Silent Killer Fires Militant, Fiery Lyrical Shots in ‘Haihwawo’ Produced by Marlon Tee


Legendary ZimDancehall artists Silent Killer and Marlon Tee have combined their intellectual and sonic prowess in the militant new release titled Haihwawo. It is essentially Silent Killer’s prized moment of much-needed lyrical catharsis, which works to his favour despite an overwhelming climate of lukewarm reception.

With Marlon Tee (FirstClass Records) given the revered task of handling Ngirozi Yehondo’s production on the release, we see fundamental truths flourishing—ZimDancehall is a sacred cultural expression of the people’s movement.  

Marlon Tee’s shade of ZimDancehall instrumentation and the attendant mixing, mastering, and engineering is a defiant testimony to the genre’s ever-lasting endurance—and his impeccable production skills laced with crisp and compelling drums; lush and warm hi-hats, claps, melody; cogent and plucky keys allow the Kuf Dem Records chanter to sit comfortably in the haven of unfettered lyrical fury.  

We see Silent Killer recalcitrantly immersing himself in a commanding, persuasive, uncensored, unconventional, experimental, dogmatic, and unwavering sonic exposition of polemics and apologetics; as he, with enviable dexterity, simultaneously attacks his [uninformed and ignorant] critics/opponents while defending his self-righteous and liberatory artistic trajectory. His is a vindicated personal [and collective] life journey.  

Haihwawo is an elementary aspect of the Angel of War’s unmatched continuum of defending his position as one of the game’s foremost and brilliant organic intellectuals. He refuses to give in to certain narratives discrediting his moral and artistic standing in society.  

On the Marlon Tee-produced track, laden with frenetic, restless, and edgy production, Silent Killer basically says he doesn’t care about what people [negatively] say about him, because his unshakeable conviction regarding his calling [as the people’s artiste par excellence] is all needs to believe in — “handina chandino shiver, handina chandinokwata (muriver), nekuti..” 

The intro shows just how much Silent Killer is undeniably ZimDancehall’s creative and intelligent villain, his towering vocal projection – sitting on Marlon Tee’s deep reverence for the studio as an existential appendage of convincing art – is boldly railing against the establishment: “Ndinopinda pfau pfau...mavaona here vatapi venhau...torova mabara ekwaFalcao...”  

The outro equally reflects the same. The rapport between Silent Killer and Marlon Tee is phenomenally brilliant, excessively fastidious, delicately poetic, and affectedly dainty.  

Marlon Tee taps into DJ Inno’s shades of ZimDancehall with inimitable precision and perfection, an attestation of his vast experience as a veteran Zimbabwean Dancehall producer.  

The conflation of the oddball genius of producer Marlon Tee and lyricist Silent Killer is a clear-eyed manifestation of frenetic, hard-hitting sonic energy which ZimDancehall is conventionally known for. Yet, these two do it in an unconventional manner. It is an unorthodox chemistry, much like that between Marlon Tee and Hwindi President.  

The chorus of the song — “boom, bang, bang, bang, bang … tavatsvaga pajabhuna, tanzwa kuti havapo, dang...haihwawo, haihwevo” — is just an unintelligible lyrical exercise. Only to the unacquainted. The whole song (probably Silent Killer’s longest studio-recorded song as it runs for 6 minutes 55 seconds) risks being an unintelligible and convoluted language. This might be true.  

But to those who ardently follow Silent Killer’s songs, especially from 2019 to 2022, can tell you that they can easily decipher what he is saying. (He is also riding high on the remake of Mazita by Rare Musik.) 

Which is the whole crux of Silent Killer’s music lately—the portrayal of complex and vibrant images/emotions [through street slang] in a way that runs contrary to the expected conformities of the dominant and ubiquitous cultural base of consumerist celebrities.  

He eschews a celebrity culture devoid of agency. He unapologetically preaches organic and relevant celebrity advocacy. 

He opposes the dominant contemporary celebrity culture that preaches alienation, and he chooses to stand with those perceived as ‘society’s rejects’. He chooses to keep it real and simple. The Angel of War avowedly postulates how he stands for the underground and the underrated (much of ZimDancehall’s greats such as Kinnah, Dobba Don, Hwindi President, et al have been relegated to this naïve and misguided classification).  

His coded language, slightly punctuated with a tinge of explicit bars - “...vakadhakwa necocaine... mari taiwana saka mariwana (marijuana)” - is thus crystallized in the hook: “haihwawo...haihwevo...haihwahwa”. It might be difficult to decode.

The concept of the song originates from one of Silent Killer’s published freestyle sessions in the company of DJ Inno and Elder Shambare, and we are impressed that he finally developed into something of an esoteric art coated in understated brilliance. It’s a hazy but convincing headspace. 

You can listen/download 'Haihwawo' by Silent Killer produced by Marlon Tee below: 

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