REFRESHING SOUNDS: Griffin Makwiramiti gets deep in latest release ‘Zvatanga’


“Inzwaika!” A terse but immense word that runs throughout Zvatanga, the latest release from the fiery rapper Griffin Makwiramiti. Broadly speaking, Griffin conveys plenty of weighty messages in his songs, wrapped in bars that reflect a rapper who regards words as sacrosanct. 

Griffin Makwiramiti latest ZimHipHop January 2024

Which is the essence of Griffin Makwiramiti’s music really. Within the realms of Zim Hip Hop, he positions himself as the lyricist who takes everything seriously. At least there should be space for emcees who want to excavate the  unknown depths of unfettered lyricism, he seems to shout. His January 2024 latest release Zvatanga is a testament to this. 

With Zvatanga, Griffin Makwiramiti takes his precious time – unencumbered from the fierce contestations prevailing in Zimbabwean hip-hop – to exercise as much artistic freedom as possible (at least within the confines of human capabilities) for the purposes of pouring his heart out. 

But the most striking aspect of this release is how immaculate the instrumental sounds; and Griffin Makwiramiti finds comfortable refuge on such beats to candidly say what he needs to with his chest. It is a rap instrumental that potentially comes off as paradise to purists, and a tad sluggard to those who fancy trendy hip-hop sounds in vogue. 

Either way, his choice in such a sound vindicates his lyrical diction and the purpose of the song—Zvatanga is, in short, a statement of intent. In this song, Griffin Makwiramiti succinctly conveys a bold message: I am here, I have the content, and this has really started now.  

And this is something Griffin confirmed to ZimSphere, saying that he is more than ready to achieve some notable milestones this year as far as content production and dissemination are concerned.

“Zvatanga translates to ‘It has begun’ in my mother tongue; and what has begun is a year of plenty releases, ‘Twenty Plenty More’ if you will,” Griffin remarked. 

“I’m gearing up to release more music, more visuals and more content than I’ve ever done in the year before – possibly more than I’ve ever done before put together. I no longer want to sit on music I’ve created already. I want to put it out there, and learn as much as I can from that process,” he said. 

Understandable, for a rapper whose works receives scant attention. Perhaps this justifies the loads of hearty shout-outs in the song. 

It is only fair to say that these shout-outs go beyond being an artistic ritual that rappers do—his shout-outs are pure, laden with profound gratitude, and this makes Zvatanga such a heartfelt song that retains its hard-hitting and gritty elements. Well, for those who want to perceive it that way. 

If you are listening to this and you feel like I left you out chingozvi shouter out wega coz takawanda (just give yourself a shout-out because we are together in the movement),” goes one of the memorable lines in the song. Alongside concrete allusions to Ubuntu, Mbuya Nehanda, Steve Biko, and lawyers with rolling paper, advocating for legalization.  

For him, Zvatanga is also about generosity in the same manner it is a statement announcing his unwavering seriousness. 

“Besides the statement of intent in the title and in the lyrics, this release is also about giving; sharing my thoughts and energy, something I’ve normally reserved for those in my immediate vicinity. Now I’m choosing to share that more broadly and this release gets me started,” Griffin said, his exuberance hard to miss. 

We love his deeply introspective, personal, conscious, and counter-narrative lyrics on such a brilliantly-crafted instrumental (that can hypnotize you provided you devote sufficient attention to its trance-like strings and melodious vocal effects). These lyrics serve as a befitting glimpse into his upcoming EP interestingly and curiously titled ‘Inzwai Ka E.P. I’. 

But creatives being creatives, they often append extra layers of meaning and nuances their work ethic. For some observers, this may come off as highly eccentric stuff. 

Griffin Makwiramiti stated: “Zvatanga is both a prelude to the Inzwai Ka E.P. I, yet it is also not a prelude. It is a prelude only lyrically speaking – it’s the same sort of intricacy and depth, but not the same energy and style.

“The EP is going to be quite different, even to those who know my entire discography, which very few people do. The EP takes on deeper and darker tones, and has a more expository feel to it. 

“This particular release is very much cypher style rap vibes, something I considered as the outro but ultimately decided to let stand alone.” 

Whatever way one looks at it, one thing is beyond doubt: Griffin Makwiramiti offers refreshing sounds to Zimbabwe’s rap scene, and one can only ponder on what is to come – some will be eager to applaud; some will wear stinging critiques up their sleeves; some will be nonchalant. As it ought to be.  But what he says here is simple. Zvatanga

Listen to Zvatanga by Griffin Makwiramiti via the link below and share with the world your thoughts:

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