ShabZi Madallion is what you’d call an MC’s MC – what with his crafty way of putting words together, and his brand of hip-hop is wrapped up in word play and honesty. On his new EP SIMBA, he delivers eight powerful songs that showcase just why he’s on his way to being one of the best rappers on the continent.
SIMBA is a freestyle offering that takes listeners back to the hip-hop fundamentals. There are no frills, just a rapper, a mic and some potent verses. The opening track, “ I Live This” features big punchlines delivered over a hard beat and sees him declare himself as one of the best in the game.
“Ithuba”, a song about what a chance at success could mean, features Cassper Nyovest who delivers a great verse to kick the song off, while ShabZi Madallion is reflective on his verse addressing the rise of violence in the local rap scene.
The mixtape is relatable from start to finish with many of the subjects being centered around retrospection, self confidence and hope as illustrated on “SIMBA”, “Words I Could’ve Said Last Year”, and “Soul Business”. While a brilliant and soul-bearing freestyle named after and rapped over the beat to Nasty C’s, “No Big Deal” carries these themes too.
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SIMBA deviates from what a lot of rap looks like in contemporary life. It’s not a pop rap project nor one encompassing elements of trap or drill – it is simply a rapper, a beat and the use of the medium in its most basic form. The stylistic simplicity of the mixtape allows the one to really connect with the rapper and appreciate his vast skill set. It’s a rarity to see local a rapper stick to basics and just use their words, but ShabZi Madallion does this well and the result is an honest and moving series of freestyles.
Feature pic supplied by artist