When it roars the whole jungle feels its presence, when it is in motion every living thing shakes up, when it is hungry nothing in its surroundings is safe, ibhubesi (lion) is no doubt the king of the jungle and such is the story of Tariq Bravo. His music touches a lot of souls out there, you can hear it, its in his voice when he raps that he wants everyone to feel his presence and yeah well his presence is felt and the whole industry is shaken.
Tariq Bravo, birth name Brian Ndlovu, is a Zimbabwean rapper, born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. He is also known in his circles as iBhubesi which is a Ndebele name for a male lion. Described as a human rights and political activist, Tariq began his solo career in 2017 after the disintegration of his four member hip hop crew known as the Tariqs. His music is a social commentary addressing the social ills, economic and political woes affecting his country.
Early this year (2019) during the Zimbabwe national shutdown, he got himself in trouble and was arrested for taking part in the protests and spent a couple of weeks in prison. The experience prompted him to release a single called Kunzima (it’s tough) where he talks of government failures and its repressive stance towards dissent. In 2018, before the national presidential elections, Tariq had released a single titled Yith’ abantu (we the people) warning the citizens that their euphoria might be misplaced following a coup which had removed the long serving Zimbabwean President the late Robert Mugabe from power, paving way for Emmerson Mnangagwa as the country’s new leader.
The rapper has now delivered a very solid debut album, one that every lokshin person would very much admire. Ibhubesi is the title of the hip hop album and was released on the 23rd of August 2019. Its a 12 track piece and the rapper didn’t hold back from the first track up to the last. The fast paced rapper tells the unspoken different ghetto stories using hard flows and punchlines that are enough for him to earn respect from all hip hop heads. He delivers his nice rhymes in vernecular (ndebele) and constantly reminds us through out the album that he is from Bulawayo, a city in Zimbabwe, which is arguably regarded as the hiphop capital.
Quizzed about his style of rap and inspiration, the rapper had to explain that he grew up during a time were Kwaito (a music genre that originates from South Africa)
was the most popular music genre among the youths in his city. He then fell in love with HipHop when Zola
(Tariq’s favourite childhood kwaito star) started mixing Kwaito with HipHop. It is because of this artist that
Tariq was inspired to start doing hiphop music.
His debut album touches on a lot of everyday issues affecting the ordinary person in Zimbabwe. Track 3 “kruger”, Tariq Bravo expresses his love for his kasi and gives insight about the day to day activities in the township. The rapper also drops his view on the corporate governance, political and economic situation of Zimbabwe in his track “Yithi Abantu” and also mentions in “Dreams” how bad he wants to succeed financially through music despite the economic challenges faced by the everyday person in the society. In Ziyamboroma track 11, the rapper points out his love for booze and how he likes to party. This is one song to look out for in the album. It features SilolaMkhonto and it is a predicted summer hit.
Tariq Bravo worked with super amazing talent on this project. The album features Msizkay, Sheelah T, SilolaMkhonto, uSmokey Joint, PsykoTek, Mandie Mae and Maya. The whole project was engineered by Msizkay and there are various producers featured which include Amu Gwante, MBzet, Master Dee, Plan B, Murphy Cubic, Phanas and SilolaMkhonto.
Naboth Rizla one of the finest Hip hop promoters in Zimbabwe, was quoted saying, “this album by Tariq Bravo is undoubtedly an outspoken and vibrant body of work that delivers bar for bar on clever rhyme schemes and content. The album is flawless and there is brave delivery on a variety of topics that will get you thinking and bumping your head at the same time.”
Ibhubesi is a must listen from start to finish, dont ever skip anything. You may download and stream it on soundcloud and you may check his social media for more information.
Facebook: Tariq Bravo