By Mukudzei K Majoni
After all the hype, video previews, release push-backs, video teasers and a 3D music video; the much anticipated Syn City album/audio biopic starring Synik and directed by Begotten Sun was released.
I was one of the many that were eagerly waiting for the hip hop offering seeing as how there is a world of a difference between Synik and the rest of his Zimbabwean Hip Hop contemporaries. No, it has nothing to do with his admittedly introverted demeanour, or him being a pint-sized poet with a penchant for playing his acoustic guitar at the drop of a penny.
Rather, this 28-year-old Kwekwe-born MC is a humble and polite gentleman whose persona goes much against the egoistic bravado that defines the hip hop culture as we have come to know it the world over. I refer you to that Nafuna TV clip to hear what Rufaro Dhliwayo, co-executive producer of Syn City, has to say about him.
On Syn City, Synik shows that he is not afraid of to adopt instrumentation choices outside of the Rap realm, dabble with different song layouts, and most importantly, present his audience with big questions that have nothing to do with swagger, partying and clubbing.
With a superiority in lyrical prowess and storytelling ability that is rare to find these days, Syn City finds Synik simultaneously blending acute detail with strokes of poetic impressionism.Synik laces his debut studio album with lessons learned and memories plucked from his entire life, placing the microscope closer to the past couple of years, to share the harsh beauty and reality of it.
The album features a lot of renowned rappers from Harare such as, Tehn Diamond, Mc Chita, Jnr Brown and Munetsi. Out of mutual respect these artists got together with Synik to share their life experiences in Harare, so that the album could give a clearer reflection on their lives, and allowing for different voices to tell their stories.
The album has been getting a lot of buzz mainly owing to the fact that it has been made available on free download. The point of the free download was to make the music accessible to everyone. Apparently the marketing strategy has bore great fruits seeing as how the album even got a review in the Guardian Uk. In the article the album was praised for its effort to paint a different picture of the ‘calamity ridden’ Zimbabwe.
Syn City is also a massive game changer. I have often lamented that African artists do not know how to promote their work. From even the very early stages Syn City has been advertised and marketed exceptionally well. The masterpiece of the marketing push being Zimbabwe’s and possibly Africa’s first ever 3D video with exceptional effects courtesy of Nqobizita and Rufaro Dhliwayo . This is an example of a project done right. The bar has been set high and I hope Zimbabwean artists were taking notes