awards Nominees - Some Interesting Talking Points

 By Takudzwa Kadzura 

There wasn’t much to collect in a hectic year like 2020! We are saying goodbye to a year that robbed us a maestro and Bulawayo’s most prominent hip hop icon in the name Mgcini "Cal Vin" Nhliziyo. MHDRIP. Zim Hip Hop’s cultural origins are traced back to the early 80s, the same decade King Cal was born. Who knew that his last project would be titled 80s Baby Mixtape? As hip hop celebrates 10 years of the Zim Hip Hop Awards (ZHHA) it is also the same year fate has chosen, to celebrate the baby whose life was all about this game. 

Zim hip hop awards 2020

Hip hop has housed different generations and as a culture, it keeps evolving and we have had entities such as House Of Ebony, individuals like King Pinn, Few Kings, MMT and now the likes of Holy Ten, all representing culturally distinct values which reflect a different setting of meditation. In the soulful words of another legend, Tendayi Nguni, “hip hop came from abroad but we honor it” and now is that time of the year when exceptional and outstanding efforts of the genres forerunners are rewarded.

Scheduled for the 12th of December, the return of the Zim Hip Hop Awards for the 10th consecutive time is a remarkable feat judging by the nature of local music institutions. ZHHA boasts of being one of the very first hip hop awards shows in Africa.  This is an institution that has provided home for a lot of gifted rappers and has orchestrated the development of the genre to becoming an outlet for the concerned youths. Hip hop in its revolutionary essence critically documents socio-economic and political trends which we face on a daily basis despite all those misconceptions. Hip hop has outgrown sagging pants to changing lives, from popping champagne in music videos to documenting real struggles and from the shadows of ZimDancehall to being the chart topping genre this 2020 (perhaps, courtesy of the Coronavirus induced house arrest).

Setting the record straight, femcees in Zim Hip Hop deserve a front row seat for keeping the genre balanced. The rivalry bwteen Kikky Badass and Natasha Muz has drawn little attention but is an indicator of how much work is required to claim the queenship. Phreshy, who is the reigning best female, had a low-key 2020 and that has been the case in this category for the past few editions. Hanna in her youthfulness has already proved to be a force with her solid EP Girl In The Durag. Sibo and Tashamiswa complete the list contesting for best female. Despite dropping late, Kikky’s Bloodline album features old time ‘enemy’ Holy Ten and the album has been drawn in the best album category. It has been fair but where is BlacPerl?

R Peels, once a controversial blabber, has reinvested that energy into a rampage of countless verses in several projects this year. That has seen him feature in almost every album that made noise this year -  Mclyne’s Formula EP, Kae Chaps’ Vanga, Jungle Loco’s Bata Mastreets - The First Book of Loco and Kikky Badass’ Bloodline. It is the Muchinjiko album which solidifies his 2020 campaign together with videos and he has what it takes to be nominated in 7 categories! Mwana waPharaoh looks forward to break the jinx of not having won a single ZHHA accolade at the 10th anniversary and like the biblical Pharaoh, that plague has really been a talking point in the talented rapper’s career.

Holy Ten has been the most important rapper of 2020. He has been the conversation. The leader of the youth and speaker of the truth (arguably). At such a young age his game has been a highlight of what geniuses do. A strong contender for both artist and song of the year, Holy Ten is also in the Best Newcomer category and his newness is really a question to those who have closely followed the game in recent years. Holy Ten stands good ground to challenge for every category he has been nominated and that makes the 10th anniversary pretty holy for a ceremony that is rounding up a decade.

Asaph’s 2020 has been a stellar ride despite that Like So shockingly missed out the Song Of The Year category. His lines on Ginde cemented his 'Mambo' status as he reclaimed glory and stirred conversation about the game’s state of affairs. COVID – 19 denied the rapper a chance to rep his city and the culture on a prestigious gig featuring Burna Boy. Asipheli Moya is nominated twice in the best song and best video category. The People’s Rapper is hopeful about getting a reconciliation from last year’s snub.

From the Noble Stylz reigns, Masvingo is celebrating a prince this year and it is Jungle Loco, the surprise act of the year. (For most hip-hop heads, he is not much of a surprise really). His authentic raps reflected in the Bata MaStreets - The First Book of Loco album have seen the man propel from underground to make a mark in the mainstream. He may seem to many an underdog but Bata MaStreets - The First Book of Loco album can actually be the surprise winner at the show. Ti Gonzi and Crooger complete the top 6 of 2020 and we have all seen their output this year. Crooger has valid claims for collaboration of the year with Ginde whilst Ti Gonzi battles it out for verse of the year with Devil Is A Liar.

Kae Chaps cries foul that Vanga isn’t nominated and as best alternative nominee he is battling a tight contest against Hillzy in that category standing firm with Chisikana EP. 

Can Jonn the Producer dethrone Jamal? Several producers have engineered the game this year and this category has also raised eyebrows. GZE and Noble Stylz have sidelined themselves from the awards because they are now serving the game in a different capacity as highlighted by the later despite bringing the house down when they locked horns mid-year. 

Other notable rappers missing on the list include Tanto Wavie, who penned a diss song towards the ZHHA titled ZvimaAwards. That could really explain why he isn’t nominated despite having dropped excellent visuals for his Wavie 2 album and Rudo Ibofu EP

Saint Floew is also missing on the list and some of the rappers could be affected by the fact that they did not submit. Same applies with Dough Major, Tha Dawg and Rusape based Splits Loui who has done much for the culture in the outskirts.

Congratulations to everybody who has trusted us with song reviews and hip hop updates. We (ZimSphere) are also celebrating a second year running of being a contender for Best Online Media and 2020 we have a solid argument. See you on the 12th of December at Rainbow Towers for the Pogues 10th ZHHA anniversary.

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