Importance of Celebrity Gossip


arNobody misses the segment with the most recent talk on VIPs. Regardless of the extent to which we judge or misconstrue a tattle mongering demeanor in our individual lives, the big name tattle is something nobody needs to disregard. We all affection it, we all need determine joy out of it. Whether it is the design patterns, delicious breakups, warmed relationships, VIP outrages, driving anger, or spilled superstar occasion pictures, we are interested about everything that happens in their life. In this compose up, we investigate why we adore big name talk so much and is it worth the time.

Along these lines, what is that about these famous people that draw in us towards them? They are heading lawmakers, performers, starlets, sportsmen, artists, and the rundown is interminable. A VIP is an individual who has exceeded expectations in a specific field and is along these lines in steady media look. A big name is somebody who is well known yet may be notorious for embarrassments and may be an individual most loved of media individuals. Knowing these individuals, after their samples, dodging their errors, are a portion of the conspicuous reasons why we take after their lives vigorously.

Concerning closet, the greater part of us emulated one or more than one big name for his exceptional hairdo, embellishment or set of garments. Thus, they’re innovators whom we want to take after for their style proclamations. Along these lines, a hefty portion of us need to resemble our golden calves and some of the time even dates men/ladies who resemble our most loved big names.

Numerous a times, I have discovered that numerous individuals get an outlet through VIP tattle. Numerous fans extend their fantasies, trusts and apprehensions onto famous people, which mean a fantasy into their lifestyles and life decisions. Can I attain so much media consideration? Am I excessively bound to lead a life like my most loved on-screen character? Who hasn’t fantasized about being a big name jam pressed by paparazzi? However as we develop old, we have to discover that not everybody is certain to be acclaimed, and being popular is by all account not the only thing which matters in life. People follow their blogs and news to copy their lifestyle. In most of the cases people start worshipping their stars which frequently affect youth and probably harm our new generation through many aspects

Improve Your Self-Confidence and Attain Dating Success with the Aid of Phentermine 37.5 mg

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All people need food; this is one of our basic necessities. It is the producer of energy to our body. But, some individuals take unhealthy foods. This causes them to experience weight troubles. As a result, individuals become fat and overweight. This will lead to other problems such as mental and physical  health problems. Now, if you want to regain your self-confidence and is searching for an effective option to drop some pounds, then it is the very best time to try Phentermine 37.5 mg as it is written at this site. This hunger controller speeds up your metabolism and will make you feel less hungry.
Being overweight takes one’s self-confidence, and this is why a lot of overweight people don’t date much. This is because they don’t feel great about their physical appearance. It is true, it will be impossible to date someone if you have no self-confidence. Physical appearance is usually the primary thing that a person will look for if they search for someone to date. A great way to get appreciated by a lot of individuals is by having a desirable physical appearance. If you’re an overweight person, then you should use Phentermine 37.5 mg. This is to boost your chances of getting a date, and hopefully, finding someone for a long-lasting relationship.
Phentermine 37.5 mg can be your healthy dose of self-confidence in no time. Through this, you will have a toned body without the need to exert effort in doing exercises. However, this will give awesome and quicker results when utilized along with diet and exercise. With the aid of this diet supplement, your dating experience will be unforgettable. Surely, you’ll come out of your shell and inform the whole world that you’re worthy to be appreciated and loved. Dating will be in your favor, and it’ll no longer be hard for you to find your soul mate.
You can make your success more quickly in dating if you’re assured about yourself. This is the very best time to lose some weight and remove some fats in your body. Use Phentermine 37.5 mg now!

Cheapest Car Insurance In Pennsylvania

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Cheap Pennsylvania Car Insurance The initial application of this to some car insurance in pennsylvania problem raised through the total prohibition on fault-based actions within the state was in Going v. Reitl Brothers. The plaintiff was an Hawaii resident, one defendant was a resident of The state as well as the other with the state. The accident occurred in Hawaii. The negligent conduct of the defendant was clearly actionable within the state and, although not actionable inside the state, was punishable there under quasi-criminal legislation. Accordingly, Ontario law applied and the tort action was allowed.

In Lewis v. Leigh,  the state Court of Appeal were required to consider the additional factor designed by the appearance from the state-The state Agreement to which Their state insurers was required to provide The state-level benefits to their insureds injured inside the state accidents, at the mercy of the same conditions auto insurance in pennsylvania as though such person were resident inside the state. All the parties were Their state residents, nevertheless the accident occurred in The state. The court held how the court clearly had jurisdiction and that regulations of The state should apply upon proof the defendant’s conduct was punishable inside the state. Clearly, it had been actionable inside the state.  The state-The state Agreement as well as the inclusion with the state scale benefits in Schedule ? towards the state Insurance Act didn’t avoid the plaintiffs from suing in The state. The agreement itself was not legislation and the wording with the amendment to the Schedule wasn’t sufficiently clear to consider away an The state resident’s right of action. Compare rates at save with!

Inside a recent case  involving auto insurance pennsylvania an The state plaintiff, Their state defendants plus an accident inside the state, hawaii High Court, without referring to McLean or Going, held that the applicable law was the law from the place the location where the motor vehicle accident occurred. However, it was reversed on appeal. In another recent case, Ang v. Track,91 which involved an insurance claim by an The state resident underneath the Divorce Act against a The state resident, encounter was allowed reluctantly.  These cases illustrate the continuing doubts concerning the general application of McLean v. Pettigrew also it appears as if enough time is ripe because of its review although that, apparently, must range from Supreme court of the nation. Learn more at the state’s official web domain.  

Scene the ultimate step in Europe Harden chopped 12 points without setting Wade missed a ball knee

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Scene: the ultimate step in Europe Harden chopped 12 points without setting missed a ball on March 23, NBA regular season the Rockets away knight. After an easy win over the Timberwolves, the Rockets won two straight, they want to be strong competition for three straight, but the lack of a knight Owen hope to rebound at home, they should strive to end a three-game losing streak. Harden the first game played very unselfish, single sent out 8 ists. Into the second period, Harden more involved in the offensive end, he even conflict with the cast, scored 12 points, but did not miss any balls. One of the most exciting ball, he started to break from the front, facing the other defensive players, dribble continuous shaking, the other being engaged in a series of actions which do not know how good, had to start a foul, but Harden will step to the extreme of Europe, completely unaffected labeled as 2 1. Wade knee healed comeback fight will be playing Magic long recovery from November 22, has been out injured two of Flash Wade will likely be back on Sunday, the team against the Orlando Magic. Wade was in the game after the Bobcats feeling knee discomfort, then he enters the injured list because of a knee injury, and thus he has missed the Heat and the Orlando Magic against the Hawks two games, but these two games the Heat all triumph . Two consecutive missed, can not help but to wade knee injury began to worry, according to the team, said Wade s injury is not serious, just for safety reasons before the team let him rest. After all, Wade had an old knee injury exists, and the Miami Heat against the Bobcats, Hawks and Magic back to back is facing the main road back and forth. Sunday Saturday, U.S. time , the Miami Heat will face the Orlando Magic at home, it is learned Flash Wade will likely return. In fact, Wade has followed the team started training with the ball, and his case had already reached the playing standards, while the team also said they do not want to wade prolonged lack of war, so that his knees and the team is not good. Luan sets the scene: Harden shot to tie the game Jones Sings big hat so embarr ed January 1, NBA regular season ushered in the New Year s game, the Rockets vs. Kings Currently playing into the third quarter, Harden shot. The two sides in the match, the next storm Cousins

Why Musicians Love Wearing Sunglasses On Stage, Even At Night

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It seems that many famous musicians love wearing sunglasses on stage. Some think thats because they want to look cool or even pretentious. Maybe thats part of the reason, but the truth is that many musicians wear sunglasses all the time, which they consider means of privacy protection.

Privacy are a wide concern for rock stars for example Pixie lott, Britney Spears and Paul David Hewson, most widely known as Bono, charge singer from the Irish band U2. Sunglasses, specially the mirrored brands, aid a high profile prevent eye-to-eye contact when he desires or has to live living of a typical private citizen.

Bono, that is one of the many musicians who wear their sunglasses at night, states how the sunglasses aid him handle the paparazzi and fans continually taking snapshots of him. The flashes irritate his eyes a great deal they can increase the size of if he does not go ahead and take precaution of wearing the sunglasses. A choice desirable to are mirrored sunglasses, which give a person’s eye additional defense against glare and ultraviolet rays. With regards to the excellence from the sunglasses, glare can be decreased between ten and sixty percent. One more the sunglasses delivers are to cover a musician’s bleary eyes and also the bags about the eyes, as well as warning signs of illegal substance abuse. And in addition blind musicians wear sunglasses to mask the data they can’t see: Stevie Wonder has his sunglasses on, as did the late Ray Charles.

Other musicians who wear their sunglasses at night time, as an example Lady Gaga, are employing the sunglasses of their fashion statement. Pixie lott uses sunglasses included in her out-there costuming, both on and off takes place, including Ray- Bans, Tom Ford Sunglasses, along with other well-known brands. Roy Orbison was one of the original rock stars, starting in the mid-1960s, who wore his sunglasses within his on-stage persona. John Lennon, Janis Joplin as well as other rock stars continued the thrill. Today hip-hop stars, including Kanye West, Soulja Boy and Flava Flav, take this manner trend to a more extreme level.

The lists of sunglasses styles favored musicians who wear their sunglasses during the night are the teashades, popularized by John Lennon, Ozzy Osbourne and Sir Elton John. Wayfarer sunglasses, very first popularized by celeb James Dean, were liked by Roy Orbison, and later adopted a fresh level with the Blues Brothers, Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi. Oversize sunglasses is the newest trend, well-liked by Rhianna and a lot of of today’s hip-hop artists.

Musicians among others normally give different factors when asked why they’re concerned about finding the right sunglasses for messing around the stage. Usually, they cite the powerfully blinding stage lights. Flashing cameras may cause difficulties too. Occasionally an artist should hide the truth that her eyes are bloodshot or she’s bags under her eyes. And occasionally the sunglasses just give you the right amount of privacy musician desires, even if she’s performing on stage.

So let’s consider greatest sunglasses for messing around takes place? Sir Elton John, who began his recording career at the begining of 1970s, accessorized his over-the-top on stage costumes with outrageous fashion eyewear, typically much larger than his face. He was noted for his yellow, purple or blue sunglasses lenses including together with his funky style. Sir Elton was among the rock icons from your 1970s isn’t finding the right sunglasses for playing around the stage.

Today, pop stars continue to be employing sunglasses to make fashion statements as part of their onstage persona. A number of musicians are already photographed wearing Ray Ban sunglasses, such as American musician and actor Adrian Grenier, hip hop vocalist Fergie, who likes Ray Ban Wayfarer folding sunglasses, and Ashlee Simpson, which has been photographed wearing Ray Ban Outsiders Original Wayfarer sunglasses.

Rihanna is often a pop star who wants to alter her eyewear as frequently as she modifications her clothes. She was lately photographed wearing Jee Vice Red Hot sunglasses with bright red frames. She also performed on stage about the American Music Awards wearing a couple of Colab Eyewear sunglasses called Wiener. She has been observed wearing Chanel sunglasses and various Chanel items. British pop star Lily Allen also likes Chanel sunglasses.

Yet another musicians that are looking for the most effective sunglasses for playing in regards to the stage, as an example Kylie Minogue, Joe Jonas and British pop star Lily Allen, prefer Carrera Champion sunglasses. Minogue also likes Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses. Snoop Dogg may be seen in Adidas Originals Abastos sunglasses, and rhythm and blues singer Eve prefers Orgreen Optics sunglasses.

What Is Needed To Record Music At Home

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Lets begin on some of the stuff you will be needing to record music at home . Just remember this is for beginner home studio fun. This isn’t for setting up a professional recording studio. But no to worry, you will be able to make pro sounding music.

The Computer:

your going to need a half way up to date computer. I use this system. Pentium 4, 160GB HD, 2g of ram. your going to need a sound card and a CD-R drive. If your system is more powerful then mine, you should be able to handle the requirements. also, I run on a system that I only do home recording on. There are no other things done with this computer. That’s why i can get away with an older system.

Sound Input:

Now that we have the system we need an input to get our recordings with. This also goes by other names such as soundcards or mixers. What this does is connect the audio to your system. This can be used to connect your instruments/vocals or what ever it is you would like to record. Some can get costly, other you can get for next to nothing. I purchase one off E-Bay for around 20 bucks. we can discus the ones you should buy later. For now we can make it easy. They come in 2 types. External or Internal. The difference is that one is plugged in to your computer from the inside (Internal). The external can be plugged in on the outside. I like external to record music at home. It’s simpler to install. most are Plug and Play. Some are midi enabled.
I like the Tascam US-122 which is not produced anymore (They make a new version of it). It has everything I like to use for recording music.

Software and Applications

This is the backbone of recording. This is what is used to record, mix, and polish your music. Now i’m not sure which is the greatest choice, (Remember we are not making a pro-studio.) but i can direct you to good software for good prices. the one i like is the Sony Acid line. This stuff is simple to operate. It uses multi-track recording and sound effects. You can get this one for about 60 dollars. Some input devices come with software.

Have fun and Record Music at Home.

Waterproof Ipod Touch Speakers Music

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More about waterproof ipod touch speakers
You should have a look at the iPod Touch. In the past, it was unimaginable to have such a device being available for the public. Now, the iPod Touch is a thing that everybody have to have and virtually everybody has. In case you already have your own private iPod Touch, in which case you may like to keep in mind that there are various accessories that you simply can buy to really maximize the facility of the iPod Touch.
Ever provided that the iPod was launched in to the marketplace, there have been thousands accessories that came to be broadly provided for sale. A few of those accessories just provide added smart elements of the iPod Touch, while some accessories raise the usability of the device. For people who actually for instance photography, the Apple company Contact has accessories that could permit you to join the iPod on to the printer in order to print the snap shots you take while you are on the go. Criticisms: Although the brand new contact is nearly perfect, you will find a few criticisms; The participant is complicated, making it hard for the typical utilizer to just take heed to music. Also, the audio excellent is merely average, and the iTunes program is necessary to replace and load music on the device.Altec Lansing is understood for creating sound system that could produce sounds in several ranges from the very best pitch to the lowest bass. And now that Altec Lansing has audio system for the iPod, anticipate that these iPod audio system would be of too high quality. In fact, these iPod audio system has a class D amplifier to manufacture rich, audible sounds.
So, at any time you already have your new iPod Touch, be sure that you furthermore may buy the accessories that might further improve the applications of your already efficient iPod Touch. With these accessories, you may see that owning an iPod Contact will in all probability be a great deal more fun.
Lots more revealed about waterproof ipod touch speakers here.

Use Popular Music Market Place To Showcase Your Singing Talent

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Those who are keen on making a career in music should opt for a suitable music marketplace to showcase their talent. There are many online sites where budding singers and musicians can record their compositions for other music lovers.

Load the Videos of Your Performance

This way many talented musicians get the desired opportunity to be selected by some music company. Such online sites are visited by music companies where they may hire a suitable singing star for their latest album. It is essential to find a suitable website to Sell Your Music Online which is well known to all music lovers and companies.

Budding music stars should record their compositions in a studio by a recording expert so that the songs and music have great sound effects. It is a good idea to submit one’s music videos at a reputed music marketplace where the singer can be sure to find an audience for his performance. It is important to record the video professionally as nowadays there is a lot of competition in this field. Because of increased opportunities that are available on the internet, most aspiring singing stars use such music websites as a platform to showcase their talent.

To effectively sell your music, it is essential to have a professional attitude and put up a well prepared video on the online music site. This means practising the song to perfection, having the right dress, and the perfect environment for the video. One can find many such videos at the popular music site like SmashSongs ~Sell Your Songs. You can get an idea here of the different kinds of music videos recorded nowadays. One should search for a professional recording studio in his city where he can record his songs and performances in the right setting and with the best sound effects. After the video has been edited and completed to the singer’s satisfaction, he should copy it on a CD and then load the videos on a music marketplace website.

Budding Musicians Can Interact With Viewers

Aspiring stars should search for a reliable and popular music site where they can load their videos for public viewing. The performers should get a copyright for their songs so that no one else can copy their compositions or use them under some other name. Reputed sell your song websites help new talents by enlisting latest videos and singers. They also provide the scope to viewers to rate the videos so that aspiring musicians can get an idea about the standard of their performance.

Such music marketplace websites also give an opportunity to fresh singing stars to interact with their audience through email where they can read feedback about their videos and suggestions on how to improve their performance. These sites also help singing stars and music companies to find song writers who use such sell your lyrics websites to find prospective buyers for their song writing skills.

Many music companies visit these websites to find fresh talented singers, musicians and lyricists for their latest album and also offer attractive deals to produce those videos and songs which receive a good rating.

By loading their videos on reputed music marketplace website, singing stars and songwriters can find a good opportunity to start their music career.

URBAN GROOVES MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE How American music influences other people’s culture and identity

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According to Turino (2000:23) in Shona culture if a man marries a woman of the same totem a most serious offence of incest (makunakuna) is created. Less serious but still the concern of the vadzimu (ancestral spirits) is that of the chekaukama, a procedure by which distant cross-cousins may be allowed to marry. In his music, Maskiri perverts all moral values whether it’s Christianity or African traditional religion.


In songs both by Maskiri and Xtra Large there are many aspects which are not real and can never happen in real life. There is too much subversion of reality. In the song -Ndakafa-, Maskiri says: (-Apo maD.J achinoza ndirikuremember) When the D.Js were speaking through the nose I remember N(diri kuremember muface anga aine leather jacket) I remember the guy in a leather jacket (Akandipressa banga rikapinda mumaintestines) Pressing his knife into my intestines (Rikabuda ropa rinozadza three buckets) Blood coming out to fill three buckets (Vanhu vachiseka maintestines ari panze) People laughed, with my intestines out (Vanhu vachioona rib-cage yangu, Ndikasheedzerwa taxi) People watching my rib cage, a taxi was called for me-

What Maskiri is implying is that he is immortal; he can actually die and resurrect. This is a narration of a story based on fiction where Maskiri goes to Soweto in South Africa. In our African values life is valued more than anything else. Maskiri claims to have died and resurrected in the song -Ndakafa-. However, according to Shona cultural beliefs: -There are two concepts of life, life in the body in this world and life in the spirit alone after death- (Gelfand 1973:167)

In trying to be superior to other human beings, Maskiri distorts the reality of life in telling fictitious stories which are baseless and there is nothing didactic about that kind of story.

According to Gwanjera (2001:78) -Most genres of music which we have in Zimbabwe always refer to real situations which happen in society. The role of a musician is to conscentize people of social realities and inequalities in society-. However, according to Moyo (2006:13) the economic situation in the country has led many people to fantasize about life, people fantasize as a way of showing their superiority in any situation. Even though in another sense fantasy objectifies Maskiri’s frustration with life and his desire to escape from all standards of life.

Fantasy is also another aspect of hip-hop music especially if one looks at the music of both Eminem and Tupac. At one time many music fans believed that Tupac actually never died and if he died he will resurrect but that has never happened. Maskiri seems to see himself in the mould of the likes of Tupac especially if one parallels what fans of Tupac believed and that he sings in his song -Ndakafa-. (-Kudenga kuri kunakidza Hakuna chatinobhadhara) (Life in) Heaven is enjoyable everything is for free (Mababe hobho, namabottle store) So many girls, and bottle stores (Tinoshandisa mablank cheques) We use blank cheques (Tinoita car-hijack) We hijack cars (Nezuro ndaitotambidzana mogo naBrenda Fassie) Just yesterday I was smoking with Brenda Fassie (Takatyoka mulake ) Near a lake (Kwataiita mamwe mavideo nanaTupac) Where we were shooting videos with Tupac (Ifawo uuye kuno, kana uchifunga kuti ndiri) Just die to come here, if you think I am (Kukunyepera.. Unenge waakuita breakfast nanaPastor) Lying – If you will be breakfasting with Pastors (Wakabata joy-) Holding joy (enjoying)-

Maskiri lacks any sense of what is good and evil. His fantasy just goes too far. He claims to have died yet he is alive. The whole issue becomes unbelievable. It seems the kind of life he portrays in his music revolves around -pleasure and joy-. These are not virtues in our Shona culture or even Ndebele culture. Maskiri celebrates human weaknesses. The world he portrays is part of the worldview of drunkards to whom reality and fantasy is intermingled as soon ads they are drunk.

The mention of Tupac and Brenda Fassie confirms Maskiri’s role models in his music. Those are people who rebelled against their own societies’ values in their life time. This is one of the effects of globalization on our youth, the distortion of reality.

However, Maskiri’s version of fantasy is different from that of Xtra Large especially in their song -Kushamura Newe- (-Inzwa unzwe babe e-he-he) listen very well babe. Mahumps, matower lights, nemapublic toilets ese aunoona aya, ndini ndinoamaneja. Kumba kweka, tine muchini unobhendesa mabhanana neumwe wacho unoisa mayoke mumazai – zvekuti ukandida, ndinopota ndichikuisira two two mazai, mayoke, kumba kwedu. (At our home we have a machine for shaping bananas and another one which put yokes into eggs so that if you live me, I will favour you with double yokes in each of your eggs-

These are actually humorous sad stories that people tell in the ghetoo )”>>) When Maskiri sings about going to South Africa and going to Soweto where he is stabbed, these are real life issues which many a border jumper experiences in South Africa. There is no African brotherhood. In the song, Maskiri is killed for dating the man’s girlfriend. Maskiri is actually protesting against rampant unemployment, poverty and lack of money. It is only the rich who can enjoy life. For the poor, maybe the only way to enjoy life is after death where everything is now for free. These are typical stories which one can hear in our neighbourhood. The church is failing to provide an alternative of a better life spiritually and physically because of hypocrisy. Maybe that is why Maskiri visualizes himself in heaven with prostitutes, drunkards and pastors alike.

When Xtra Large in their song -Kushamura Newe- humorously depicts a situation of courtship in modern times it is actually protest at society which has lost its values. One needs to be materialistic to gain. -We are bemoaning the lack of true love in our society, people always promising each other sweet nothings- (Interview Xtra Large 12June 2007). What Xtra Large depicts is living true to the old age adage -Rume risinganyepi hariroori- (A man who does not lie will never marry) Similarly Xtra Large uses thoughts and ideas and attitudes toward life based on practical knowledge of their lives.


In Shona societies, a woman can only have one spouse, a man may have more than one wife if he so wishes. Second, a woman should join her husband after marriage. (Masasire in Mutsvairo (ed) 1996:41). This means therefore that they shall live as husband and wife. In their song -Amai Linda- Xtra Large deals with the theme of infidelity in marriages in their larger society. Most people in Zimbabwe are now familiar with the phrase -small house- because it is now synonymous with unfaithfulness in marriage.

In their song -Amai Linda-, Xtra Large sing (-Ehe vakadzi ari mudzimba umo ) Ehe all you wives/women who are in their matrimonial homes (Musati zvamaroorwa hamuchagezi) Don’t think that if you get married, you stop bathing (Munosiiwa mumba umu makatemba mhai) They (husbands) can leave you, if you rely (on marriage alone)

This is the kind of advice many aunts can give to their daughters in law. However, Xtra Large’s message to society suffers from too many generalizations and stereotyping. It’s not all women who are married who do not bath. Bathing is not the only way of retaining one’s man. Bathing and cleanliness is another aspect of marriage and is not one of the main causes of breakdown of many marriages nowadays. According to Macdonald Chidavaenzi, an urban grooves music producer-: -One of the main problems with urban grooves music is that they do have a too simplistic vision of human life, in dealing with a certain situation they do not go deeper into the more important and complicated facets of life- (Macdonald Chidavaenzi, Interview 12 June 2007)

In the end, when adult listeners, hear this kind of music it is taken as something lacking identity because of lack of exploration of other facts of life. It seems Xtra Large in their song -Amai Linda-, they are endorsing patriarchal attitudes towards marriage. They fail to point out that it is actually the men who must provide money and support for the women to go out clean and smart. Norman Manwere of Xtra Large described a -small house-, as -an unmarried woman involved in an affair with a married man. She can be a single mother or a girl. Some single mothers do have the capacity and means to sustain themselves financially but just need a man in the house to fulfill her sexual desires- (Interview 12 June 2007) Some people have criticized urban grooves musicians for using sexually explicit language. Xtra Large has been accused of promoting sexual immorality by giving reasons to men, to leave their wives. -Amai vekumba uku vanonhuwa mukanwa My matrimonial wife smells in the mouth Muhapwa nemasocks mubhutsu In the armpits and her stockings KwaMai Linda manje kunonhuwirira perfume With Mai Linda, she smells of perfume Ndikaendako handidzoki vanondichengeta- If I go there, I won’t come back- Xtra Large makes distinctions between a -small house- and a matrimonial wife. Sometimes reality is distorted. One tends to ask himself why the real wife is portrayed and painted in bad light and the -small house- has got all the necessary qualities of a wife. This actually gives a positive evaluation of -small houses-. Even though, Manwere of Xtra Large argues that, their song is a protest against a society which no longer values contributions made by their wives. However, this makes adultery fashionable it all goes against the concept of -unhu- in Shona.


In Africa, dressing is part of our identity. However, with colonialism and modernity, there becomes a problem in defining African attire especially the attire for the youth. In Zimbabwe there is no national policy on attire for the youth.

In urban grooves music, it is not rare to find many urban grooves musicians wearing international labels like G-Unit, Roca Wear, Akademiks and Sean John. Most of these are American labels. Sean John is owned by music producer and singer Diddy and G-Unit is owned by 50 Cent. These merchandises carry a lot of values in themselves. It is a Capitalistic means of commodifying their values and also a marketing gimmick. In consumering America music, the youths also consumer their values and attire. On the sleeve of the album -Small House- by Xtra Large, Jim Mangezi and Norman Manwere are wearing the -flat- caps, chains and that kind of attire which is synonymous with likes of 50 Cent and Nelly. In the end, the difference between Manwere and Nelly is nil. The attire consists of baggy pants, oversized sports jerseys and European labels. The attire also consists of unlaced sneakers. According to Chezet (2007:75), the hip-hop look is suspected to have originated from American prison life where belts and shoelaces were confiscated to prevent suicides.

Clothing is not only a fashion statement among urban grooves musicians. They are even copying the hairstyles of many of their idolized rappers. Some urban grooves musicians like Xtra Large, have plaited hair, together with earrings on one side of the ear, in the mould of Snoop Doggy Dog among many a rapper. This is one of the effects of globalization on our youths, the difference between hip-hop musicians and urban grooves musicians, in terms of dressing is not clear cut. Sometimes facial expressions are just the same.

According to Ndhlela ( )”>>) -Youth popular culture in African societies should be understood within the context of globalization and the transitional flow of cultural commodities for these have a bearing, directly or indirectly, on the everyday lives of young people-.

Part of the influential aspects of globalization comes from music videos. In trying to look like their role models, the artists go to the extent of a pure imitation of American dress and mannerisms. In third world countries, many youths can be seen with big boots, long chains and baggy trousers reminiscent of American musicians, such that their lives are filled with -Americanisms- (Mclaren 2005:22). Many urban grooves artists fall into this category, and this include the likes of Ex Q, Maskiri, Christy-B and Trevor Dongo among others.

The dances depicted in most urban grooves musicians’ music videos fills the whole ideology of American rap music. In the song -Roja dance-, Xtra Large sing about dance which they think is unique and peculiar to them -Mubate chiuno, dzika naye Mutatamure sekahuku kakaundurwa Dzika futi kusvika mose mayuwira Simudza gumbo kusvika mose mayuwira Pinda mukati, uvhaye kadhimba, kadhimba-

In describing what they think is a -Roja dance-, Xtra Large is actually describing a sexual act. Urban grooves musicians’ penchant for using sexually suggestive language has made many critics to say they lack seriousness. Sexually explicit language is a hall mark of hip-hop musicians. The Zimbabwean dances include muchongoyo, Jerusarema and imbube among others but these are mainly used in traditional ceremonies. Some genres of music have creatively introduced their own type of dances, for example in -sungura/museve- there is what they call chibhasikoro. However, in urban grooves music, they still concentrate on imitative dancing styles of Rand B music to urban grooves music. In terms of coming up with own type of dancing style, the creativity has been lacking.


In the song -Hama nehama’ by Maskiri, one of the most noticeable features of urban grooves music is a sense of arrogance and individual boundless pride. In this song, Maskiri rhymes like this: -Ya-ya ndakamboenda kunhamo Ya-ya, I went to a funeral Handidi kunyepa ndakanakirwa I do not want to lie I was very amused Mudhara aine afa, zvikanzi ndiBabamukuru The old man who had died, they said he is my brother-in-law-

Funeral ceremonies are sacred in our society, they can not be talked of with such ease and to poke fun at sacred Shona values is abominable. For Maskiri, a funeral ceremony is amusing, for him it is a place of amusement. This is not true of our culture. People who are mourning their loved ones become a humorous spectacle. One can not afford to lose Maskiri’s lack of concern and the -as-long-as-its-not-me’ attitude which is not part of our African values which emphasize collective consciousness not individualism. Talking of individualism in Africa and Zimbabwe in particular, President Robert Mugabe once said:

-culturally or traditionally, our society has never been individualistic as the European society. At worst perhaps, the only individualism you can talk about was based on family concerns-a family together as a unit. But in our society and tradition, when you talk of a family, you have the extended character of the family, not the narrow concept you get in Britain, for example- (Interview with The Age Newspaper of Australia:15 Jan 1981)

When Maskiri says -Mudhara ainge afa zvikanzi ndiBabamukuru’ it shows lack of respect for the concept of family hood in the Zimbabwean society. What he has is the narrow concept of family, in which he considers his immediate family as his family only. In the end it shows that he has got the narrow and individualistic view of family predominant in White societies. What he projects becomes a European world-view instead of an African world-view.

4.6.1 Use of pronoun -I’ in urban grooves music

Most of the individualistic tendencies in urban grooves musicians’ songs can also be noted in the use of the pronoun -I’. -I’ emphasizes individualism rather than society. In their use of -ndaka-’ (-I’), both Maskiri and Xtra Large proves that, in their music they are representing themselves before anyone else. It is different from the pronoun -We’, which we find in the music of Thomas Mapfumo. For example, in his song -Vanhu Vatema’ (African People;1993), Mapfumo sings:

-Africa kana tiri tose iwe, tinokudza mhuri yedu tose Africa if we unite, we will be able to feed our family Africa kana tikabatana iwe, mhuri dzedu dzinoguta Africa if we unite, our family will have enough Kana mari yedu ikabatana iwe, tinotenga zvinhu If we bring our currencies together, we will buy Zvakakosha Plenty of things Tinotaura nenzwi rimwechete iwe, If we do speak with one voice Kana nyika dziri kure dzinotinzwa Then everyone can hear our plea (Taken from Kwaramba:1997)

The song’s theme is unity, not only in Zimbabwe, but also for Africa to speak with one voice. However, on a deeper social level, the song speaks on behalf of the collective. The keyword is -we’. -We’ becomes collective and inclusive. It puts out of focus, the social differences and relationships. According to Kwaramba (1997:137), -we’, emphasizes the collective struggles of people and their daily lives. It is now different from urban grooves music.

-I’ is also emphasized in hip-hop music, especially in the music of Eminem, particularly if we examine the song -Evil Deeds’ by Eminem where he sings:

-Father forgive me, for I know what I do I just never had the chance to ever meet you Therefore I did not know what I would grow to be My mother’s evil seeds and these evil deeds-(Encore:2004) Tupac also sings, in -Rebel of the Underground’

-I don’t give a damn and it shows And when I do a stage show, I wear street clothes So they all know me The lyrical lunatic, the maniac emcee I give a shout out to my homies- (2Pacalypse Now: 1991)

Individualism is also part of American culture, and it is prevalent in American hip-hop. The keyword is -I’. It shows that, many urban grooves musicians, their terms of reference when they are recording their music is hip-hop music. Hip-hop music emphasizes the uniqueness of individual identity.

In his song -Hama nehama’, there are many facets of Maskiri. While it is the norm, that people look sad and cry, Maskiri thinks the opposite; it is an occasion for amusement and an occasion for courtship. In this case he proposes love to his copusin . In a way, he is glorifying incest. According to Gelfand (1973;34), incest is not only a crime against the family and society at large, it is also a crime against the vadzimu (ancestral spirits) who will be appeased by the paying of a beast by the son-in-law (mukwasha). In glorifying cultural taboos Maskiri shows his alienation from his people and society, he goes above the bounds of accepted culturally defined behaviour.

However, Maskiri presents the other side of humanity. Not all people who attend funeral ceremonies will be really sad. Some go there because they are part of the family and the similarities with the bereaved family end there. Some just force themselves to cry, which is tantamount to being false to onerself. Maskiri is questioning those aspects of society which -literally’ forces people to cry when they do not feel like crying.

In most cases people start crying when they are about to enter the household of the bereaved family, such that one questions the whole aspect of crying. Crying is an expression of solidarity with the bereaved family, but there is some kind of hypocrisy associated with it, when people just cry for the sake of solidarity. It is this kind of hypocrisy that Maskiri questions in his music. It is that kind of hypocrisy that Maskiri denounces in his music. The dilemma is that, in denouncing this, he becomes alienated from his culture, yet its social reality.

In urban set-ups, most children grow up without knowing some of their relatives sometimes. Therefore the potential for incest is very high. Sometimes, some relatives may stay in a different city or urban area, and without any close family relationships, many youths end up proposing love to their cousins and sisters. Urbanization itself brought a new kind of individualism, which makes some people in the city disregard their families back in the rural areas. The extended family which we had is now slowly crumbling down. Many youths today, grow up ignorant of their kith and kin. When Maskiri says, -Mudhara ainge afa zvikanzi ndiBabamukuru-, this shows the ignorance that most of the teenagers have concerning their relatives.

People now stay far and wide apart such that communication is rare. Funerals now save as some kind of a family reunion but the time is too short. Maskiri is protesting against a society which has become too individualistic. He is magnifying those aspects of society which people do not want to hear. The spirit of individualism has pervaded our society, the sense of community has been broken by urban life. Some youths in urban areas rarely go to the rural areas, they have created a sense of community on the internet chat shows which create virtual cyber-space communities in which foreign values are ingratiated in them. The internet distorts reality of their situational context. According to Ndhlela:

-ICTs, particularly the internet, have facilitated the creation of new communication spaces that enable young people to adapt creatively to their restricted cultural space in Zimbabwe. It offers them immense opportunities for networking with dispersed population segments as well as social movements around the world which emphasize on the uniqueness of individual self expression, freedom of expression and anti-social behaviour and so on..- (

What the teenagers see on these internet shows has got an influence on the way they view their world. Roles which were played by aunts (vatete) are now being substituted by the internet. Sexual education, which was done by the elders, is now being done by fellow students in boarding schools, where teenagers share many secrets trying to imitate the kind of life they see on movies, internet and many international news magazines. Maskiri is popular among the youth, mainly because he sings about issues which many people would rather be silent about in their homes. In this way, the youths are identified with someone who publicly utters what they fear to say in their homes because discovering new things is part of growing up. Maskiri provides a localized version of what the youth hear and see on television. Thus how globalisation influences the behaviour of some of our musicians.

When urban grooves musicians sing, they make assumptions of their target customers. They know what the youths want, and they give it to them. Both urbanization and globalisation has influenced the type of music we have today. Urban grooves music is part and parcel of the society which we are living today.


This chapter discussed the major themes and aspects of urban grooves music. The main argument in this chapter with similarities between hip-hop music in America and urban grooves music focusing on the music of Eminem, Tupac, Maskiri and Xtra Large. A through analysis of their music has shown that, they concur on many themes like violence, misogyny, promiscuity, sex and many other aspects which can be deemed to be anti-social behaviour in our society. Their use of vulgar language is also very similar to that of American musicians.



This chapter is a critical overview of my study of urban grooves music based on the findings of this study. Observations will be presented together with the researcher’s independent point of view concerning urban grooves music.


Most urban grooves musicians sing predominantly in the Shona or Ndebele language which are our own vernacular expressions of our cultural activities. There are some who use the English language in some of their songs like Betty Makaya on the song -For You-(album -Ndichange Ndiripo:2004) and some who use the foreign language only like Cindy. However Maskiri and Xtra Large use Shona and intermittently use street lingo. English words are scattered in their music. In the song -Hama nehama-, Maskiri says: -Amaiguru vakandiintroducer ku first born yavo apo vakataura Shona vakati ndiro dangwe ravo mwana akabatana fanika mukati mendege dressing yacho aiita fanika munhu wemuTV Aichema zviri soft akabata cup yetea- (Amaiguru introduced me to her first-born child When she spoke Shona, and said, this is my first-born A girl as bound together/ beautiful as the inside of an aeroplane Dressed like someone on TV Crying softly holding a cup of tea)

Though Shona is used predominately, English and Shona is juxtaposed in this text.

English is now being used as the standard mode of communication in many schools. The result is that, we now have -linguistic amputees’ neither being able to speak Ndebele or Shona fluently. Some parents do not speak any local language in their homes which is causing linguistic alienation among many teenagers even though some take pride in speaking English which is a foreign language. Language becomes a form of globalisation by which the youths can easily identify with foreign objects because of similarity in the language system. Most international companies do their commercial advertising in English.

When people are listening to international news or entertainment, the medium of communication is the colonizer’s language such that the ideology and hegemonic concepts of the United States of America and Britain are internalised. The use of the English language generates a preferential market for commercial and cultural products of other countries. This mutually reinlforces and embodies a set of cultural and political about, for instance, the inculcation of individualism, superiority of the historical role, political systems and cultural products of the USA and UK. This certainly distorts our Zimbabwean identity which is rooted in our language system as well as linguistic and cultural impoverishment (Chezet 2007:43). The juxtaposition of both English and Shona or Ndebele is a hallmark of urban grooves in Zimbabwe. Though some musicians like Thomas Mapfumo use English on some of their songs, they do not lose their Africanness. Shona is predominantly used to be closer to the people.

When Maskiri sings -Mwana akabatana fanika mukati mendege- (a girl as beautiful as the inner side of an aeroplane) , one has to infer the meaning of this statement because it can be easily and directly translated to -A child as knit/bound together like the inside of an aeroplane’. In its correct context, the statement is about a beautiful girl. Maskiri uses slang or street lingo because he has got assumptions of his target audience in mind, the teenagers. Most youths can identify with this kind of language more than the older generation can ever do because of generational gaps. That is why some older people say urban grooves music is meaningless. Maskiri uses the imagery which is familiar to many youths like an aeroplane. Appreciating the beauty of a girl by comparing her to an aeroplane is dull humour though. Instead of saying -aichema zvinyoronyoro’, Maskiri chooses -aichema zviri soft’ (she was crying softly) because that is the language of the youths who are still growing up. Urban grooves music is about the youth, about growing up. Courtship is one of the stages a girl or a boy has to go through.


Many urban grooves musicians are in the habit of changing their names, while there is nothing wrong for a group or band to call itself Xtra Large, eyebrows are raised when those who operate solely just change their stage names. Most African artists, especially in Zimbabwe, use their real names. One can give examples of internationally recognised artists like Oliver Mtukudzi, and Thomas Mapfumo or even the likes of Tanga wekwa Sando, Alick Macheso, Tongai Moyo and Nicholas Zachariah. Most urban grooves musicians use pen names, probably as a marketing gimmick by using a name which appeals to the audience. Maskiri’s real name is Alishias Musimbe, Decibel’s real name is Daniel Mazhindu and Portia Njazi is now known as Tia in the music circles. Maybe these urban grooves musicians are following after their role models in the music business like Snoop Doggy Dog, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Eminem, who do not use their real names. Infact, Tia (Portia Njazi), refuses the urban grooves musician name tag, and prefers to be called a Rhythm and Blues singer. There are others who have never really changed their names like Trevor Dongo, and Betty Makaya among others, but these are very few.


Urban grooves musicians are known for using computer-generated music. This is one of the reason some of them are failing to stage live shows. Many critics have taken this point to brandish urban grooves musicians as copycats and lack of creativity and originality. Pioneer urban grooves producer, Ibbson Ndoro defended the move, saying: -A lot of older generation musicians have been producing digital music but nobody made a fuss about it, but when people speak about digital music now, it’s as if we are the ones who started it and the computers compose the music for us-A computer alone can not produce music, you need the know-how and expertise- (The Herald:21 feb 2005) According to award winning urban grooves music producer, Macdonald Chidavaenzi, there are some urban grooves musicians who would take the rhythm of some hip-hop artists and just put the vernacular words on top, but this has since changed. He argued that this was during the formative stages of the genre when established music companies like Gramma refused to sign in most of the upcoming musicians in the genre. Chidavaenzi argued that: -We now blend local instruments with some of the rhythms which we construct on the computer, local instruments include, head guitar, mbira, marimba, shakers (hosho), and many other instruments which are available locally- (Interview:24 June 2007) Norman Manwere of Xtra Large also defended the use of computer-generated rhythms arguing that, there is nothing in Zimbabwean music which can be said to be original, the guitars, keyboards and virtually everything is foreign. He argued that, -I do my own lyrics from my own head, as well as the arrangement of instruments in collaboration with my producer because I know what I want my music to sound like’. However it is globalisation which caused this to happen at its phenomenal scale which compromises the quality of music.


According to Macdonald Chidavaenzi (interview :24 June 2007), urban grooves music is there to stay mainly because: — it is the sound of the future, currently the larger population of music buyers in Zimbabwe is mounted on museve/sungura, but that generation is slowly fading away as the younger generation which is more familiar with urban grooves is however critical to invest in the future otherwise we will die of monotony-

While urban grooves music is there to stay, yet the youngsters need guidance and they should show seriousness in their music. Most urban grooves musicians have been a one-hit wonder, and after that they just fizzle out. Their lifestyle has made the public think that their music is children’s play because of their lack of maturity. The Herald (24 April 2005), reported that: –next is Mr Paul, or is it Rocqui, as he wants to be known. Rockford and Paul wants to be seen as the local versions of Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles and sometimes the way they behave makes them look like merry Andrews. ..Whenever this couple is, they want to be noticed for all the wrong reasons, did you check how Rocqui behaved during the Kingstons compilation album– However there are others who are talented and are level-headed like Trevor Dongo, 2BG among others. Some like Maskiri are known in the music circles for all the negative reasons. According to The Herald(22 May 2005), Maskiri should show maturity in his music:

-Maskiri should be serious, recently he was reported to have jumped off from a 4th floor of an apartment in the Avenues area in Harare. He was also pictured in a local daily up a cigarette-What does he take us for, a bunch of fools? His pathetic antics are killing the rap game, as the music consumers are now seeing every rapper in the same light as Maskiri-As for Major Players, the guys are good but they need to be a little bit original. If you listen to their music you would think that it is 50 Cent or other American rappers. What these musicians do not understand is that in music one needs to differentiate himself from others so that he can retain a lot of fans..- This is the dilemma of many urban grooves musicians, they try to be someone else, copy his style of music, his dressing and also the lifestyle. To be taken serious urban grooves musicians should start playing live shows with live instruments and bring out the creativity that they have.


Urban grooves music has generated a lot of controversy. The name itself has generated a heated debate. At first some sections of the media continued to call them hip-hop or rap artists. For example, The Independent(24 Jan 2004), has an article on Maskiri, headlined -Hip-hop star Maskiri assaulted-. This is all part of the confusion which surrounds the genre of music. However urban grooves is now accepted as the proper term for these urban upstarts who started the genre in 2001. Its confusion with hip-hop shows that it has got its origins in hip-hop music. Some urban grooves musicians like Tia (Portia Njazi) prefer to be called a Rhythm and Blues musician. Decibel was recently quoted as saying that he hates urban grooves music, -That word urban grooves is now used in a derogatory fashion. My music can stand on its own without these useless category labels.”( This is which has heightened the confusion of what urban grooves music is. According to urban grooves producer, Macdonald Chidavaenzi; -Urban grooves music is the type of music which is sung by the youth , who are usually between the age of 18 and 30. Most of these youngsters ,are products of the 75 percent local content policy introduced by the government in 2001. Most of their music’s target are the youths- (interview:24 June 2007)

However, some who came up as a result of the seventy-five percent local content like Africa Revenge prefer to be called jazz musicians. This becomes problematic. An urban grooves musician would then mean everyone who is a product of the 75 percent local content, whether a gospel musician, jazz or any other classification of music.

Some notable musicians like Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi have scoffed at the genre. Mtukudzi called urban grooves music an American copycat. In an interview with Dumisani Nyoni on, Mtukudzi says: -It is. That song is not periodical. It worked yesterday, it works today and it will still work tomorrow. There is nothing wrong in appreciating hip-hop, R&B and so on. But when it comes to composing, you have to do it as an African. You have to show them what you can do, because they cannot do it better than you. Because if you don’t do it, who is going to do it? Like I said, you have to be proud of who you are, first and foremost. The moment you start to feel inferior, you will then likely become a victim of the consequences of this cruel world. I think, to be who you are in a big fight against any other culture because there is no culture inferior to another, which means there is no culture superior to yours. Commentary is not bad at all. Of course we have some comments that come from some of those songs that are not helpful in life. But that’s natural. You get one who does such things. I think where the problem is, is that they are not being true to themselves. Trying to be Westerners. Why are they coming out with that song-? In most cases, you can tell that the sounds they base their tracks on are not original sounds. It’s because most of them feel inferior to what the Westerners do. And I am saying, they should be proud of who they are, first and foremost. On every aspect of the song. Not just the lyrics. They take the sound of an old R & B song and put their lyrics over it. That’s not it!. The creativity comes from the song itself. It has to be African. It has to be Zimbabwean. If it’s Zimbabwean, then you can’t go wrong. Look at Michael Jackson, he cannot play my song better than me. He cannot play Dzoka Uyamwe better than me and I cannot play thriller better than he. So we need that. If Zimbabweans don’t feel and be Zimbabwean, so who is going to be Zimbabwean?-(

According to Mtukudzi, music should be appreciated by all people regardless of class. ethnicity, or region, it must have a national appeal. An artist must get through to the people, -Well, it’s because I am Zimbabwean. I don’t see myself as a Shona. I am Zimbabwean. I even try to sing songs in Ndebele. I am not good in Ndebele. I sing in my broken Ndebele, because I am trying to get through to people. An artist is supposed to do that. They are there to represent themselves and everyone. Not just a certain dialect or language-. This shows music must represent the people in society. One may not feel Zimbabwean in a kind of music in which the rhythm is foreign, dances are foreign, attire is foreign and what is local is the language and the people. While it is true that urban grooves music is like this, if one looks at Ziombabwean music today, almost everything is foreign. According to Bere (writing on, apart from mbira, drums and other traditional instruments, everything in Zimbabwean music is guilty of borrowing from American music. While it is true that keyboards are not part of African music, the themes of the music of sungura musicians who use foreign instruments are local, they have a cultural identity.

In urban grooves music the style, lifestyle, and almost everything associated with urban grooves music has got a foreign touch to it. It is also true that many genres in Zimbabwe have got traces of international genres of music, for example rhumba came from Cuba via Congo and mbaqanga , kwela and kwaya from South Africa. Turino (2000:47), distinguishes mbira as the distinctive beat which is original to Zimbabwean music. This means that, as long as people do not play mbira in their music, it then lacks a Zimbabwean identity.

However, one of the main problems with urban grooves music is in imitation. They just import wholesale, a genre of music and impose it on the people of Zimbabwe singing about issues alien to our society. Maskiri’s use of obscenities takes him apart from other musicians who sing socially-conscious lyrics. Tafara Mbaya of Musicians Association of Zimbabwe also deplored the use of vulgar language, and said the youngsters need guidance and counseling, he said: -most of them are influenced by Western musicians and they simply absorb everything done by their role models without considering the context in which they are operating- (The Herald:27 March 2004)

In promoting moral decadence, being mischievous, and trying to show a -gangster attitude’ many urban grooves musicians go at loggerheads with our identity. Getting fame and fortune with a morally upright character can actually earn them more respect than having popularity based on immoral practices. The Girl Child Network, an organization promoting the rights of women slammed many urban grooves artists for portraying women as sexual objects. Betty Makoni of the Girl Child Network said:

-..such songs such as -Chimoko chiDanger’ by Nasty Trix, -Zimhamha’ by Maskiri depict women as sexual objects, and encourage the abuse of women-up to this day the arts have no space for the girl child as she is seen on television as a victim and not as a conquerer..-(The Herald:14 October 2005)

Makoni urged artists to use music to educate, to expose societal ills like rape and murder. In his music, Maskiri does the opposite, by promotong statutory rape, incest and bestiality. He alienates himself from his identity.

In some of the songs, he is a foul-mouthed social commentator. On addressing the ancestors in the song -Tateguru’, the song opens with , -Muri bho-o here tateguru?’ (Are you well/alright ancestors? Note that bho-o is street lingo. This shows disrespect for the ancestors which shows that he is divorced from his cultural setting. Maskiri defends himself saying:

-Being a social commentator, I have to touch on important issues In the song -Tateguru’ (ancestors), I warn the ancestors that the youth Are getting wayward, havachadzoreke, they now have a funny language, For example,’mita’ for million, and other strange words they are corrupting. Do you know of this sad development, I ask the ancestors– (The Sunday Mail:21 November 2004)

Fantasy, reality, pretensions and lies are all mixed up in Maskiri’s music. He claims that his song -True Story’ happened. This petty-lying has led many to say urban grooves musicians are not serious. Maskiri defends his fantasy saying:

-I was with this girl and we were having great quality time together , then she suddenly turned into a mermaid-.and declared that -Maskiri had been taken’, and that was a very scary experience and it can happen to you-.I dated a mermaid..- (The Sunday Mail:21 November 2004)

In defending his fantasy and lies, Maskiri shows lack of morality. However his music remain popular among the fans. One fan was quoted as saying:

-he has a unique smooth flow and slow rhythm that appeals to theyouths, while his lyrics are controversial -.we are tired of artists who want to preach good all the time– (The Indepenent:18 Jan 2004)

Maskiri’s music is popular, mainly because he tells -social truths’ which people are afraid of speaking. Many youths because they are always told to do good, which becomes monotonous and boring, hence the music of the likes of Maskiri gains instant popularity. Eminem becomes localized. Defending his song -Madam Mombeshora’, Maskiri said:

-Madam Mombeshora was inspired by a true story-.infact I took things from what usually happens at school. The form three and form four boys undergoing puberty are going to have a crush on a female teacher. Most , usually the free-spirited ones who dress in skimpy clotheing and tend to sit on top of the desk whilst lecturing, students have hots for them -people do not have the guts to say these social truths..- (The Sunday Mail:21 November 2004)

What Maskiri does not realize is that it is meaningless to say something which serves no purpose in life except negative behaviour in the youths. Most urban grooves musicians’s ego and freedom of expression has led them to say unnecessary things divorced from our cultural values. These are not the kind of issues one can say in front of his parents. Some things are better left unsaid.


Urban grooves music bears the marks of our culture. Though it has got some hip-hop influences, it was born out of a deliberate seventy-five percent local content policy by the government of Zimbabwe in 2001. When urban grooves musicians sing their music, they point out to the social conditions they are seeing in Zimbabwe. Most of them have never been to America or Europe, its only that they grew up listening to reggae, Rhythm and Blues, and other international genres of music, and they are trying to fit in their experiences into the Zimbabwean society. Experiences are different, people who grew up at a different time may not understand them because of generational gaps. To say urban grooves music is a product of cultural imperialism would be an overstatement, there is a difference between cultural imperialism and blending cultures. Urban grooves musicians are blending cultures, they are using their own original lyrics taken from the daily lives of Zimbabwean people. While urban grooves musicians have role models from Western musicians they are doing a local rendition of what their counterparts in USA are doing.

Maskiri and Xtra Large hardly represents the urban grooves genre as a whole, they are just a part of it. Where Maskiri uses vulgar and obscene language, there are many other level-headed youths, whose lyrics are clean and their music is enjoyable. One can give the example of Leonard Mapfumo, his lyrics are just clear of any vulgarities, and one can not compare him to the likes of Maskiri. Urban grooves music is diversified, if one wants some enjoyable honied lyrics, the music of Betty Makaya will provide that with songs like -Handikanganwi’ (I will not forget), -Ndichange Ndiripo’ (I wil be there) and Mafrique’s -Ndokuudza sei’ (How can I tell you). Forv humour one can listen to Xtra Large’s -Small house’ or -Uri roja’ (You are a lodger). These songs are branded as meaningless while -Tea hobvu’ by Zexie Manatsa is hailed as a great song, yet the songs are similar in their treatment of humour. Life is not all about meaning. Urban grooves music talks of lighter moments. It is music from the hearts of -innocent’ youths whose perception of the world has not been dulled by the numerous injustices like their elderly counterparts.

According to Wonder Guchu:

-most of the old-timers harp about poverty, HIV and AIDS, unemployment, divorce and many such issues that leave people sadder and more grumpy, listen to Macheso singing about zvikwambo (goblins), and divorce, then tune in to Mtukudzi, mourning long gone relatives and reporting abusive fathers to the world. And if you are not satisfied, take on Cephas Mashakada who will remind you of your fate when you die. Or worse still take a trip with the melancholy Leonard Zhakata as he groans about inheritance, lost love and unfulfilled promises. Then Hosiah Chipanga his music is philosophic and sarcastic, reminding you of the world’s cruelty, irresponsibility and social injustices-.- (The Herald:12 May 2005)

This kind of music can dry up all hope for living because of its gloomness. The reason why the music of the likes of Miriam Makeba can still be enjoyable today, is because it was happy music, it told of the positive side of life. Former Power FM disc jockey, Chaka D, who is now based in the USA is one of those people who believe urban grooves music is wholly Zimbabwean and argues that;

–contrary to reports that the music was copied from R&B and hip-hop, urban grooves music is wholly Zimbabwean, identified with the youths, and one of the best things to ever happen to the airwaves. Just like what South Africans did with house music to come out with a brand of music known as kwaito, Zimbabwean youths have done the same wirh urban grooves music– (The Herald:13 May2005)

Urban grooves music is not just a Zimbabwean phenomenon. In Tanzania they call it Bongo Flavour and is played on radio to the delight of listeners. In Zambia, there is a musician called Danny who sings urban contemporary music with the skill of American R&B stars R.Kelly. (The Herald:7 Feb 2004) Isaac Nyambiya also argues that, -most groups in South Africa sing Kwaito which is defined is a -music genre that originated from Johannesburg, South Africa in early 1990s. It is based on American house music (aka Garage music) beats, albeit typically at a slower tempo than those usually found in house music.-What amazes me about the criticisms levelled against our own stars, is how they are labelled copy cats because they sing RnB songs in Shona or Ndebele, and hence they are said not to be original. But it’s OK if Mandoza or Mzekezeke from South Africa did the same.- ( ) Musicians all over the world have taken out something from each other’s music and it is now difficult to classify what is not Zimbabwean and what is Zimbabwean music. Globalization creates a lot of confusion, such that people do not understand whether they are being progressive or not, imitative or not and original or not. However one thing which is certain is that American culture has swallowed the whole world to the extent that others’ cultures are marginalized and disregarded.

Urban grooves musicians certainly lack cultural identity, but the environment in which they are has led them to be what they are today-a hybrid. What they are playing can be called Zimbabwean hip-hop.



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-For every writer, speaker or musician there is a finite set of possibilities that are available linguistically to express and talk about a subject or topic in a given social context- (Kwaramba 1997:12)The language used by an artist denotes a lot, as in relation to the artist’s background, social concerns and his or her position in the social structure. There is no such thing as neutral data, therefore ultimately all musical text is related to life experiences and situations. Music is the prime instance of the traffic of ideas up and down modes of representation. Discourse is actually shaped by power relations in society and therefore contributes to social continuity and change. Musical discourse is mainly configured in the domain of sound, language and metaphors of expressive gestures with the capacity to engage us in exploring structural change and new ways of construing the world.

Musical lyrics can be transcribed and be read as poetry. When sounds powerful enough to threaten existing situations emerge, interpretations, choices, tastes are made. However, going back to language, when an artist uses certain aspects of language, it is for a purpose. Language use also brings out a world view, and in this case it can be a European or African world view. In urban grooves music, there is a way in which they use language which is different from other genres of music. According to Kwaramba (1997:9), words do not carry the same meanings outside of the cultural and social contexts in which the texts are produced. Musicians use carefully chosen modes of expression which excludes other possibilities.

Choice of phrases, repetition of same words, mixture of both English and Shona or Ndebele languages, choice of titles of songs and albums gives interpretation of the musician’s intended message and ideology. This includes selection of certain linguistic expressions, keywords, social context, thematic concerns, symbolism and lexicalization. As social relations change, music also changes and this is reflected in urban grooves music. English is used as a medium of communication in schools and the media, and this also has got consequences in expressions used in music by the youths. Urban grooves musicians’ medium of expression will be examined.


-A spoken text is simply what is said in a piece of spoken discourse and the written text can be used to refer to a written transcription of what is said- (Fairclough 2001:20)Discourse refers to the whole process of social interaction of which a text is part and a text is product of the process of text production. Songs can be transcribed from spoken texts to written texts and therefore the text becomes a resource for text interpretation. People interpret texts through their knowledge of the language, representations of the natural and social worlds they inhabit, values, beliefs and assumptions.Texts produced have -footprints’ of social relations and the struggles generated. Different strategies are used by artists to put their ideas across. This includes the social conditions of production and social conditions of interpretation. (Fairclough 2001:21)However texts are interwoven with facial expressions and gestures. In this case the researcher will use videos of some songs by urban grooves musicians to analyze gestures and facial expressions. These are the extra-linguistic features.After the transcription of songs into written texts, Fairclough (2001) distinguishes three stages of critical discourse analysis which are: i) Description of the formal properties of a text ii) Interpretation which is categorized into six levels which include situational context, intertextual context, surface of utterance, meaning of utterance, local coherence and text structure. iii) Explanation concerns itself with the social determination of the process of production and interpretation and the social effects. Intertextual context can also refer to the historical series of society, and deciding which series a text belongs to. Explanations can also be drawn into three levels, that is explanation at society level, explanation at institutional level and at situational level mainly because people see or look at the same thing with different perspectives.


Language use reproduces culture from generation to generation, and the language used by urban grooves artists makes assumptions of their listeners or customers. All language is intertextual, it is shaped by prior texts, oriented to conventions and interpreted against the background of a very large corpus of linguistic experience (Stubbs 1996:92) It is against this background that the researcher will analyze word meaning and context used since all words are open to new uses and are flexible in their meanings to some extent. For a word to be branded obscene, there are reasons for that in our cultural context. There are therefore changing relations between occurrences in a text and the underlying language system. (Stubbs 1996). It is therefore necessary to identify linguistic mechanisms which convey ideologies and other things. Such analysis will show how grammar can help to explain the discourse of society, how different points can be explained by stylistic choices and how they can embody different ideologies.

The thematic concerns of the music of Maskiri and Xtra Large will therefore be analyzed vis–vis those of Western musicians, especially hip-hop music. They may use similar grammar to convey their ideas about women, life and many ethics about morality and society in general in the context of our Zimbabwean culture. Aspects of American culture, like rebelliousness, use of vulgarities and obscene language, will be analysed and examined in comparison with the thematic concerns of urban grooves music. Similarities in attire, types of dances, rhythm and lifestyle will also be analysed. These are the extra-linguistic features.


All the various methods used have their own deficiencies and limitations. Also, the study needed a great deal of time, and the time available was very inadequate. The transcription of songs needed individual attention such that the time taken was very long. A whole year of studying can be adequate. Notwithstanding these problems I tried my best by recording all interviews, and all lyrics were written down in as short a time as possible. The lyrics of the music of Eminem, Ice Cube and Tupac was taken from the internet.


The Chapter discussed methods of gathering data used in the research. To complement textual analysis, interviews with musicians and producers of music were carried out. Music videos of urban grooves musicians like Xtra Large were also used.




Nowadays there is rampant commercialization of music especially hip-hop music. Through globalization, many forms and transformations of hip-hop music can be seen in the world, especially third world countries like Zimbabwe. Many of its aesthetic values have been commercialized and ingrated into other people’s cultural values. Its ethics of love and authenticity to its problematic constructions of masculinities and femininities to its mass production and widespread consumption by many people has led to its transplantation on local cultures and people.

Now people seek identity and recognition through the religion of consumerism (Hertz 2001:115) In this way, people are looking for an overall context, which will enable them to understand the complexities of life in a world continually shaped by global influences and the difficulty of finding any sense of community. (Sennet 2000:175) One of the most important aspects of music is to share life experiences, social situations and make sense to different kinds of people.

However in urban grooves music, the older generation has got some reservations to their type of music, especially the use of obscene language in the music of the likes of Decibel, Xtra Large, Maskiri and many others. Urban grooves musicians have been therefore accused of imitating American superstars like Eminem. Music genres grow in a certain scenarios and social situations. Hip-hop music grew in certain social situations and, in Zimbabwe many people have been complaining that urban grooves musicians are imitating American musicians like Eminem and Tupac. The researcher used the music of Eminem and Tupac, looking at the themes of his music and what many critics point out as the deficiencies of his music vis–vis the music of local artists like Maskiri. Actually Maskiri once said, -Eminem is the American Maskiri- (The Sunday mail: 12 June 2004) The terms rap and rap music are often used to describe hip hop music; the terms rap music and hip hop music are generally synonymous, although rap music is sometimes used to describe hip hop songs without vocals. Hip hop music is also erroneously used at times to describe related genres of music, such as contemporary R&B, which are primarily sung, probably for increasing their commercial appeal; while singing is commonly present in hip hop tracks, the main vocal (if there are vocals) is always rapped.

This background from which hip-hop originates has undertones of the social conditions and values of the people. That is why we have themes like violence, it is because it is a scapegoat of the general ills of black communities and the general moral decay of American societies. According to Sollonzo (2004:35) hip-hop music can be considered an important step in the history of music because, for the first time, non-tonal aspects of speech, its emphasis and lyrism, are the most identifiable aspects of its vocalizations. However, taken together, its inter-textuality provides it with multiple intricate registers of meaning not easily discernable to a common observer. According to a research by The Journal of Popular Culture (Vol 38,No 6,2005), its regional similarities (in America) contributes to its national racial identity, although there are remarkable differences in each region’s idioms, narrative forms, construction of masculinities and femininities, and rhythmatic nuances. Therefore hip-hop is rooted in African-American culture. Accordingly, it consists of four elements: Djing, Emceeing, graffiti, and breakdancing. Even though, it consicts of many styles and sub-genres as it is combined with rock music, reggae and other music styles. ( Now the hip-hop genre has now been internationalized, so many people in different countries now do rap music. It seems now; hip-hop music is synonymous with violence, vulgar and obscene language and gangsterism. It now insists on rebellion especially if one listens to the songs of Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur. Allyene (2000:17) sees it as a protest against White supremacy.

In urban grooves music some critics have been arguing that some aspects of hip-hop music are reflected, which makes one question whether urban grooves music is truly Zimbabwean music considering the music’s cultural setting. Maskiri is one of those musicians who have been accused of imitating Eminem and hip-hop music in general. In this research the researcher will analyze many aspects of Maskiri’s music from rhythm, lyrical content, themes, attire and extra-linguistic features like facial expressions vis–vis Western musicians, and in this case Eminem and Tupac Shakur. Maskiri never made any videos of his songs, but the researcher will use the videos of national music galas which Maskiri participated in. Many say he is controversial, with a view to his lyrics and behaviour. Xtra Large’s music is mainly based on social commentary, though they have been accused of using obscene language which denigrates women.

This chapter will deal on the whole aspect of urban grooves music vis–vis globalization and cultural imperialism. Hip-hop music is the main focus.



One of the concurrent themes in both hip-hop and urban grooves music is the theme of violence, in which violence is glorified. The music of Maskiri is actually full of images of violent behaviour, something which is alien to our society. Hip-hop poster boy 50 Cent appears on the cover of Rolling Stone with the caption “Mastering The Art of Violence.” -When everyone else is talking about violence and riches, it’s tough to talk about more cerebral issues without being laughed at by your peers and being called soft. It is more difficult to try and make the masses buy it,” 50 Cent defends himself/ However, when the likes of Maskiri sing about violence in their music, it seems they would be misreading their context. The theme of violence permeates most of hip-hop music today. It is linked to drug use and dealings in drugs. Violence is part of hip-hop culture and American culture in general, but here in Zimbabwe, its different. Violence is one aspect of social ills and part of socially unacceptable behaviour in Zimbabwe.

In the song, -Hutsinye-, Maskiri says

-Inoita here muface wangu (Is this proper, my friend)

Chimoko chandakakanda paden pangu (The girl I threw in my house (married)

Ndasvika ndaona mukadzi achibvisa hembe, mukadzi wangu (I arrived to discover a woman removing her clothes, my wife)

Ndatenderera, ndobva ndatora simbi yangu (I went around and took my metal bar)

Unondisungira zvinhu but – ndoda kumbokurova (You bind things for me(refuse sexual intercorse) – I would like to beat you up)

Iwe zvese nabhambu wako iyeye muri two (You and your man, the two of you.)

Ndobva taposa tauraya, tatanga kutswanya mazino (We almost killed them, we started by crushing the teeth)

Ndobva tapisa mapictures emuchato We burnt the wedding pictures)

Ndobva ndatora ring yangu, ivo vachirwadziwa. (I took my ring with them still in pain-.)

In this song, Maskiri celebrates violence as a normal way of life. Though it happens in society that sometimes women are promiscuous, beating up the wife is not condoned in society. In this case, Maskiri advocates for violence against women in his music yet in our culture there are clear-formed channels of dealing with this situation. There are the elders in the family who are capable of dealing with these kinds of situations. However, here Maskiri looks at the situation from the point of view of someone who has been wronged, a man who has found his beloved wife in the matrimonial bed with another man. In reality and in certain situations what Maskiri does is the first instinct of many, a man in Zimbabwe does. There is nothing new in the situation that Maskiri presents but the tone by which he says it, will point out that Maskiri advocates for this as the ideal solution, which is wrong. Violence is not the solution in a marriage.

While Maskiri deals with violence in the marriage context, in American culture and music, violence is embedded in the society of Americans. While violence is a social reality, it must not be encouraged just as Maskiri and Eminem are doing. America glamorizes behaviours which are deemed as socially unacceptable, something which is different from Zimbabwean context.

In his song -Death Around the Corner-, Tupac sings:

-I am tired of getting ripped off by guys like that I want his family dead; I want his house burned to the ground I want to get there in the middle of the night I wanna piss on his head –. I want him dead, I don’t care- (Resurrection Soundtrack :2003)

Human life is valued so much in our Zimbabwean society, for Maskiri to present life as worthless is a mockery of the reality of our society. Maskiri apparently borrowed this concept of violence in his music from hip-hopmusic.

According to Smitherman (1997:51) -America for all her protest against violent rap lyrics has failed to acknowledge her role in the creation of this relatively new art form. Evidence of America’s preoccupation with violent activity is pervasive and can be found in virtually all of the entertainment industry. As a result of its prevalence in music, movies television and video games, America has nurtured an environment that some have come to call the culture of violence. (Smitherman 1997:51) Accordingly, rap music is not a genre created solely for profit. Deprivation and unequal opportunities nurtured the hopelessness, distrust and early death depicted in Tupac Shakur’s lyrics (Potter 1995:13). When Maskiri takes wholesale the concept of violence from American music it is a gross misreading of his context. Globalization has made it possible for the youths to watch and access movies and videos which portray life on the negative side such that they do not value life. In his song -Hutsinye-, beating up a wife is presented as heroic yet the opposite is true. In trying to court controversy, Maskiri chose to dwell on issues which are far-fetched and rare because these are isolated incidents for a man to use a crow bar to discipline his wife. Our society already regards promiscuity in marriage as a social ill but those are not stories which one can hear everyday so there is no reason for emphasizing them. -Hutsinye- can not be said to be social commentary because the advice is on the negative side of life, already because he trivializes life. In hip-hop music, singing about violence is a way of protest against the mainstream society. However in Zimbabwe one can not protest against a society which already abhors violence. What Maskiri is upholding is the American culture, what he forgets is that American musicians are doing this for a reason.

According to Richardson (2002:34):

-America’s urban centers in general and low-income minority communities in particular are replete with poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, educational inequality, high drop out rates and violence. The very governmental and social systems theoretically established to protect the poor have engendered distrust. A sense of powerlessness to change conditions grounded in complex social political and economic issues has led artists to seek ways to express their discontent. Rap music became a cathartic outlet-.

In the case of America musicians, rap music becomes a form of social commentary. Tupac became victim of the very violence he depicted in his music thereby becoming a rap icon. While violence is part of many black youths who grow up in urban slums, the case is different from here in Zimbabwe. According to Stokes (1994:2) music is not a thing, which happens in society, a society can also be usefully conceived as something which happens in music. In Maskiri’s music there is no concept of society. Music should evoke collective memories and present experiences of place with intensity, power and simplicity unmatched by any other social activity. It also organizes hierarchies of a moral and political order (Stokes 1994:3). Music becomes socially meaningful because it can provide means by which people recognize identities and sometimes to make distinctions between -us- and -them-. Music should therefore make us different from other people. Though there are socially relevant points of intersection points of departure should be clearly shown.

There is an over-representation of the criminal aspects of black American youth culture in music of many urban grooves musicians like Maskiri and Nasty-Trix among others. There is misrepresentation of black youth in Zimbabwe, they neglect the young Zimbabwean youth who just goes to church with his grandmother, it’s like as if each and every youth is doing it. There is no story about the positive aspects of black youth in Zimbabwe. They generalize issues without looking at other social truths. -In American black youth music, that’s where you get the materialism, the guns, and the absolute die-hard mentality for meaningless things. So if you add all those things to the history of black people in general, then you get a very bad mix. Giant record companies have made huge profits selling ghetto culture to the American mainstream. The drug trade and violence is dominating the ghettos. Then you have corporate America that makes a ton of money off of the culture that dominates within the ghettos. This is unprecedented. That’s the dominant reason why the music is the way it is-. (

For Maskiri to glorify violence and drug taking in his music is like taking all what is bad in America and try to transplant it on our Zimbabwean society. Maskiri uses the criminal element in the music of Eminem, 50 Cent and many other hip-hop artists to market his music, yet in our African culture criminality is abhorred and looked down upon. In the end his music becomes meaningless to many Zimbabwean people, because one of the main functions of music is to educate but in this case music is used to promote anti-social behaviour. But then you have the -Cop Killer’ song by Ice-T and it’s dangerous and threatening.

According to Rhymes (2007:5), -corporate media continue to attempt to divert attention from long-established institutional sexism, in order to depict Black youth culture as the vector of the disease. The American reality is one of pervasive celebration of violence, in general, and violence against women, in particular. Black rappers, who are owned and controlled by white corporations, did not create this culture of violence and misogyny, but are made the scapegoats for a much deeper national social crisis – a landscape in which The Godfather and Goodfellas are revered as “classic” films-. What is a national crisis in America is just imported into the music of Maskiri to the extent that the difference between Maskiri and many a hip-hop musician is not clarified. Maskiri therefore becomes a cultural implant of American cultural values especially black American youths’ values. His music does not negotiate the difference between him and Eminem or 50 Cent. The problem with Maskiri is that he actually stereotypes Zimbabwean society as inherently violent, which is actually a gross exaggeration of socio-cultural values in our society. The misogyny, homophobia and glorified violence in American society and popular culture is being taken out of context by urban grooves musicians. – If anyone really wants to see rampant white sexual behavior, allthey have to do is to take a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or Padre Island, Texas, to see the corporate (usually beer company) sponsored wet t-shirt contests and strip shows for and by white college students, the de rigueur wild drunkenness and carefree drug use, let alone the promiscuous stranger pick-ups and sexual free-for-alls back at the hotels. This involves mostly white late-teen and 20-something kids – male and female-. ()”>>) For Maskiri to glorify sex especially in the song -Zimhamha’(Sugar Mummy), is a pure imitation of American culture where sex is talked of openly.


In our African societies promiscuity is not encouraged especially for married women, it becomes a moral evil. It should not be taken for granted, therefore that people are promiscuous. However, this different in the music of Maskiri. Promiscuity becomes part and parcel of normal life and he encourages it. In the song -Mbira dzaMaskiri-, he sings:

-Vamwe varume vanondivenga (Some men hate me)

Nokuti vanoziva kuti ndinovatorera vakadzi vavo (Because they know I take away their wives from them-.)

While it is true that one can be hated for proposing love to one’s wife, yet it is socially deplorable for one to blame a married man for being angry when his wife is committing adultery. It defies all logic that Maskiri has the guts to say that he is hated because he is being adulterous with someone’s wife. In Maskiri’s music, what is normal is subverted and turned upside down. In all cultures, marriage is scared. For one to make fun of an issue which is the locus point of any community in the world is a gross distortion of social reality. Maskiri’s music elicits gross immaturity. It is actually a taboo in society for one to go around claiming to be in a relationship with somebody’s wife. The theme of Eminem’s song -Stan- also revolves around promiscuity and he says:

-I never knew my father neither He always used to cheat on my mom an beat her- (Curtain Call album:2005)

This actually happened as he shows on his autobiographical film -8 miles-. However, in Maskiri’s case, he places himself as the center of attention, always being the clever guy who -takes- other people and always gets away with it. While this kind of fantasy appeals to the younger generation, risky and socially unacceptable behaviour is never part f our cultural identity.

It is far too simplistic to portray artists, as perpetrators of behaviours deemed socially deviant without placing the artists and their life experiences context. Rap music is one example and expression of the culture of violence. One of the reasons why rap music has captured the attention of youths worldwide across distinctions of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic class and catapulted its progenitors to wealth is because of teen identification with lyrics that appear to be grounded in the features of adolescent identity development. Youths look for models to shape their behaviour and values. (Cavallaro 2002:34). Given the hours of exposure to real and fictitious characters engaging in violence, violent escapades and anti-social behaviour some people come to believe violence is not only -normal- but also admirable. His role models are mainly Western musicians. Maskiri says he gets inspiration from the likes of Nas, Escobar, Mob Deep and Extra Large. (The Herald 24 January 2004) This raises important issues about identity.

Even though one should understand that Maskiri is singing of violence in the context of -life situations in Zimbabwe’. -I sing about what people are afraid of speaking- (The Sunday Mail:12 June 2005). However, when he says in the song -Mbira dzaMaskiri-.

-Ini ndinotopenga, miyedzo ndinotoilavha (I am very crazy, and I really love temptations)

Ende ndinotopenga, kuuraya munhu handitomboramba (I am really mad, I won’t refuse to kill a person-)

this is not what people fear to say, but is very unnecessary to be said. Many people kill for money but there is no point in glorifying it. According to Fred Zindi (interview: 12 May 2007) for Maskiri to glorify violence is going against the virtues of our society, to have -unhu-, in the end his music becomes meaningless to our people in society. Maskiri promotes life on the negative side. Maskiri has evil arrogance. What we can end up having is a society without any moral and ethical values. Maskiri fantasizes a lawless society just like Tupac who considered himself an -outlaw-. In his song -Outlaw’he sings

-Outlaw, Outlaw, Outlaw (They came in to sin) Outlaw, Outlaw, Outlaw (Dear God, I wonder could you save me?) [Tupac] Before I close my eyes I fantasize I’m livin well when I awake and realize I’m just a prisoner in hell Just as well, cause in my cell I’m keepin pictures of these bastards Excersisin, visualizin, everyone inside a casket Picture me blasted, surrounded by niggaz in masks Sent with the task to harass and murder my ass Will I last? Heaven or Hell? Freedom or jail? Shit’s hard, who can you tell? And if we fail? High speeds, and thai weed on the freeway When will they learn to take it easy? Uh Drivebys and niggaz die, murder without a motive by making mother******* fry Got me runnin from these coward-a** crooked-a** cops Helicopters tryin to hover over niggaz til we drop ot no time for the courts, my only thought is open fire Hit the district attorney, but f*** that bitch, cause she’s a lie-

In trying to rebel against society’s values, Maskiri risks loss of identity in his music. Most of his music is just fantasy. By using the first person -I-, Maskiri emphasizes individualism rather than community. Maskiri speaks at individual level rather than at society, he can not be the voice of the voiceless. In trying to be different from his own society he becomes a pariah. In Zimbabwe we have a culture of respect and stability driven by beliefs, behaviors, habits, traditions, morals, and values To sing a song means to be understood, if his music cannot be understood, then it becomes meaningless. Individualism itself is part of American culture. Most hip-hop artists use the first person -I- in their music as a symbol of individualism and freedom of expression. While it is not wrong to use the pronoun -I- in his music, the problem comes when the pronoun -I- alienates him from his cultural values. When Maskiri says:

(-Miyedzo ndinoilavha-) -I love temptations-,

He is speaking on behalf of himself than of his society.According to Chezet (2007:87) promiscuity is a social ill in America just as anywhere in the world, but in hip-hop music promiscuity is always associated with the pleasures of secrecy, outwitting somebody and the ideology of rebelling against what society values. According to Sollonzo (2007:95) rebellion itself is part of American culture, the American Republican government marketed Eminem and his music in the Middle East thereby making him a cultural icon and making rebellion part of America youths’ values.While rebellion against cultural values can be fashionable in countries like America, here in Zimbabwe our cultural values are still intact. According to Rose (1994:36),

-Some musicians are overwhelmed by the consciousness of other music they struggle to make any sense of them and incorporate them, in the end they make the whole thing complex and difficult to understand. The idea of the pleasure of unexpected juxtapositions sometimes serves the purpose of achieving meaningless..-

Maskiri shocks people by some of the issues he sings about because they are too secular to be understood by everyone. Our Zimbabwean society is predominantly composed of mainly Christians and those who believe in African traditional religion (Kusangaya 1984:37). Both groups’ values do not promote promiscuity. Maskiri seems to live in his own world. In response to accusations of singing about issues far removed from our cultural identity Maskiri defended himself saying:

-In my music, I always try to be different, my style is unique-. I shock people by singing what they do not expect. I am tired of the songs of praise, I sometimes look at the other side of life especially the tingling sensation and joy of doing what many people think is bad (The Standard :13 July 2005).

However, in trying to be different Maskiri loses his cultural setting. The setting of what he sings about happens is in his head only. Even though, his music carries the contradictory tendencies of society as a whole. People think different things and nobody can blame them. According to Hall and Jefferson (2006:87), subcultures always borrow from the dominant cultures, inflecting and inverting its signs to create a bricolage in which signs of the dominant culture are there and recognizable as such, but constituting a new and different whole. This is what Maskiri’s music is like. In trying to be unique, Maskiri is consciously reproducing the dominant ideologies of the culture of other people. It may not be his fault because most of the youths were socialized in a society very much influenced by global images in televisions and on Internet and movies do the same. However, his freedom of speech becomes too much as it goes over cultural boundaries of acceptance. While American youths especially those who are poor, get money through gangsterism, Maskiri points out the bad in our society especially witchcraft. So many stories of people who use goblins have appeared in the newspapers, so goblins become a reality of Shona cultural belief. In his songs -Madam Mombeshora’, -Hutsinye’(Cruelty) and -Zimhamha’(Sugar mummy), Maskiri promotes violence against women, in which women are seen as sexual objects, the main theme is about sex with a sugar mummy (Zimhamha). While in our society, promiscuity is not condoned Maskiri actually promotes it. This makes him to be no different from the likes of Justin Timberlake in their songs especially his hit song -Sexy Back’ which goes on like this:

– I’m bringing sexy back Them other boys don’t know how to act I think your special what’s behind your back So turn around and I’ll pick up the slack Them other f**kers don’t know how to act Come let me make up for the things you lack Cause you’re burning up I gotta get it fast!- Or, there’s other song lyrics, -She’s hopped up on me Her body’s pressed up on me I think she’s ready to blow Baby all you gotta do is Just tell me which way you like that.- Or, -She’s freaky and she knows it / She’s freaky and I like it.- Or, -Well I’mma freak you right, each and every night.-

Some of the songs which are sexually explicit and denigrate women are -Can You Control Yo Hoe- and -Break a Bitch Til I Die,- by Snoop Dogg, formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg. In Zimbabwean youth like the likes of Maskiri this can be the result of advertising seen on many commericials from America and Europe, many of the commercial adverts which assert patriarchal attitudes and debase women. Sex is romanticized and appealing such that many youths in third world countries wish they could also do it in their respective countries, hence the likes of Maskiri are coming up with this kind of lyrical obscenity.


According to Sollonzo (2007:34) -The late 1990s saw the rise in popularity of the “bling bling” lifestyle in rap music, focusing on symbols of wealth and status like money, jewelry, cars, and clothing. Although references to wealth have existed since the birth of hip hop, the new, intensified “bling bling” culture has its immediate roots in the enormously commercially successful late-to-mid nineties work (specifically, music videos) of Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records as well as Master P’s No Limit Records. However, the term was coined in 1999 (see 1999 in music) by Cash Money Records artist B.G. on his single Bling Bling, and the Cash Money roster were perhaps the epitome of the ” bling bling” lifestyle and attitude.

Though many rappers, mostly gangsta rappers, unapologetically pursue and celebrate bling bling, others, mostly artists outside of the hip hop mainstream, have expressly criticized the idealized pursuit of bling bling as being materialistic- The sometimes egotistic and degenerate attitudes often portrayed in the lyrics and videos of certain hip hop artists have shown negative effects on some of their idolizing fans especially in the music of urban grooves musicians. One can give the example of Xtra Large, who said their music is similar to that of hip-hop artists because they grew up listening to many Rhythm and Blues musicians like Tupac, Dr Dre among others.

A simple look at the cover of their album “Small House” will confirm that. While the attitudes of specific artists certainly do not represent the rest of the hip hop or urban grooves community, however the effect of lyrical content on youths who are part of the hip hop acculturation is debatable, very often such youths adopt the much glamourized “gangsta” persona while not being members of any gang. Often these personas incite anti-social behavior such as peer harassment, neglect towards education, rejection of authority, and petty crimes such as vandalism. While the majority of listeners are able to distinguish entertainment from lessons in social conduct, an evident pseudo-gangsta sub-culture has risen amongst many urban grooves youths.

Since the mid-1980s rap music has greatly influenced both black and white culture in North America. Much of the slang of hip-hop culture, including such terms as -dis, fly, def, chill, and wack’, have become standard parts of the vocabulary of a significant number of young people of various ethnic origins. Many rap enthusiasts assert that rap functions as a voice for a community without access to the mainstream media. According to advocates, rap serves to engender self-pride, self-help, and self-improvement, communicating a positive and fulfilling sense of black history that is largely absent from other American institutions. The glamour and -bling bling’ that is shown in many videos of urban grooves musicians is a reminder of its origin in hip-hop music in America.

Kanye West’s album, “College Drop Out”, has a track called “Breathe in, Breathe Out”. During the song West rhymes:

Golly more of that bullshit ice rap I got to apologize to Mos (Def) and (Talib) Kweli But is it cool to rap about gold If I told the world I copped it from Ghana and Mali? First ni**a with a Benz and a backpack Ice chain, Cartier lens, and a napsack Always said if I rapped I’d say something significant But now I’m rappin’ ’bout money, hoes, and rims again And it’s still about the Benjamins (College Drop Out:2003)

These lyrics exemplify urban life in Black American communities, all across America. Kanye is not actually taking a stand against materialism but he is highlighting it.


According to Firth (1987:149), what music can do is to put into play a sense of identity that may or may not fit well the way we are put by other social facts. The culture of hip-hop has become the nexus from which the youth, particularly lower income black youngsters can create their values, define their selfhood, and express their heightened consciousness of violence and its implications against a social backdrop that has historically devalued colour and contributions of black people (Smithermann :1997:56) Violence, misogyny, and drug-use are all part of the gangster mentality of many black American youths. These kind of lyrics are associated with the likes of Ice-T who sang -Cop Killer’. Tupac Shakur says in his song, “Loyal to the game”

“I got some killas on my payroll and they know When its time to handle business nigga lay low Although I’m young I’m still comin up I’m gettin paid pullin razors on niggas when they runnin up The first to pull the strap when theres drama Buster you ain’t heard? I been slicin motherfuckers since I lost my mama There ain’t a cop that can stop me My posse is cocky and they don’t wait until they drop me I’m loyal to the game I do my thing respect my hustle I ain’t playin (Nigga I’m loyal to the game) You get in my way and I cock and pop that thing (Man I’m loyal to the game) If you know what I know then you know I ain’t playin(I’m loyal to the game) Nigga get in my way and I’ll blow out your brain” (Loyal To The Game: 2004)

However, Maskiri is different from the likes of Tupac because his lyrics are a bit toned down. Maskiri’s lyrics are not as dangerous and threatening as those of the likes of Eminem, Ice-T, Tupac or 50 Cent. When Maskiri sings about drugs, it would be not-so-harmful drugs like mbanje/marijuana. When many rap musicians sing about drugs, they would be referring to very dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin. In the above song by Tupac, the tone is serious and this leaves one with the feeling that he had the capability to do it. The problem with Maskiri is that one never knows whether he means what he is singing or not. What is supposed to be humour is just juxtaposed with seriousness. In the song , -Mbira dzaMaskiri’, he sings:

” Ndine chikwambo chiri paden,chinodimbura misoro yevanhu (I have got a goblin at my house which cut people’s heads)

Saka tobva tanotengesa kana kuchinjisa kuJoza (For sale or exchange in Jo’burg)

ndinotamba njuga pamwechete nokusvuta fodya (I gamble, together with smoking)

Kana ari mukadzi, ndinoita muprofita wenhema (If it’s a woman I pretend to be a prophet)

Murume wacho ndikamuvhoisira anozochema (If I threaten the husband, he can cry)

Ndikamutema nebhodhoro, anosonwa mastich (If I hit him with a bottle, he will be stitched (on the wound)

Ndotanga kumuseka, ndine freedom of speech (Then I laugh at him, I have got freedom of speech)

Vakomana vamazuva ano havazi bho-o, ava makwayi ane nguwo dzewaya (The youths of today are not alright, they are sheep in clothes of wire)

Vanoshereketa, vanemisikanawa, kana vabereki havachateerera (They are wayward, they do not even listen to their parents”)

In this way Maskiri is true to his context, he does not refer to any guns. He uses the pronoun -I’ to refer to some social issues in society, of men who pretend to be prophets in order to lure women into sex. The use of goblins is part of the witchcraft associated with our culture, but Maskiri’s message is lost in bragging about all this, such that it becomes meaningless to listen to music which concentrates on negative social issues considering that his target in his music are the youth. By encouraging rape of women, his music lacks any moral, ethical or social values of our society. One of the functions of music is to educate, yet Maskiri’s music is the epitome of the gross exaggeration about our cultural values. In the skit, he says

– Madzihwa promotions inokupakurirai live bash kumba kwaMaskiri (Madzihwa promotions present to you a live bash at Maskiri’s house)

Pfambi,hwahwa, zvose zvinenge zviriko,.. tuvana twechikoro,hwahwa) (Prostitutes, beer, all will be there, …school children, beer)

Mbanje, mapiritsi anodhaka (Marijuana and intoxication pills-)

In the skit, Maskiri lists all social ills and encourages people to participate in them. This is a vain attempt at uniqueness and controversy by the artist. Maskiri tries to discredit his music by singing nonsense. He is no different from Eminem who sings in an almost identical way in hios song, -Role model’

- I came to the club with a fake ID Don’t you wanna grow up to be just like me! I’ve been with 10 women who got HIV Now don’t you grow up to be just like me I got genital warts and it burns when I pee’ (Encore: 2004)

By singing all aspects of anti-social behaviour, Maskiri and Eminem are just trying to sell their music by being unconventional. This shows a cynical attitude to life prevalent among many, a hip-hop artist. Many artists are like children, and most will say and do what is not expected of them in order to benefit financially. There is definite self-examination that needs to take place within the artist community, the lion’s share of the blame falls also on the enablers who only empower voices of negativity. Their music is hedonistic, a doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. There is absence of any commitment to kids or family – thugs just don’t really care, this is the kind of behaviour one sees in the music of Maskiri.

But truth of the matter is that people want to be loved. Even 50 Cent says: -I want them to love me like they loved Tupac. But we loved Pac because he was a conflicted soul that represented the war of Armageddon going on inside of our own minds. Sometimes he was for the Black freedom struggle (“Changes”) and sometimes he was the antithesis of it (“America’s Most Wanted”). Sometimes he was for Black women (“Keep Ya Head Up”) and the next thing you know, we were all groupie bitches that just wanted him for sex or money (“I Get Around”). But I know that Tupac wanted to be loved and he knows that somebody did love him (“Dear Mama”). (

Maskiri wants to be loved and appreciated by people, just as they do in America, but he forgets that, in Africa, our music is always rooted in our way of life, and what he sings about is not our way of life.

In many of his songs, Maskiri encourages promiscuity, and many issues which the society considers social ills. His song’Mbira dzaMaskiri’, goes on like this:

-ini ndinotopenga, ende miyedzo ndinotoilavha handitomboramba-varume vanondivenga vanoziva kuti ndinovatorera vakadzi vavo Tuma-underage ndinotunyenga-

(-I am crazy and I love temptations I wont refuse-men who hate/jealousy me know that I take away their wives I propose love even to the under-aged…-)

P> Such are the lyrics of Maskiri, such that many think he is a cultural misfit. In our Shona culture, promiscuity is not encouraged and it is a taboo to propose love to a married woman. However, here Maskiri projects this as a point of pride, which everybody must emulate. The point Maskiri is making is that he does not care for other people’s feelings which is in sync with the spirit of individualism projected by many an American artist. When he says: -tuma under-age ndinotunyenga -(I propose love even to the under-aged ), this shows the immaturity of an artist who want to make sense of nonsense. In this case, proposing love to the under-aged means literally sleeping with young girls, which is called statutory rape under the law. He is trying to be an outlaw, since he knows that it is something not allowed under the Zimbabwean law. He seems trying to be an outlaw of the model of the likes of Tupac Shakur. Sometimes it baffles the mind that Maskiri would literally complain that men are jealousy of his prowess in getting their wives. These are some of the American values that are reflected in our urban grooves music today. According to Salifor (2005:34), some White men actually exchange wives for a few days just for the fun of it. However in the Zimbabwean cultural context this is a taboo. One is left with the feeling that what Maskiri is singing is hardly real, just fantasy. This -I-do-what-I-want’ attitude is also found in the music of Eminem, this idea of being a cultural rebel and expressing yourself in any way. It becomes music for music’s sake. The anti-social -The way I am – by Eminem goes like this:

-I’m not Mr. N’Sync, I’m not what your friends think I’m not Mr. Friendly, I can be a prick If you tempt me my tank is on empty (is on empty).. No patience is in me and if you offend me I’m liftin you 10 feet (liftin you 10 feet).. in the air I don’t care who is there and who saw me destroy you Go call you a lawyer, file you a lawsuit I’ll smile in the courtroom and buy you a wardrobe I’m tired of arguin’ (of arguin’).. I don’t mean to be mean but that’s all I can be is just me- (CurtainCall:2005)

The music of both Eminem and Maskiri enunciates a language of radical social critique and the idea of always being a public enemy, just being against everyone. However in Zimbabwe, those issues are out of context since hip-hop music is rooted in the cultural tradition of being dispossessed and express anger at the perceived enemy. Maskiri use the hip-hop ideology of the likes of Eminem and Tupac of being against everything and everyone.

However, one can not simply dismiss Maskiri’s music as mere hogwash. His music has a cultural setting in Zimbabwe and he sings about what is happening in Zimbabwe, only that he borrows a foreign style in critiquing the characteristics of the social life of many Zimbabweans nowadays. a language of radical social critique, in the spirit of Public Enemy.


Maskiri has always been accused of imitating Eminem in his music especially on the use of obscenities, their unlimited freedom of expression, utter disregard for society’s values and denigration of women.

4.3.1 Use of obscenities in the language of Maskiri and Eminem

In their music, both Eminem and Maskiri use vulgar language. Probably it is a way of marketing their music. Many musicians feel they can justify the use of obscenities by putting an explicit language tag which reads: -Musateerera nevabereki zvinonyangadza- on the sleeve of the albums but many people still feel its wrong for radio stations to play music with explicity language. Some of the music used by the likes of Maskiri denigrates women especially the song -Zimhamha-(Sugar Mummy) where he says:

-Uri mwana Maskiri (You are too young Maskiri)

Zvemakore hazvina basa sugar mummy x 2 (Age doesn’t matter)

Rudo injuga semakasi (Love is a form of gambling)

Ndiri zimhamha-a-a Zi sugar mummy (I am a sugar-mummy, A big sugar mummy )

Chembere mukadzi hazvienzani nehanzvadzi (An old woman is a better than my own sister)

Zviri nani sugar mummy mukaita rangu gadzi (It’s better for you sugar mummy to become my wife)

Ndoita bhuru, imi moita mombe hadzi (I will be the bull and you will be the heifer.-)

In this song, Maskiri uses obscene language not expected in society. By promoting sexual intercourse with older women (sugar-mummy) Maskiri goes against the norms and values of society. According to Gelfand (199:38) the issue of young women ad men being involved with older men and women came with urbanization and the so-called modernity. In Shona societies, children are taught good manners from a young age.

According to Mutsvairo (ed) (1996:52) -High morality is upheld in indigenous African homes and societies. People are encouraged to do -good’ and chastised for -wrong’ doing. The culturally defined -goodness’ in indigenous African societies include undertaking errands with pleasure, upholding the spirit of industry, cherishing -truth’ having respect for life and properly constituted authority, promoting honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, hospitality, selflessness, virtuousness, generosity, reciprocity, neatness and courage-.

In Shona societies sex, which is the basis for continuity of life, is given a sacred place in marriage. However, in the music of Maskiri sex is taken as a form pleasure without any clear purpose. According to Masasire in Mutsvairo (1996:53) in Shona culture a girl should not allow a man to touch her shoulders, and neither should the same happen to a boy. It is a taboo. Those morals are reinforced with folktales. Such is the warning of society. However, in the song -Zimhamha- (Sugar mummy), it is actually Maskiri who negotiates for sex. The language used by Maskiri is full of sexual undertones and metaphors referring to sex like when he sings:

-Ndoita bhuru, imi moita mombe hadzi- (I will be the bull and you become the heifer.)

In our society, talking about sex is a cultural taboo. It cannot be said so easily just like that. As part of cultivating -unhu- good personality there is actually what is called sex education. Being taught sexual tactics by a sugar-mummy is out of our cultural context. -Unhu- is attained by one’s plausible performance of one’s roles in society. In singing about sex Maskiri depicts lack of -unhu- (good cultural manners).

Maskiri is actually trying to be like Eminem who sings about killing his wife and uses unprintable words in his lyrics especially in his song -Just Don’t Give A F *** where he says:

-Go run and tell your friends my s** is wack I just don’t give a f*** But see me on the street and duck Straight From The Lab EP: 2004)

In using sexually explicit language Maskiri is actually copying Eminem. However, most of the explicitness of his language is hidden in the use of metaphors and symbols, which refer to sex. In almost all of his songs, Eminem always uses the words -f*** or motherf***-. The idea of a society, which does not respect women and sees them as sexual objects is foreign. Maskiri also uses sexually explicit language in his song -Madam Mombeshora- even though one can urge that Maskiri’s language in his music is not sexually explicit but sexually suggestive. He does not use many of the words the likes of Eminem or most hip-hop artists use. Even though, Maskiri talks of love which is sexual in its nature, instead of agape love advocated by many in society. His kind of love can be said to be narcissistic – excessive love or admiration of oneself; a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.

Both Maskiri and Eminem are deemed controversial by their societies. This is so because of their radical lyrics with focus on anti-social behaviour. Besides, they concur on themes like violence, promiscuity, treatment of women as sexual objects and individualization. Their use of language as a tool for gross self-expression is also one remarkable similarity in their music particularly their use of vulgar and obscenities.

Apart from the above similarities one can also find out that some titles of songs by Eminem is similar to the titles of songs by Maskiri. For example the song -Evil Deeds- by Eminem is similar to Maskiri’s -Mabasa Erima- (Works of the dark world) in the Shona language. Eminem mentions other artists in his music, mainly as a way to diss them especially in the song -My name is-, where he signs:

-But I can’t figure out which Spice Girl to impregnate And Dr Dre said -Slim Shady you a base head- Curtain Call :2005)

Maskiri does the same though in a neutral tone, in the song -Ndakafa- (I died) where he says

-VaElias Musakwa ndakasangana nemumwe musikana (Mr Elias Musakwa, I met this girl MaJo’burg)

Elias Musakwa is a respected Church Pastor in Zimbabwe.

In the skit -Christian FM-, Maskiri actually pokes fun at Pastor Stanley Gwanzura who is a gospel singer when he says -:

VOICE OF DJ: Ende nziyo dzenyu dzinoti maslang (And your songs are full of slang)

Maskiri replies:Unoziva chi-i, ukabvunza Pastr G-String Mwari, so (You know what, even if you ask Pastor G-String, God so)

Mwari – e- vanonzwa zvose zvaunosasa, even (God hears everything you say, even)

Ukasasa nesign language (if you speak in sign language.)

Attacking each other in songs, which are sung, is all part of American culture particularly in hip-hop music. In Zimbabwe, most artists do not use unveiled attacks on each other. It is never as clear as Maskiri shows it to be. While -Blue Movie- is the title of an album by Maskiri, the song -Scary Movie- by Eminem is similar due to the fact that they both refer to movies. And also the arrogance which is synonymous with Eminem is also evident in Maskiri especially in his real life. In his song -The way I am-, Eminem sings

-I’m not Mr N’Sync, I’m not what your friends think I’m not Mr Friendly, I can be a prick no patience is in me and if you offend me I’m lifting you 10 feet in the air’ (Curtain Call :2005)

This whole aspect of arrogance without any humility is part of Maskiri replied saying that, -people do not understand us, but it does not mean that I will stop what I am singing now, I will produce something even worse. That’s our style and nothing can change that (The Manica Post: 6 November 2006). This -I-can-do-anything-attitude- in the music of Maskiri is all part of hip-hop music, which emphasizes rebellion.


There is the disregard for religion in hip-hop music. To Maskiri and Eminem their belief in Christianity is mixed with mockery for what Christian values point at. It seems they worship this act of individualism and arrogance. Street lingo is used to describe the greatness of God. Maskiri actually refers to God as -Dhara rangu- (My dear old man). Glory for God is always associated with materialism. In the song, -Criminal (who you thought I was)- Eminem sings:

-Right, Ken? Give me an Amen (AAA-men) Please Lord, this boy needs Jesus Heal this child, help us destroy these demons Oh and please send me a brand new car And a prostitute while my wife’s sick in the hospital-

God is taken as someone who provides and the same God will even provide a prostitute and a brand new car. In his song -Mwari Ngaakoreswe- Maskiri mocks those who go to church and blames God for giving him eyes which are covetous. In the end Maskiri sings what most people believe is blasphemy. For example in the skirt -Christian FM- which is a form of an interview with a disc jockey on radio, Maskiri says:

-D.J. Brown :Zvamunonzi makaonekwa neshamwari yenyu vanonzi Pastor ani gara zviya? (It is said you were seen together with your friend, what is the name of the Pastor by the way? )

Maskiri:G-String (G-String )

DJ Brown:Makaonekwa muchihushapira nemazigadzi, nevanhu vakasarurama (You were seen drinking together with some women, and people of bad moral reputation.)

Maskiri:Yaiva mvura yakasanganiswa, ndakadhailuta (It was mixed water, diluted)

DJ Brown:Ndanzwa kuti mune collaboration yamuchaita naPastor Last. (I heard that you have got a collaboration with Pastor Last.)

Maskiri: Pastor havadi kunamata, pamwe ndinotombovaudza kuti (The Pastor doesn’t want to pray, I sometimes tell him that) handei kuchechi kunonamata, Hatichaita zvataisiita (we need to go to church and pray, we no longer have the old habit) zvekunwa hwahwa, mazifodya nemazigadzi (of drinking beer, smoking and prostitution

DJ Brown: Ndinofunga mafara pano paChristian FM, wenyu I believe you enjoyed here at Christian FM, yours

Mr Brown.

This shows Maskiri’s lack of a philosophy in his life. He courts controversy, just for the sake of being controversial. He goes to church and at the same time is a drunkard, and actually invites Pastors to church. While it is true that there are some people who are hypocritical Maskiri justifies drinking and justifies going to church in the same way condemns going to church and condemns also drinking beer. In the end, his music lacks any forms of rational meaning, just being against everything and yet doing everything. Even though, this is a reminder to the hypocrisy of some members of our society who lack direction in their lives, whereby good and evil is all part of the normal processes of life.

While Christianity is not part of African traditional religion, it extols the same virtues as our African traditional culture. Gelfand (1973:82) lists the virtues of African religion especially the Shona culture as, truth (kutaura chokwadi), humility (kuzvidukupisa) love (rudo nechido) sympathy (tsitsi) self-discipline (kuzvibata) to forgive (kuregerera) pity (urombo nenyasha) and rectitude (ururami) among other things

Related Articles – Globalization and how it affects cultures of other people through, even loss of identity, and loss of cultural values,

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URBAN GROOVES MUSIC IN ZIMBABWE A case study of how American music influences other cultures and identities

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In Zimbabwe music has always held a special place among the people. Zimbabwean music is always intertwined with the country’s political history. During the war of liberation, Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) launched its own private radio station called Voice of Zimbabwe, which broadcasted from Maputo, Mozambique. The party’s choirs used to sing militant songs, which were, broadcasted on the station as a moral-booster for the guerilla fighters and their peasant supporters. Music became part of the liberation war strategy2. Even after independence in 1980 many of the choirs continued to sing and record many political songs like Zvinozibwa ne Zanu and Taireva by the ZANU Choir.

Other musicians of the liberation struggle era include the likes of Thomas Mapfumo whose fame rose around 1967. Mapfumo blended traditional Shona mbira music with Western instruments and a political message with traditional metaphors. During the 1960s he used to sing very militant political songs, which were very popular among the people fighting for independence. According to Turino (2000:174), -..Some of the music was used to generate an emotional force which nationalism required-. This formed the basis for nationalist discourse.

When a musical fad called urban grooves hit the Zimbabwean market following the introduction of the 75 percent local policy on broadcasting in 2001, a number of critics whined and sentenced them to death. They were accused of being copycats of American musicians especially hip hop musicians. Though they use indigenous languages in their music, they are still branded as being unoriginal. Many urban grooves musicians have produced soul-lifting and enjoyable music which is popular among the youth . The youth of today have a burning passion for a career in music, especially when they see musicians of their age gracing important occasions and childhood friends making headlines for their stage perfomances and celebrity lifestyles. This has led many to try their luck in the music business when they realize the attention their peers attract in the streets and wish they could be the toast of their fans3. However in some cases passion has taken precedence over talent because some of them are pushed by the desire to be heard and seen when they lack talent and seriousness. In the end, they end up imitating American musicians in order to gain recognition. (The Herald: 15 feb 2004)

However urban grooves is not a Zimbabwean phenomenon. From Zimbabwe to Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, the urban contemporary music is now the in-thing and the most talked about genre with most of it being played on African radio stations. One can now enjoy music sung in isiNdebele, KiSwahili or Bemba even if these are foreign languages.(The Herald :7 feb 2004) .In urban grooves music, local beats are fused with R&B, soul, soul, reggae and hip-hop to come out with a different blend. This new wave seems to have a contagious effect and is still spreading all over Africa. In Tanzania it is known as Bongo Flavour. (The Herald 7 Feb 2004). When the government of Zimbabwe introduced the seventy-five percent local content, the aim was to produce something which is African and home-grown. While urban grooves music is home-grown, yet effects of globalization on their music take center stage with some claiming that they lack Zimbabwean identity. With the rise of the urban grooves music genre, some traditional recording companies were not keen to sign them because they lacked experience in music production, hence the poor quality of their music. (The Sunday Mail:8 May 2004) In 2001 Elliot Manyika, the then Minister of Youth, Development and Employment Creation recorded an album Mwana wevhu (Son of the Soil) with the praise song Nora that praised President Robert Mugabe. The government started releasing a series of campaign jingles like, -Chave Chimurenga, Ramba Wakashinga, and Sendekera mwana wevhu- among others, but all meant to promote government policies.

In replacing the -banned’ songs with its own commissioned music, the government wanted to kill two birds with one stone, that is killing protest music and making sure the rebellious musicians’ music is not bought thereby forcing them into submission.This caused many ordinary people to shun national radio and television with attention swayed to international music using satellites especially in urban areas. Some people felt there was too much propaganda in national broadcasting content5. In 2005, an international website promoting the rights of musicians had this to say on the broadcasting content policy of the government:

-Zimbabwe, suffering under sanctions, shut out from the international community, responding to its own deep resonance of its own sounds, seeing plots and conspiracies all around it-.hence the need of -feel good art’ in which state radio and television are replete with propaganda jingles- ( “>> 2005)

What was emphasized during this period was liberation struggle nationalist culture.

In 2001, the Minister of Information and Publicity had announced that it was now compulsory for all radio and television stations to allocate a staggering seventy-five percent of all programming to local productions 6.The government banned international songs on Power FM, as it introduced the one hundred percent local content on the radio station. The government hid under the banner of -reAfricanisation’ and -culture’. The Chronicle (15 Sep 2005) reported that the one hundred percent local content was later reduced to seventy-five percent on Power FM in September 2005. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings Corporate Secretary, Jennifer Tanyanyiwa confirmed the changes and said :

– Ever since its launch in January 2004, Power FM has successfully promoted the growth of the local music industry by supporting local urban grooves produced by Zimbabwean youths and the time has now come to encourage the cross-fertilization of various types of music- (The Chronicle:15 sep 2005) However this had seen the emergence of a new genre of music called the urban grooves. It was the one hundred percent local content policy, which saw the emergency of urban grooves musicians like Rocqui (now Roki), Decibel and Leonard Mapfumo.

The local content policy was received with mixed feelings by different sections of the media and varied reactions. Zimbabwean journalist Luke Tamborinyoka in Masara (2005:5) said: -While it is true that localizing the content of our media comes witH great challenges, it enables us to realize our potential, unleashing spin-offs in the creation of locally produced films and music production houses..- (Masara2005:5)

However others like this anonymous listener criticized the poor quality of the music and said this in Independent Xtra :

-One can not impose music filled with mediocrity such as the so-called urban grooves on our radios, though some artists in this genre seem to have direction..- (The independent Xtra:6 Jan 2006)

As the pop teen station Power FM was tasked with catering for the youngsters’ music, the genre grew. These were youngsters who were used to listening to gangster and sexually explicit songs coming in various genres such as hip -hop, reggae, and Rhythm and Blues (R’n'B). The songs of urban grooves musicians is mainly sung in vernacular languages like Shona and Ndebele which gives it a local feel though there are traces of popular international songs. Traditional record companies like Gramma had originally rejected the songs as not original and commercially viable.7

The music continued to be a hit among the youth in urban areas though adult listeners received it with a punch of salt. Thus how urban grooves music was born.

There are other genres of music in Zimbabwe like sungura / museve, traditional mbira music,jiti , and jazz among others. Most of the sungura artists like Alick Macheso deal with social issues like infidelity in marriage, love and working hard in life in order to achieve the cravings of your heart. In Zimbabwe, generally there is this policy of trying to de-westernize the mainstream media and communication systems through various measures, including restrictions on international content in the broadcasting media, monopolization of the airwaves and a general reorientation of the country’s cultural policies.8


The government of Zimbabwe has tried to minimize the effects of globalization by through enacting a number of legislations like the Broadcasting Services Act (2001) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The legislation on local content policy was passed on April 4, 2001. In the same year outside global interference was evident in Zimbabwe. It was the same time, that the West especially Britain and the United States of America began a demonizing campaign against the government of Zimbabwe due to the land reform programme calling for regime change. The Broadcasting Services Act (2001) stated that:

Every week during the performance period a radio broadcasting licensee shall ensure that within six months of this Act coming into effect, (in the case of a person lawfully providing a radio broadcasting service immediately before that date) or immediately upon the issue of a licence or within such longer period as the Authority may determine, at least- (a) 75 per centum of the music broadcast consists of Zimbabwean music (b) 10 per centum of the music broadcast consists of music from Africa. Subscription radio broadcasting licensees A subscription radio-broadcasting licensee shall ensure that, in every week of the year- (a) at least 30 per centum of the music broadcast during the performance period consists of Zimbabwean music; and (b) at least 10 per centum of the music broadcast consists of music from Africa; and (c) where a portion of a subscription radio broadcasting service is unencoded, then for the duration of that unencoded portion, at least 75 per cent of the um music broadcast is Zimbabwean music and at least 10 per centum of the music broadcast is music from Africa. Minister may prescribe other content conditions (a) after notice to the licensee concerned, prescribe other local content conditions; (b) prescribe any longer period for the purposes of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 2 or paragraph 5. (

According to The Standard ( 28 march 2004), -the Minister of Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo declared that only musicians with 500 of their copies recorded should be accorded airplay, but on Power FM, the numerous artists who made it into the Top-40 chart, only nine have recorded full length albums that are on the market- These are the acrimonious circumstances which urban grooves musicians grew. The seventy-five percent local content saw the emergence of young music stars. The policy saw the greatest crop of varied and diverse music and gave the youths the opportunity to showcase their music. The policy introduced the likes of Decibel (Daniel Mazhindu) with his reggae-flavoured lyrics, Stach of the Amasiko fame with his disactic lyrics and kwaito-type grooves, Tia with a Western beat and even Fungisai Zvakavapano with gospel music. (The Sunday Mail: 2 May 2004) The legislation also saw the rise of recording studios like Tonderai Music Corporation, Katlas Records, Corner Studios and Country Boy Records.

The policy gave the artists many avenues of improvement, however some artists went to the extent of -borrowing’ lyrical rhymes from Western musicians. Regarding the direction their music was taking Dino Mudondo said:

-The Department has given us reason to’s true that we got a breakthrough, thanks to the local content programming policy and we have striven to live up to our standards despite criticism that our music lack cultural identity and that we are not being original..- (The Herald :3 may 2002)

Some critics argue that urban grooves musicians should produce music which is truly and proudly Zimbabwean because part of the music they produce was a bit on the -bubblegum’ side as it was almost a total import of Western musical styles10.

To help seal the initiative, the government started Kingstons Music, a recording and marketing company (The Herald: 7 May 2004) However some of the music which was being played on radio stations like Power FM was not found on the market prejudicing the artists of a lot of money. This prompted one music fan to complain, that: -..more people are getting exposure, thanks to the policy yet some things have to be corrected to ensure the initiative does not end up a fluke-most of the music being produced is not available on the market and quality is being compromised here and there a most of the music is produced in people’s bedrooms, where it is coming from private PCs-


There have been many discerning voices as to how the urban grooves musicians present themselves to the listening public. They have been accused of lacking cultural identity as Zimbabweans. In terms of content, the thrust of broadcasting institutions has been to counter what the government calls imperialist interests and their quest for regime change in Zimbabwe. Urban grooves music emerged during a well-defined era where the government of Zimbabwe argued that the content broadcasted should reflect Zimbabwean identity, history and cultural diversity. However, it seems the urban grooves artists have been doing the opposite since the formation of the genre in Zimbabwe. This brings out many questions as to whether the youth really understand culture or even identity. Maybe cultural identity means a totally different phenomenon to them. In the Zimbabwean contemporary context, culture has got so many symbols that it is difficult to pinpoint the true culture of the Zimbabwean people in an urban context. It seems people have got different conceptions and opinions of what cultural identity is. People in the country side, those in the city and those who fought in the liberation struggle who form the nucleus of the government today have got points of departure in their description of culture. The youth may have a totally different opinion of culture shaped by the times we are living since some claim that -culture is dynamic’.11

In reference to the post-colonial Africa, Gecau (1993:46) notes that: – the leaders who emerged after independence presented themselves as -enlighteners’, and were soon suspicious of the expressions of culture which were proof of the independent-.gradually -culture’ came to be presented as past forms, national symbols and emblems associated with the struggle for independence, the achievements of ndividual leaders and so on-.

In trying to define what is culture and their identity, the youth hit a brick wall. In Zimbabwe there seems to be a misrepresentation of culture with the ruling elites trying to define culture in terms of past liberation war struggle and the culture being brought out through globalization. This is through movies, international music and satellite dishes. This is what the youth of today is exposed to. The youth have a restricted cultural mediation role.

The government was keen to establish control over communication processes and distribution networks for cultural commodities but this has failed mainly because the world has become too small a global village. The older generation has too many difficulties on their shoulders to understand the youth mainly because of generational gaps. It is now difficult to understand the true cultural identity of the youth mainly because of the emergence of sophisticated and technologically advanced gadgets. Therefore the youths’ consumption reference tends to be outside Zimbabwe, from global media images in other parts of the world. 12

What urban grooves music stands for in our social hierarchy is the question at stake. Music actually develops within certain political, social and cultural parameters. The older generations’ concerns have been, what are the youths of tomorrow going to be like considering what the youths of today values, but however no single urban grooves musician is a true the representative of the genre as a whole. Personal experiences can affect one’s music in a completely different way from the other13. Though the researcher chose to study the music of Maskiri, he is hardly a complete representative of urban grooves music. Each urban grooves musician has got his own style of expression. One has to look at music without imposing individual ideas inappropriately.

It is difficult to classify them because; some like Portia Njazi (Tia) do not consider themselves urban grooves musicians. Decibel and Christy-B’s music is too reggae-flavoured. This begs the question; What is urban grooves music? Decibel was recently quoted as saying that he actually hates urban grooves music. 14These are some of the controversies of urban grooves music. Some question the genre’s originality.


The following research questions will guide this study: 1. What themes do urban grooves musicians dwell on , vis–vis hip-hop musicians in America and Europe? 2. To what extent does urban grooves music reflect the influence of foreign cultures?

3. To what extent is urban grooves music local?


Since its inception, urban grooves music has generated a lot of controversy. Among the defects of the genre which the listening public pointed out are that, the music is divorced from our cultural identity as Zimbabweans, and that the music is meaningless among other things. This is an inquiry into the differences between urban grooves music and mainly hip-hop music in America focusing on similarities and differences in terms of themes in order to ascertain urban grooves loyalty to our culture and identity or whether they are just another cultural transplant of American hip-hop music. The study will also show the aspects of American culture inherent in urban grooves music. The researcher will also highlight the relevance of urban grooves music to our society, whether they sing about sensible or senseless issues divorced from social reality in Zimbabwe. Aspects of urban grooves music that are -borrowed’ from Western musicians will be discussed.

However, after looking at all this, the researcher felt the main burning issue against urban grooves music was whether they are being innovative or imitative in their approach to music. The researcher felt a thorough analysis of the genre was needed as whether to dispel or validate these accusations, hence the study of the music of Maskiri and the group Xtra Large. This is a close analytical insight into the factors, which influenced urban grooves music through the textual analysis of their music’s lyrics.

The researcher will look at various aspects of urban grooves music, including their similarities and differences with international artists like Eminem and Mariah Carey whom the listening public says they copycat. Urban grooves music has got something positive which it is contributing to society, but it seems people are just keeping a blind eye and a deaf ear to that. It is a product of society and this means there are many aspects of society reflected in their music. This means aspects of our culture, history and social life are reflected. However this is not to say urban grooves music is wholly Zimbabwean or not, aspects of globalization and cultural imperialism will be analyzed vis–vis our cultural identity.

Though music is universal, its meaning is not, in the Zimbabwean context one has to look at whether urban grooves music is useful or is potentially harmful, and what differentiates good from bad music.


While traveling from Harare to Zvishavane by bus, on 23 January 2006, there was a heated debate as to whether urban grooves music in particular is senseless or sensible. Many seemed to have listened to the songs of Decibel (Daniel Mazhindu), Betty Makaya, Maskiri (Alishias Musimbe), Xtra Large and Nasty Trix among others. Some thought it was a waste of time listening to their type of music since it is just a copycat of Western music. These were mainly the older generation, but there was general appreciation from the younger generation.

What I found out is that many people do not understand music and urban grooves music in general. Urban grooves musicians were disparaged as hopeless, and there were suggestions that they should do what they called the -African sound’ or -Zimbabwean music’. It was clear most of them had never listened to urban grooves music but were basing their arguments on hearsay. This concept of what can be termed Zimbabwean music is very problematic, because there is nothing in Zimbabwean music today which is not affected by something exotic. The youths who sing this type of music are actually a product of society, so why it is then that society is refusing to recognize what is part of it?

Though the older generation has a point it seems they do not realize the social context, situation, influence and the environment in which these musicians are operating. Sometimes what the public see and hear are just lyrics and the singers but refuse to see the force behind all this. In this case, urban grooves music will be studied in the context of globalization and cultural imperialism. The researcher will take a neutral view in order to have a fair analysis of the whole issue.

There is very little literature on the analysis of urban grooves music, except from newspapers but this research will be a detailed, close analysis of the music of Maskiri and Xtra Large of which they will be given a chance to defend their views also.

The above incident prompted me to embark on a scholarly study of urban grooves music.


This section briefly discusses the key terms that are central to this study. These are culture, cultural imperialism, globalization and identity.

1.6.1 Culture

This year the culture week ran from 19 to 26 May 2007. At the official opening of the culture week in Kadoma, the Minister for Policy Implementation in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr. Webster Shamu, described culture as; -Culture is the sum total of the way of life of a society from traditions, customs, value systems, life styles, arts, social institutions, and spiritual , intellectual and economic features that characterize society or nation. This defines us as a people. It is these values, symbols, interpretations and perspectives that distinguishes us from other peoples- (The Herald: 24 May 2007)

The culture week in Zimbabwe is a reminder of the need for communities to preserve their traditions and values that define us as a people. According to Gwanjera (1984:13, culture can be defined as -the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought, religious culture, musical culture, oral culture and so on-. Culture can include the predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization15. To some culture is a way of life, which means culture must stimulate creativity, enhancement of cultural identity and contribute to national consciousness and identity to promote different cultural activities people are engaged in16. Zimbabwean cultural values include positive morals, values and ethics. However, it should be noted that blending cultures is not the same as giving way to cultural imperialism.

Even though, these definitions of culture are sometimes too broad to be understandable, such that the definition of culture becomes very relative. However in Zimbabwe, the locus point of our culture is wholly defined in the concept of -unhu’.

Many scholars give different and sometimes contradictory definitions of culture. According to Titon (2005:25), -culture is a way of life, learned and transmitted through centuries of adapting to the natural and human world. Porter (1999:19), argues that, -the social environment is culture and the characteristics of culture are that, culture is learned, culture is selective, facets of culture are interrelated and that culture is ethnocentric. Therefore culture represents a limited choice of behaviour. Every society has its own way of viewing the universe with coherent set of values and behaviour. But there comes the erosion of cultural values through technology and globalization. Its debatable, whether people should redefine their culture or not. In my research I will use -unhu’ or -ubuntu’ as the locus definition of culture in our society.

1.6.2 Cultural Imperialism

According to Tomlison (1991:8),this refers to a kind of cultural domination by powerful nations over weaker nations. It is viewed as purposeful and intentional because it corresponds to the political interests of the United States of America and other capitalist societies. The effects of cultural domination is reflected in attitudes and values of Western, particularly American capitalist societies. According to Sollonzo (2007:78), the transmission and diffusion across national boundaries, of various forms of information in the form of cultural products of other nations has led to the displacement and marginalization of the original cultures of the local people such that the dominant ideologies becomes those of the foreign cultures. In the end the local culture loses its independence to grow and sustain itself in an autonomous way.

Assuming that all forms of culture construct and deconstruct social identities cultural imperialism raises many important questions about the loss of cultural identity, especially in the music of urban youth in Zimbabwe17. Though to learn about other cultures is not bad, the main problem comes when foreign values are internalized by many in our society.

1.6.3 Globalization

Globalization can be simply described as something which started somewhere and has spread all over the world. It has also been described as an aggregation of cultural flows or networks in a less coherent and unitary process than cultural imperialism and one in which cultural influences move in many different directions. The effects consist of media, technology, ideologies and ethnicities on recipient nations and the likely result is cultural hybridization. Tomlinson (1999:35) refers to globalization as the rapidly developing network of interconnectedness and the interdependencies that characterize modern social life. This already exist in telecommunication systems that link the world through satellite dishes, aircrafts which move people faster and computers which disgorge information at any time.

Tomlinson (1997:34), describes globalization in the social context as, the transmission or diffusion across national boundaries of various media and the arts. Generally the circulations of cultural products or artifacts originate from many different nations and regions. Globalization raises more important and controversial issues concerning its effects on local and national cultures and their responses to it.

The spread of the English language generates a preferential market for commercial and cultural products which operate in English. (Hertz 1999:45). An obvious example would be in popular music where English is used as a medium of expression and communication in advertising and marketing in many parts of the world. According to Sollonzo (2007:39), globalization mutually reinforces and embodies a set of cultural and political assumptions about, for instance, the inculcation of the uniqueness of individual identity, superiority of the historical role, political systems and cultural products of the United States of America and Britain.

In the context of culture and society, globalization influences the way people view their world, such that they see it through the European eyes.

1.6.4 Identity

The issue of identity is always centered on Zimbabweans who adopt -Western culture’ and those who are of the -indigenous culture’. Indigenous beliefs remain powerful in rural areas and working-class townships. However there is a sharp distinction especially with those who are of a black middle class background who usually have a say in the country’s media policies. According toTurino (2000:32), regardless of class, when Shona people in Zimbabwe speak of -our culture’ or -our customs’, the vast majority point to the rural village. This shows that they owe their identity to Shona cultural practices and ethics of living. However shifts in church and state education policy and media policies ?have produced a diluted identity18. So, identity is a controversial subject in its description, people develops their identity through interaction with their culture and others in it, if that culture changes so is the identity it fosters. (Zimmerman 1965:67)

Chezet (2007:31), refers to identity as people as they are, as cultural beings, finding space, free opportunity to make their own schemes using their own experts and resources whose knowledge they can interpret or reject as befits their reality, both technical and perceptual, and such space is the venue for positive undisruptive change.

Even though, identity is rooted in having a name, a place and a setting. To have a name means having a history that has got its values, customs, regulated and accepted social behaviuor and a future based on those values. In other words identity does not change with situations.

In trying to define culture, cultural imperialism, globalization, and identity, it has got its limitations and generalizations since there are no universally accepted definitions of these terms. Sometimes the difference between globalization and cultural imperialism is not understandable but the researcher has tried to give objective discussion of the terms. Culture is also linked very much to identity.


This chapter outlined how the urban grooves genre of music started, and the environment in which the genre started. The long background of music in Zimbabwe points out the socio-political situation behind the emergence of the genre including the situational context.

The chapter also highlights the transition from militant music of the liberation struggle, the celebratory music after independence in 1980, protest music of the middle and late 1990s. Mainly the music of Thomas Mapfumo represents this period. The new millennium brought with it new genres of music, this was the phase of the urban grooves musicians. This was also coupled with the change in legislation of Zimbabwe with the promulgation of the Broadcasting Services Act in 2001.

Urban grooves music has given a whole new face to music in Zimbabwe and great strides have been made in a very short time amid verbal attacks from the public due to some controversial issues which will be dealt with fully in the next chapters. The chapter also highlighted the issues and problems in the study of urban grooves music in the context of globalization and cultural imperialism.

In the next chapter I will look at the theoretical assumptions of the study.





Literature Review mainly assists in attacking the problem for research because the research problem is always central. In knowing what the others have done, one is prepared to attack with deeper insight and more complete knowledge the problem one has chosen to investigate.

According to Paton (1986:28) Literature Review provides the following benefits:

1)It can reveal investigations that are similar to mine, and how those collateral researchers handled those situations.

2)It can suggest a method or technique of dealing with a problematic situation which may also suggest avenues of approach to the solution of similar difficulties I may face.

3)It can reveal sources of data, which one may have never known they existed.

4)It can introduce one to significant research personalities of whose research efforts and collateral writings one may have had no knowledge.

5)It helps one to see the study in historical and associational perspective and in relation to earlier and more primitive attacks on the same problem.

6)It also provides new ideas and approaches, which may have never occurred to me. 7)Literature review helps in evaluating my own research efforts by comparing them with related efforts by others.

The exploration of other researchers cannot be a haphazard undertaking because around every researcher there is a vast sea of literature and countless reports of what others have done. A careful consideration of the research problem should suggest relevant areas of discussion and indicate the direction that the discussion of the related literature should take. According to Paton (1986), a discussion of related literature should begin with a comprehensive perspective, like a pyramid: broad end first, then one can deal with more specific and more localized studies which focus closer and closer to the specific problem.

In the literature review relatedness should be emphasized and the reader must be constantly aware of the manner in which the discussed literature is related to the research problem. Points of departure should also be emphasized to show differences. In my research I used approaches used before by other scholars.


There has been no scholarly study of urban grooves in Zimbabwe. This study, therefore is a groundbreaking one on this subject, however there are several studies that have inspired my research, and this include Alice Dadirai Kwaramba (1997) and Thomas Turino (2000) and Gray (2001)

Kwaramba’s analysis of songs is similar to what the researcher would be doing since it involves the analysis of linguistic selections of musicians’ lyrics vis–vis corresponding social influences and relation analysis and the study of meaning in texts. Therefore Kwaramba uses critical linguistic approaches, which are very necessary in the study of song texts by urban grooves musicians. Kwaramba studies the music of Thomas Mapfumo, and this serves as a reference point in issues of comparative analysis of music and social identity in Zimbabwe. The publication is also a critical examination of music in Zimbabwe, before and after independence.

One of the literature sources which inspired this study is the study on Zimbabwean music done by Thomas Turino (2000).Reviewing the book Veit Erlman notes that the -focus on Turino’s study is the development of revolutionary music sung by Thomas Mapfumo and other Zimbabwean artists, the development of this music from its roots in early Rhodesian era to the emergence of the cosmopolitan culture among the black middle-class in independent Zimbabwe and how this gave rise to urban popular styles modeled on influences from the Mills Brothers to Elvis Presley-. Turino explains the combination of -foreign’ and indigenous elements that so-often define nationalist and cultural projects. It is in this contextual view that urban grooves music should be studied especially if people say they must be loyal to our culture and identity in their music. It is worth to comparatively analyze other aspects of Zimbabwean music and find out if it does not have traces of global cultural influence. No type of music in Zimbabwe can then be said to be original.

Turino explains the focus of his publication as, -..from the point of view of people in Zimbabwe, or people like myself who view Capitalism as a negative force in relation to ecological and social health it is important to see how globalization progresses at the level of values and life ways-. Turino clarifies the continuities and cultural effects of colonialism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Directly paralleled to my study of urban grooves music is the medium of value, this is our values as Africans, identity and social relations in music making which actually provides a useful window in conceptualizing the historical background and some other issues concerning music in Zimbabwe.

However his research is different from mine because he does not go deeper into analyzing the lyrics of the artists he writes on while mine is a textual analysis of urban grooves music centering on selected artists. Turino only deals with influences which changed the face of music in Zimbabwe before and after independence, but does not analyze the effects, probably because there was no computer-generated music during his time.

According to Gray (2001), one challenge that is confronting Africa today, is that of mental enslavement, psychological incarceration and the imprisonment of the African mind. In this publication, Gray (2001), clarifies and defines the history of African-centered thoughts and evaluating them to create a creative tool towards codifying them, to fit present and future directions. Reviewing the publication, J B. Stewart writes, -it assists African people in their historical-intellectual and practical-transformational journey from where they are to where they need to be’. The publication examines African movements and ideas from antiquity to the present. Urban grooves music can also be studied in relation to these views, especially on analyzing whether they give a eurocentric or afrocentric world -view in their music.


There is little literature on urban grooves music, most issues that deal about urban grooves music can be found in newspapers and on the Internet. A number of articles have appeared in newspapers analyzing urban grooves music. I used many articles from newspapers and on the Internet. This means analyzing the different views of many journalists in the print media from 2001 to the present. Some of the newspapers which were used in this study, include, The Herald, Chronicle, The Standard, The Daily and Sunday Mirror and The Independent. Some daily newspapers, especially The Herald, wrote many articles which promoted urban grooves music as a genre. Interviews were also carried out with urban grooves musicians, it is those kinds of interviews which will be used by the researcher. The Sunday Mail (8 May 2004), has an interview by Robert Mukondiwa, where he interviewed Maskiri, and this is the same interview in which Maskiri claimed to have dated a mermaid. Biographical data about the emergence of urban grooves music as a genre of music can be found in the entertainment sections of these newspapers, together with views from the public. The Herald and The Sunday Mail are state-owned newspapers.

However, there are some newspapers like, The Standard and The Independent, which saw the emergence of urban grooves music as a government-created propaganda tool. These are newspapers which are independently-owned and they usually have negative perceptions of media policies done by the government. Their views will be also taken into consideration without any bias. The Standard (7 June 2004), disparages the poor quality and imitations done by many urban grooves musicians who do not have any album to their credit, yet their music was played daily on Power FM. There are many other articles, some are on the seventy-five percent local content, and some on the use of vulgar language by many urban grooves musicians.


A number of theories and concepts inspired this study. These include globalization, cultural imperialism and identity. These theoretical concepts contextualize my study to these three concepts.

2.2.1 Globalization

Harvey (1989) describes globalization .as -the rapidly developing process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions, and individuals worldwide.- Even though globalization simply means something, which started somewhere and has spread all over the world. Capitalism is even globalized.

With the liberalization of telecommunications corporate culture seems to rule the world mainly because the whole world is wired and plugged into television programmes, music, lifestyles and entertainment among other things, which come from Western countries. This has made the youths’ especially in Third World countries to find their role models from Western countries. Now most youths want to wear trendy clothes, designer boots and shoes, with a chain stretching from one belt loop to a front pocket of the jeans, a style similar to that adopted by international artists like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears or Eminem. Music has a role to play in the creation of such identities.

Satellite cables, phones, Video Compact discs (VCDs) and other marvels and wonders of entertainment technology are creating the mass marketing of culture since US corporate culture is available everywhere, it has now commodified. Young people are now exposed to the same music and glamorous lifestyle, which they aspire to achieve. According to Tomlinson in Mohammadi (1997):

-Young people in third world countries are the largest consumers of global culture. Sony has developed its range of toy-like toys kids music labels and videos for this age-group-

Urban grooves musicians grew up in this kind of society and exposed to global culture. This means that foreign pop brands are changed into local versions and renditions synthesized with a local language. This has led many to ask that, apart from language what is so local about urban grooves music. Local artists especially urban grooves musicians belt out -localized’ songs popularized by the likes of Mariah Carey, Eminem and Westlife with similar costumes, rhythm, dances and maneuvers but with a touch of a local language.

Penetration of global music has resulted in the marginalisation of local cultures and traditional music in Zimbabwe. Young people have lost touch with traditional harmonies, tunes and dances, which are culturally specific to Zimbabwe. Global entertainment has become so addictive to the youths such that that it seems even to affect the psyche. For the young musicians it is a selling an experience and an image.

It seems global entertainment fills the vacuum emptied by the collapse of traditional institutions, communities, clans, family, life and authority. Through Hollywood movies, films, global advertising and some programmes, values and lifestyles are internalized by the youths. Through globalization, the meaning of community and the notion of self is distorted as television creates artificial needs.

In urban grooves music there are many -footprints’ of systematic ideas articulated mainly by Western musicians. Certain ideologies indicate how reality is distorted, especially in the music of Maskiri under the imitation of international superstars like Eminem. Maskiri provides a partial and selective view of reality.

Likewise computers have become substitutes for human interactions, community and civic life. Marneweck in Alexander et al (2006:243), argues that cyberspace has created virtual communities where mass messages are personalized for greater impact. The anonymity of participants and freedom of expression found in Internet chat rooms is taken too far such that, though urban grooves music becomes a multiple representation of identities. Sometimes what urban grooves musicians sing is not what they actually do in their real life. However computers and the Internet provides an -idealized’ world, anonymity, fantasy and dreaming. (Reid 1991)

It is in this context that Urban grooves music should be studied, the influence of globalization in their music in terms of themes of their music, rhythm and instrumentation, dances and attire. This has made many to say they look American instead of Zimbabwean. This actually begs more answers because some of them have never been to America, they are Zimbabweans and they are a product of this contemporary society. This research will look at differences between urban grooves artists and Western musicians, that is points of departure and similarity in a globalized world, and also the reasons why people say they lack our African or Zimbabwean identity.

2.2.2 Cultural Imperialism

Tomlinson in Mohammadi (1997:175), cultural Imperialism refers to the process of domination in which the West (America or transnational capitalism) draws all cultures into its ambit. This involves the diffusion of American values, consumer goods and lifestyle to third world countries. In simpler terms, cultural imperialism refers to the adoption of American or Western cultural values by other people in other countries. This study examines the aspects of American culture, which are reflected in urban grooves music especially the music of Maskiri and Xtra Large. Cultural Imperialism is also linked to globalization.

According to Sollonzo (2007:45) :

-People sit in their homes watching a bunch of White people in Dallas, standing around their swimming pools, drinking martinis, and plotting to destroy each other or steal from each other or get their partners’ wives into bed..-

The effect is that when the youths see these kind of images on their television, they try to imitate and sometimes this through music. Behaviors and values that are poisonous to life are glamorized. Community cooperation, sharing, and non-materialism are subverted and substituted with individualism. Material values rather than moral or spiritual values are made important. Consumerism of American cultural values through music has caused many youths to -live’ the life of superstars in their music whereby they run away from the reality of their own situations.

It is so sad that nowadays some parents do not even speak with their children in indigenous languages like Shona and Ndebele. They themselves cannot speak English fluently, but to the children now it means they become -cultural amputees’, neither able to speak English fluently, or fluent Shona or Ndebele. In the end there is juxtaposition of both local and exotic way of speaking, which is also exacerbated by what they see on computers and Internet chat rooms. This results in juxtaposition of foreign types of rhythm, which is transformed and reinterpreted in their own terms. This interconnectedness of the local and the global is evident in the rising phenomenon of urban grooves music. Can this be talked of as cultural hybridity or hybridization of identities through globalization, this is very problematic. It is difficult to pinpoint what is Zimbabwean culture since culture is dynamic. Culture is sometimes shaped by individual actions. In the world today there are many forces regulating behavior since social and cultural spaces are now shaped by modernity and capitalism.

However when one fails to articulate the difference between self and other that becomes the problem of identity. In urban grooves music our difference from the Western culture must be emphasized. Each genre of music has got its background influences but if other musicians take out something wholesale from another genre of music there becomes a problem of identity. Genres of music like hip-hop are intrinsic to American culture, but if somebody who is not American starts singing the same things that becomes a problem of cultural identity. This notion of -want-to-be-noticed’ has compromised urban grooves music’s credibility and quality. According to Tomlinson (1997), hip-hop culture has brought out new forms of collective identity, whereby the youths redefine their lifestyle and identity through parallel media spaces.

Identity itself is a contested term because it is shaped by social, cultural and economic conditions in which people live in. It seems identities can actually change, though there are some aspects of identity which may not change. It is difficult to say, whether identity means being rooted in our village customs or identity in an urban context. It is also difficult to delineate the yardstick which people use when they speak of cultural alienation, since culture means different things to different people.

Cultural Imperialism can be an issue of generational differences. Blending cultures is different from cultural imperia;ism. According to Tomlinson (1997:167-168) : -..what the cultural argument does is to bring the globalization process into immediate critical focus-it is a general and elastic concept, gathering notions of domination in terms of hegemonic cultural formations (the West, Western modernity, consumer culture) and third world countries absorbing peripheral cultures into a homogenized, commodified -globalized future’

So, cultural imperialism is very contradictory term, whether it is actually cultural globalization or cultural imperialism, since cultural imperialism is too historical. -Americanization’ or -Westernization’ of music can be a just term.


This chapter touched on the broader framework on which I will base my study on. The study leans mainly on the theoretical concepts of globalization and cultural imperialism. However there are also some local influences to the genre of music that will be analyzed in the next chapters. External influences also include also many ideological movements. The Literature Review shows the literature that has helped the researcher in his study.

The next chapter will focus on the methods of data collection, inquiry and textual analysis.



3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter identifies methods used, and justifies their use. Methods of data collection and analysis will be discussed. These include the qualitative research method, interviews, archival research, textual analysis of songs, critical language analysis, spoken and written texts and meaning in texts and language use.


Textual analysis involves many things, collecting data, organizing it and analyzing the data. The emphasis on qualitative document analysis is on capturing definitions, meaning, process and types. Paton (1980:45), defines qualitative research as:

-grounded in a philosophical position which is broadly -interpretive’ in the sense that it is concerned with how the social world is interpreted, understood and experienced-it is based on detail, context, discourses or constructions in a multi-layered social world-

This means reliance on text, narrative and descriptions. The goal of qualitative research is to understand the process and character of social life and to arrive at meaning and process as we seek to understand types, characteristics and organizational aspects of the documents as social products in their own right as well as what they claim to represent (Altheide 1996:42)

Qualitative research involves an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern human behaviour. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research relies on reasons behind various aspects of behaviour. Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision making, as compared to what, where, and when of quantitative research. Hence, the need is for smaller but focused samples rather than large random samples, which qualitative research categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organizing and reporting results. ()

This study mainly emphasizes on textual analysis of the lyrics by Maskiri and Xtra Large. Media materials like newspapers, magazines, and electronic documents will be used.


The researcher will use the standard-open-ended type of interview. The standard-open-ended interview consists of a set of questions carefully worded and arranged with the intention of taking each respondent through the same sequence and asking the respondent the same questions with especially the same words to find out different views on the same matter. This reduces the possibility of bias that comes from having different set of questions for different respondents including the problem of getting more comprehensive data from certain musicians and producers while getting less systematic information from others.

However questions can be altered and individualized a bit, in order to establish in-depth communication with the person being interviewed. This allows the interviewer to be highly responsive to individual differences and situational changes.

An interview guide (a list of questions or issues that are to be explored in the course of the interview) will be used to make sure the interview the interview is highly focused and interviewee time is carefully used.


Archival research consists of using -already existing information’ to answer research questions analyse existing data such as statistics that are part of public records reports of anthropologists, letters to the editor, computer data bases. There are many newspapers in Zimbabwe with many articles which focus on urban grooves music since the year 2001. Many other interviews were done with musicians like Maskiri and Xtra Large in newspaper articles. This is dealt with in newspapers like The Herald, Chronicle, The Sunday Mail, The Standard, The Independent, The Daily and Sunday Mirror. Lifestyles of certain musicians are commented about in these newspapers and this can be ideal for comparative analysis with Western musicians in terms of lifestyle, behaviour, and attire.

Comments from the public can also be found in newspapers, especially the ordinary people’s views towards the music.

The internet is also an important source of information. Internet forums are important because views from the youths mainly, are easily accessible.



Language often reflects society as Cameroon (1990) claims. Therefore if one has to look at language used by urban grooves singers it must reflect society. However it is society which exists first before language, but language reproduces and transforms society such that language use changes. (Stubbs 1996:90) According to Fairclough (1990,1992), shifts in the meaning of individual words are part of a more general extension of the discourses of consumerism, marketing, management, counseling into educational discourses in which students are represented as clients or customers. Therefore language and what it contains has a role to play as a child grows up till he or she becomes a teenager. This forms the basis of social stereotypes whom we call urban grooves today.

In this case textual analysis involves the analysis of the lyrics used by urban grooves artists like Maskiri and Xtra Large vis–vis globalization and cultural imperialism.


-For every writer, speaker or musician there is a finite set of possibilities that are available linguistically to express and talk about a subject or topic in a given social context- (Kwaramba 1997:12)

The language used by an artist denotes a lot, as in relation to the artist’s background, social concerns and his or her position in the social structure. There is no such thing as neutral data, therefore ultimately all musical text is related to life experiences and situations. Music is the prime instance of the traffic of ideas up and down modes of representation. Discourse is actually shaped by power relations in society and therefore contributes to social continuity and change. Musical discourse is mainly configured in the domain of sound, language and metaphors of expressive gestures with the capacity to engage us in exploring structural change and new ways of construing the world.

Musical lyrics can be transcribed and be read as poetry. When sounds powerful enough to threaten existing situations emerge, interpretations, choices, tastes are made. However, going back to language, when an artist uses certain aspects of language, it is for a purpose.

Language use also brings out a world view, and in this case it can be a European or African world view. In urban grooves music, there is a way in which they use language which is different from other genres of music. According to Kwaramba (1997:9), words do not carry the same meanings outside of the cultural and social contexts in which the texts are produced. Musicians use carefully chosen modes of expression which excludes other possibilities.

Choice of phrases, repetition of same words, mixture of both English and Shona or Ndebele languages, choice of titles of songs and albums gives interpretation of the musician’s intended message and ideology. This includes selection of certain linguistic expressions, keywords, social context, thematic concerns, symbolism and lexicalization. As social relations change, music also changes and this is reflected in urban grooves music. English is used as a medium of communication in schools and the media, and this also has got consequences in expressions used in music by the youths. Urban grooves musicians’ medium of expression will be examined.


-A spoken text is simply what is said in a piece of spoken discourse and the written text can be used to refer to a written transcription of what is said- (Fairclough 2001:20)

Discourse refers to the whole process of social interaction of which a text is part and a text is product of the process of text production. Songs can be transcribed from spoken texts to written texts and therefore the text becomes a resource for text interpretation. People interpret texts through their knowledge of the language, representations of the natural and social worlds they inhabit, values, beliefs and assumptions.

Texts produced have -footprints’ of social relations and the struggles generated. Different strategies are used by artists to put their ideas across. This includes the social conditions of production and social conditions of interpretation. (Fairclough 2001:21)

However texts are interwoven with facial expressions and gestures. In this case the researcher will use videos of some songs by urban grooves musicians to analyze gestures and facial expressions. These are the extra-linguistic features.

After the transcription of songs into written texts, Fairclough (2001) distinguishes three stages of critical discourse analysis which are:

i) Description of the formal properties of a text ii) Interpretation which is categorized into six levels which include situational context, intertextual context, surface of utterance, meaning of utterance, local coherence and text structure. iii) Explanation concerns itself with the social determination of the process of production and interpretation and the social effects. Intertextual context can also refer to the historical series of society, and deciding which series a text belongs to. Explanations can also be drawn into three levels, that is explanation at society level, explanation at institutional level and at situational level mainly because people see or look at the same thing with different perspectives.


Language use reproduces culture from generation to generation, and the language used by urban grooves artists makes assumptions of their listeners or customers. All language is intertextual, it is shaped by prior texts, oriented to conventions and interpreted against the background of a very large corpus of linguistic experience (Stubbs 1996:92) It is against this background that the researcher will analyze word meaning and context used since all words are open to new uses and are flexible in their meanings to some extent. For a word to be branded obscene, there are reasons for that in our cultural context. There are therefore changing relations between occurrences in a text and the underlying language system. (Stubbs 1996). It is therefore necessary to identify linguistic mechanisms which convey ideologies and other things. Such analysis will show how grammar can help to explain the discourse of society, how different points can be explained by stylistic choices and how they can embody different ideologies.

The thematic concerns of the music of Maskiri and Xtra Large will therefore be analyzed vis–vis those of Western musicians, especially hip-hop music. They may use similar grammar to convey their ideas about women, life and many ethics about morality and society in general in the context of our Zimbabwean culture. Aspects of American culture, like rebelliousness, use of vulgarities and obscene language, will be analysed and examined in comparison with the thematic concerns of urban grooves music. Similarities in attire, types of dances, rhythm and lifestyle will also be analysed. These are the extra-linguistic features. (LOOK IN MY NEXT ARTICLE, FOR IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS)