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“Hustlenomics” a Pillar of Zim Hip Hop

Trust Mauyasva
Written by Trust Mauyasva

Hip hop in Zimbabwe has been so entwined with hustling given the numerous ‘hustlenomics’ themed tracks that have characterised the genre locally. A focus on the torchbearers of the game has proved that the street-preneurship has a large influence on the lyrics of rappers such as Gze and Jnr Brown amongst many others.
Gze undoubtedly stands as the front runner in hustle themed bangers. His street wise jargon makes him a spokesperson of a whole army of dealers earning their livelihood on the street. Jnr Brown is also one street savvy rapper who clearly understands the craft of hustling and has touched on the issue in his hit tracks. Takura has in his art often taken the concept and used it to raise spirits of everyone outside the formal sector to soldier on and not shy away from doing anything legitimate that puts food on their table.
Mr Okay Okay as Takura is also known by put out “Mari Hairambwe”, “Zino Irema” and “MaObama” whose lyrics urge the listener to take up any task that can offer them a bit of money for their upkeep. The latter contain visuals inspired by dealers going on with their hustle.
In the “Phil Chiyangwa” Jnr Brown asserts hustling as the most known trade by the “Tora Mari United” whilst giving credit to Phillip Chiyangwa for his own hustles that have been fruitful thereby earning him the status of being the level most aspire to reach. His feature on Mariachi’s “Salisbury” is also a continuation of his emphasis on hustling and not being deterred by hardships in his quest to earn a living.
“Grind” by Schingy with Stunner and Gze, “Magororo” by Mr Kata featuring Gze and also PD the Ghost’s “Trust The Process” featuring Gze are examples that bear testament of the depth in the art of hustling by Gze. The rapper has an extensive vocabulary that resonates with the streets and also shares his literary knowledge of “The Richest Man in Babylon” and “Capitalist N*gger” as contained in the lyrics of “Chamunorwa” with Take Fizzo.
“Boys DzeTonaz”, “Stubhai KuPratta” and “G.A.D” with Fun_F attest to the influence of the art of hustling on the rapper. His overall message is for one to not give up or wait for blessings to come but to try by all means to build themselves up as hard work and persistence do eventually reward. The science of business is clearly dear to Gze given how in his verses he holds local entrepreneurs in high regard from Roger Boka to Tinashe Mutarisi who established large companies through hard work.
Hip hop has locally been largely real though it has been castigated by some as being fake and an imitation of foreign lifestyles but the aforementioned present truth about hustling populating corners and streets. Zimbabwean hip hop is showcasing what exists on the ground, the dreams and aspirations of those who take to the informal sector offices on the streets to earn a living.


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