zimbabwe-music-chimurenga-renaissance-boom

“Boom” is the first single from Chimurenga Renaissance, a Zimbabwean-centered project from Baba Maraire of Shabazz Palaces. The track’s infectious, uplifting beat encapsulates an outspoken and charged love letter from Maraire towards his home nation — one charged with laments on the West co-opting Zimbabwean music and the plundering of lands by Cecil Rhodes. Maraire doesn’t shy away from a strong viewpoint on Western wrongdoings (past and present), but he holds on to a message of hope for his native Zimbabwe. Watch the Harare-shot video for “Boom” below and find it on Pungwe LP. For more from the project check out Chief Boima‘s Pungwe mixtape and the anti-Rhodes visual for “RhodZi.” Also, see our Okayafrica TV interview with Baba Maraire.

Comments

  • Mzilikazi

    I’m a Shabazz Palaces fan, but fuck this pro-Mugabe bullshit. I knew this dude was Zimbabwean, but I had no idea that he was a ZANU-PF supporter until now. People outside of Zimbabwe have no idea how it really is. After the revolution, Mugabe had the opportunity and power to build something wonderful. But instead of building a rainbow nation like Mandela did in South Africa, Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe and murdered thousands of his own people. Look what he’s done to the Ndebele. Look at how many of his vice presidents and political rivals have died under “mysterious circumstances.” His Land Reform program is a fucking joke. The land he took from white farmers was distributed to ZANU-PF cronies. Nearly all of the commercial farms were shut down because the ZANUs just farm for themselves. They don’t care that the rest of the nation is starving and their children grow up ignorant of the suffering of people outside the party. It’s a police state. Mugabe controls the radio, television, and newspapers. People who speak out disappear. It’s cool to go back “home” for a week and film a video in a rural area and pretend like you’re doing something for those people. This is perpetuating the systematic exploitation of Zimbabwe with the same old lies. Blaming the whites and the West while milking the country dry. Promoting racism and mass murder isn’t the way to go.

  • T

    Couldn’t agree with the comment above more. As Shabazz fan, and also a friend of one of the sons of an MP who was killed under one of these “mysterious circumstances” – this is offensive. This isn’t a “message of hope” – it’s more misguided (albeit beautifully filmed) ZANU-PF propaganda.

  • Shmool

    Yeah this is pretty sad, because I was digging the album until I heart that line. I’m a HUGE Shabazz Palaces fan, but this kind of confirms my belief that Ishmael Butler is the smarter, more talented half of Palaces (although he is still featured on “Pungwe”…).

    Perhaps what is most sad, is that Baba had the great opportunity (his heritage and ties to Zim) to use hip-hop to expose something that most Americans don’t know about– life in Africa. Its certainly rare to hear a rapper talk about Africa. Nas and Damian Marley’s “Distant Relatives” was a good mainstream attempt, but they really only scratched the surface.

    If Baba is ignorant enough to praise Robert Mugabe, it reveals a greater ignorance about Zimbabwe in general. Either he’s just a racist, or he is essentially a dumb American trying to use his connection to Africa to make the public more interested in his music. And then he films a video in Zim, as if to say “Look, I am legit, I know the REAL Africa.” Hip-hop artists are infamous for over-branding, and trying to hype their own mystique, but this is just sad. Anyone who knows anything about Mugabe knows that he is an evil man.