If you're here and reading this right now, I know it must mean that you are one of a growing number who support and believe in me . . . so can I start this with a thank you or two ?
Sure I can. In fact, I must.
Thank you for every single time you share anything I create for you. From the memes with quotes from my songs, to the songs themselves, these blog posts & of course the videos and performances. We're living in the age of the Attention Economy, your time is limited while your entertainment options are infinite. I know this all too well, afterall I'm living in it too, and so it means all that much more to me when you take the time out to see me & what I'm building.
Thank you for every single time you ever wrote me a kind word or comment, whether it was from as far back as my Myspace days, or as one of the thousands of homesick Diasporans who used to drop me a line on YouTube . . . or maybe you're one of the 9000+ who allow me to engage them daily on twitter . . . if it's facebook or even soundcloud or anywhere online that I have a presence, I try to make as much time as I can for you. And time and time again your kindness and encouragement have lifted me higher and higher.
My greatest thanks goes out to those amongst you who scream the loudest for me and mines at our shows, the ones who post with no shame loud and clear how much they love the things we're trying to do with this music . . . I'm talking about you Super True Fans. The ones who sometimes even get trolled & dragged on these social networks for being vocal supporters & believers of something some others may not see or agree with. Thank you, your strength and your sense of conviction only make it so I know I'll never slow down or quit. No, not until I have given you as much to be proud of as possible.
I won an award for Best Hip-Hop album at last night's ZIMAs. But it's not lost on me that this award almost has nothing to do with just me, it's about the mainstream embracing Zim Hip-Hop more & more. Slowly but steadily. It's about more doors and more bridges for the movement as a whole.
I don't create as I do for awards, I've always given you these words I call friends as a means of expression. It all began for me as a way to get the pain out, as a way to force the sun to shine on my darker days, for a shot at hope and a belief that someone else out there felt what I felt . . . and that we needed each other, and that we're never truly alone in this world.
I never expected to be nominated to be honest. I hadn't even intended to make a submission for consideration. It was only after some persistence from the ZIMA organisers would desperately wanted me to see that I had a responsibility as one of the new leaders of this growing genre of ours, to contribute. Trouble is, I had no solo albums . . . merely solo singles & several mixtapes, most of which not from 2014. It was then made clear to me that the submission guidelines for this the first ZIMAs to be held in quite a few years would actually cover a wider period of time. So I submitted a collection of 6 singles that I'd released over that period, and were elligible for consideration. The ZIMA folk later put these singles forward as an EP, and this is what became my contribution.
Songs that I felt would best express me not as a rapper, just as a human, which naturally included "The Year Before Rap" "Forever Here" & "Be Amazing", with "Simudza Gumbo" and "Happy" rounding out the various compartments of my personality.
The rest I guess, is now history.
I'm not one to rest on my laurels, I'm well aware tha this award represents work put in over a great period in my career. It's the culmination of many hours and truthfully speaking the property of some many others who have built these bridges and doors with me so far.
It belongs to my brother, DJ, producer & friend @TakeFizzo.
It belongs to my brother & partner in cRhyme @JnrBrown263.
It belongs to the managers who have advised and guided me all these years, Mutsai Musa, Tsungi Zvobgo, more recently Taps and all the way in the beginning a man named Scottie Pimpin'.
It belongs to @Begottensun, a man who is moulding and motivating so much of what I hope to bring to the table in the future. A big brother and a leader.
It belongs to @SimbaTagz my favourite person to collaborate with, in music he is my best half and in life he is my great friend and cousin-brother. He's defended me when others wouldn't.
It belongs to @YagiDojo another one of these incredibly talented producer/brother/friend of mine. He's always seen in me more than I see in myself.
It belongs to my family, the likes of Aadil Sirdar and of course Mama Kiri, and my beautiful better half.
Anyone I ever cried to, anyone I ever made smile, anyone who ever just showed up to a gig and made this what began as a dream into something too real.
Thank you so much.
#TisuNgodaDzacho . . . with tears in my eyes right now, know that I believe this with all my heart. We, the people, we are the most valuable resource we have. And I believe in that potential's power to create whole entire worlds. Rambai makashinga please, keep building with me.
It's all love.