Music

Mizi Shares the Real Story Behind Giving the Same Beat to Zubz and Tumi in 2006

Zubz' "Victory" and Tumi's "Music From My Good Eye" both had the same beat by Mizi.

In 2006, revered South African lyricists Zubz and Tumi (now known as Stogie T) released the albums Headphone Music in a Parallel World and Music From My Good Eye. On both albums, the opening songs ("Victory" by Zubz and "Music From My Good Eye" by Tumi and Fifi The RaiBlaster), both rappers used the same beat from Pretoria producer Mizi, who also produced most of Headphone Music.

It's been known for a long time that both Zubz and Tumi had no idea they were given the same beat until they had recorded the songs. They only went back to shout each other's names after hearing the songs.

Mizi recently shared how he got to give both MCs the same instrumental in a must-listen interview on Massiv Metro. Instro, another veteran SA hip-hop producer, invited his counterparts to his show Producers Paradise. "I know that Zubz used some live instruments, but essentially it's the same beat," said Instro about the instrumental.


Tumi-Music From My Good Eye ft Fifi www.youtube.com


Zubz - Victory.wmv www.youtube.com


"So I'd played [Zubz], let's say, 50 different beats, and he didn't seem to be keen on that specific one out of that whole batch," Mizi explained during the interview. "So, I knew that out of the beats that I had given to him, some were free. At the same time, I got introduced to Tumi by Nyambz who also wanted beats. So, I took the surplus beats from what I had given to Zubz, and a few others. So, it was a whole new batch, but it included some of what I thought was rejected. So, I give it to Tumi. Tumi listened to the track, the first time, he was excited about it, but then the second time, he was like, 'I'm excluding this one.' Neither artist seemed to feel the beat. Tumi, in the last session I had at Motif [studios], he said, 'Na, I'm not using that beat.' I said, 'Zubz also got it and he said, "I'm not sure about it."'"

Mizi continued:

"I didn't know of any of them would use it. The albums came out at the same time, it could have been the same week. And both artists released that one [song], not as the lead single, but the first song they put out just to test the water.
"The first releases from both albums happened on the same week, so it's quite surreal to hear on radio, the Tumi version and the Zubz version. They are slightly different, but it's fundamentally the same beat. I think they had both forgotten that they had initially rejected the beat at some point, so the question from both of them was, 'Why did you give the beat to this dude?'"

In retrospect, Mizi has no regrets, as he feels the beat was part of 90s' hip-hop and R&B culture. "For me," he said, "it just reminded me of the 90s, where beats would be given to both a rapper and an R&B singer. Like that "MCs Act Like They Don't Know" beat, [it was given to both] Monifah and KRS-ONE. It also leans to more the reggae culture—the riddims."

Read: The True Story Behind Ben Sharpa's 2007 Hype Magazine Cover

Nyambz on Making Music In This Era

Earlier on in the interview, Nyambz, who was a mainstay in the mid-2000s era of SA hip-hop, expressed how it would be difficult and actually pointless to make the same beats he did back then in this current era.

He said:

"There's a certain thing about creating art in a period of time, that I think is specific to that period and the people that are receiving it. It's very hard to replicate the same thing in a different era."

Instro asked, "So you are saying the time for that is done?"

His response:

"Yeah, I think it has a certain place in nostalgia, unless it connects with the new era. I think it's very difficult to redo… I think you'd have to create a new sound altogether that maybe embodies the same character as the old one, but it would have to be new, I don't think you can replicate it. And I think, as people, you also evolve, you never wanna be the same person; how you were at 15 is not how you are at 25, and it's not how you are at 35. Even with rappers, I wouldn't really expect a rapper to rap the way they did at 16. Your life is different, your experiences are different. So, I don't know. We will be releasing more material. So that's the fear now, because when you have a gap between releases, people have a memory of what you used to do. So, something new that's not that, there may be a bit of a disconnect."


Proverb Microphone sweet home www.youtube.com

Mizi, Nyambz and Instro are all very important names who contributed to hip-hop before it was the pop music of the day in South Africa. Nyambz has produced some of the most iconic hip-hop songs to ever come out of the country: "Microphone Sweet Home" by ProVerb, "Let's Wait a While" by Pro(Kid), "Once Upon a Time in Africa Remix" by Sifiso Sudan and Tumi, "Gangsta" by Zubz and Tumi, "Get Out" by Zubz, and a whole lot.

Mizi produced most of The Anvils' Independence Day mixtape, most of Headphone Music in a Parallel World by Zubz, "Go Away" by Teargas, among many others.

Instro's NASA (Now and Still After) mixtape is a cult classic, which the producer crafted in its entirety. He has also been working with Reason—he has produced on all of his albums from The REASONing to Azania.

Nyambz and Mizi have an album coming out soon, in which they work with Zubz. The project, titled Last Letta To Nina, will see Zubz rap over beats that all contain Nina Simone samples, courtesy of Nyambz and Mizi. The project was first announced in 2015, but according to Nyambz, it will finally come out this year.

Listen to the whole conversation between the three icons below and revisit our interview with Zubz and Nyambz about the upcoming project, here:


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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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