It’s almost impossible to talk about Hip Hop in Zimbabwe without mentioning Resilience GZE. Every beat he jumps on is a heat and all his features are worth the hype. We were privileged enough to have a chat with him and we loved his responses to our questions. Ladies and gentlemen, Gze:
Umthombo: We usually leave out some important details when introducing someone so please introduce yourself?
GZE: I’m resilience Gze, one of Zim’s top poetic assassins currently rated top 5 dead or alive, with a catalogue of undeniable hits and classic From Yzia (vroom vroom) to Zvakabhadhara, I made it, Chimoio, John Bhuru, Imhandu and many more I have proved consistency and remain a fan and deejay’s favourite.
Umthombo: What an Introduction with undeniable facts. Briefly take us through your lyric writing process, what comes first? Beat of lyrics?
GZE: What comes to me first is a concept, once it’s fully developed I know exactly what I want to say whether or not I have a beat but I should say that sometimes dope beats inspire great concepts and great concepts inspire great lyrics but yeah the concept is most important to me.
Umthombo: MC Chita mad rants to Shoko Festival about their Hip Hop line up and all, do you agree with where he was coming from? Are you guys (Zim Hip Hop) supported enough?
GZE: I get where he was coming from totally, as an artist I feel the same actually but as a business man I can also understand why the promoters chose to do that, it’s a numbers game and they trying to make money and that line up was a safe bet for them. Hip hop exists too much on social media platforms but draws poor numbers in reality. It only shines when they are big acts in town so we need to support ourselves more and work on making our brands a basic consumable like bread or milk and sustain consistent supply, then we can curse out when they do us dirty, but hey that’s just my opinion.
Umthombo: “There is nothing called ZimHipHop as Zimbabwe does not have a unique Hip Hop sound” What do you say about this quote?
GZE: To me hip hop is just hip hop, it’s an international genre that is not stereotyped according to your country of origin, we are a global village and we acquire different tastes in culture &and more so music hence an artist should feel free to work on sounds that inspire the best craft out of them. I’ve never heard of an umbrella term Zim Sungura or Zim Gospel so I don’t subscribe to that quote, it makes a lil more sense to me when it’s someone from an outside country referring to it as that. I think when u brand something in that way you localize it and make it hard to export.
Umthombo: In times when the Zim Political and Economic situations are taking turn for the worst, most rappers seem to be shying from this narrative. Why do you think this is so?
GZE: It’s either they are scared to speak or they can’t properly articulate that subject matter.
Umthombo: You Cooked something with Calvin titled #Prayer, what is the theme there and when is it dropping?
GZE: Yeah prayer is just a testament of Devine resilience and God’s will and His plan manifesting despite obstacles and setbacks, it’s about A Teflon bulletproof determination to succeed against the odds and acknowledging that the key ingredient in the recipe for success is prayer.
Umthombo: I noticed you’re getting in the video zone now, I hope this means we are going to see more of you on our screens.
GZE: Sure thang, with much more grind and prayer hopefully we gracing more competitive platforms visually and bagging awards while we at it
Umthombo: Which International artist would you want to collaborate with? Give us one Regional and one International.
GZE: Regionally it has to be Youssou N’dour, he is one of Africa’s greatest export musicians, I dig his craft his sound is too amazing and internationally I’m a sucker for Tracy chapman, I know this might be an odd choice for many but hey this is me lol
Umthombo: Who makes you better at what you do?
GZE: God and all my loved ones make me better at what I do, and all the people that love and respect what I do, I’m forever grateful and thank them sincerely
Umthombo: Last but not least: When are you coming to Bulawayo?
GZE: I’m gonna be in Bulawayo this weekend actually, a good friend gat a birthday coming up so we just decide to take the party out of town lol
Umthombo: Thank you for your time, we can’t wait for the Calvin feature.
GZE: Thank you for having me, you’re gonna love it I promise.
On that note fam, look out for our review on Gze’s collabo with Cal_vin #Prayer.