Gangly rapper Prince Butawu better known by his moniker Noble Styles has released a new single which has strong political statements triggered by the current state of the economy and political environment in the country.
Titled Kanyika Kanaka , the wordsmith features little known vocalist Fun P whose mellow voice spiced up the song.
The song is pregnant with parody where Noble Styles uses puns to drive his message home.
Loosely translated, the title Kanyika Kanaka suggests that ‘all is well’ in the country but he goes on to use caricature to expose the shortcomings of the current administration where he laments over the high rate of unemployment, rise in cases of depression, vast wealth in mineral resources that are untapped among other grievances.
“Kanyika Kanaka iwar zone isina mabhomba, kane mari asi hakafare semunhu akaromba.
“Kanokonzeresa broken marriages,” goes one of the verses.
The instrumentation in the song paints a gloomy atmosphere such that one can deduce the emotion that gripped the artistes when they recorded the song.
Unlike other rappers like Kendrick Lamar who are political atheists, Noble Styles has used the microphone and other art forms to keep the system in checks and balances.
In 2016, Noble Styles produced a skit that went viral in which he lamented over the missing $15 billion as confessed by former President Robert Mugabe.
The relationship between music and politics has existed for centuries, sometimes harmoniously, and other times not as much.
Historical records are full of examples of songs that laud the achievements (and lack thereof) of government.
In the liberation struggle, musicians like the late Chinx Chingaira and Thomas Mapfumo played an instrumental role through music and in post- independence Zimbabwe we have musicians like Tambaoga (real name Last Chiangwa) and Born Free Crew who also produced music with strong political statements although it worked against them.
In 2017, Jah Prayzah released a seemingly prophetic album Kutonga Kwaro which coincided with former President Robert Mugabe’s resignation and Operation Restore Legacy which saw the ascendancy of President Mnangagwa to power.
Noble Styles has therefore simply used his craft to confront social and political omissions and commissions of the current administration.
President Mnangagwa’s adminstration champions the opening of democratic space where citizens are free to air their views and opinions freely unlike the previous administration.
The song comes in the wake of fuel crisis, escalating cost of basic commodities and hiking of kombi fares.
President Mnangagwa was however quick to read a riot act to unscrupulous businesspeople who were implementing unjustified price increases.
His deputy Constantino Guveya Chiwenga also warned businesses that their illegal conduct “will not work”.