Check out this mixtape that dropped yesterday in advance of Chimurenga Renaissance's (Tendai Maraire) forthcoming album. It's a promo piece put together by Tendai himself with help from Brooklyn DJ Chief Boima.
Both artists were born in Africa, and raised in America (Boima in Sierra Leone and Brooklyn, and Maraire in Zimbabwe and South Seattle), and the tape seamlessly merges the sounds of Tendai's hip hop with traditional and contemporary Chimurenga music. Boima goes deep into the record crates and pulls out music from Western to South Africa to include such folk heroes as Thomas Mapfumo and Youssou N'dour, and even uses some of Tendai's father Dumisani's music for the mix.
If you weren't already familiar with Tendai Maraire's lifetime of music (literally) through his family, his performances, or his production, you most definitely heard his work from under your rock on Shabazz PalacesBlack Up in 2011. His chime toned mbira solos have been salient contributions to the rest of his Shona style rhythm section, and were part of the woozy mystery that made Shabazz Palaces the stand out hip hop act of the year. They introduce themselves again to you, along with a guest spot from Palaceer Lazaro himself, on the first track of the tape A Toast To Frame and Ro.
The rest of the tour through this brief history of African revolutionary music, is guided by a Tendai himself under his rap moniker Fly Guy Dai who aggregates a lifetime of worldly wisdom on the soulful Help Me Out, and professes scornfully on the street wise F U, over the very music that he so ardently embodies. Just like the music of Africa is neither a performance nor an art but a participatory event for all, Maraire is neither proposing revolution nor pitching a cultural ideal; he's relaying his life to you in song, and on extremely personal on tracks like Boom he's the Chimurenga Renaissance incarnate.