The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Hip-Hop's Next Best Thing

Zimbabwean hip-hop is proving to be the next best thing and with the recent hip-hop awards, it is only befitting to pay homage to one of the outstanding names, Tatea da Mc. He beat heavyweights in the game and scooped Best Hip-Hop Video and Song of Year awards for 2012.

Born Tatenda Nziramasanga, the 27-year-old has become the hottest property in hip-hop overnight.

With nearly 10 years in the game, Tatea credits his breakthrough to associating with DJs in his teenage years.

From there his love for hip-hop grew and in 2002, he joined the game, emceeing and deejaying at parties.

The interaction helped him grow an understanding music for the masses made it easy for his debut single "Love and Passion" to blaze dance floors all over Harare.

Making money was not the prime goal, so Tatea remained an underdog until 2009, when he unleashed mixtapes and that reliably served as a barometer in his musical career.

The "Remix Killer" mixtape in 2010 was an instant hit with party anthems "Like We Do" solidifying his mixtape prowess.

"My music was a hit from the start because when I worked on it, I was aiming to give it an international feel," he said

His lyrical wizardry was put to the test in this year when he used the similar formula and blazed clubs with "Remix killer. Com".

Hit songs, "I Think I'm PC (Philip Chiyangwa)", spoke of his everyday hustle of keeping it real as he chases after the almighty dollar.

"A lot happens in the world of hip-hop and as much as we do it for the love of music one has to make paper at the end. This song was my way of bringing out the agony people go through in hustling for cash. Just like moguls Diddy and Chiyangwa's ways of making money" he said.

In the midst of it all, it did not come much as a surprise early this year when he produced the deal breaker "Sunshine City Swag", the mixtape which carried the money maker, "H-Town Swag" that earned him the best video award.

It was against this background that the young rapper stood out proud while making his acceptance at the awards ceremony.

Now that the word is officially out that he is one of the best in the game, Tatea is more determined than ever to fulfil his "best rapper in Zim" prophecy.

He looks into the future with more certainty and ready to take hip-hop to another level.

"From here, I'm looking into going international; I'm talking dominating of music channels MTV Base and Trace in the near future. Zim hip-hop belongs at the top and that is where we are taking it," he said.

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