Tendai “Baba” Maraire returns this year with another installment of his Chimurenga Renaissance series, when he launches his debut LP, riZe Vadzimu riZe.
A follow-up to his 2012 mixtape, Chimurenga Renaissance: Pungwe, the new project is a 14-track record under Brick Lane Records. riZe vadZimu riZe sees Maraire team up with newcomer Hussein Kalonji and a host of old friends from his better known work with Shabazz Palaces, including Ishmael Butler a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro, star femcees, Thee Satisfaction as well as the Seattle-based rap group, Militia Mali Mob (MMM), who are fronted by two Somali-born, US-based emcees. A welcome heavy hitter on the album is M1 from the super group, Dead Prez.
Nonetheless, riZe vadZimu riZe is not an all rap project. Here, Maraire demonstrates his production wizardry with sprawling, loosely structured beats that valiantly explore the worlds of electronica, dub, jazz, and other rhythmic environments.
Maraire has already released the forerunner to the album, the lead single The B.A.D. is So Good, in which he delivers a scathing verdict on Black America’s obsession with material possessions. SPIN called this first single “a stunning, ambitious take”
The rest of the album projects concepts and ties that Maraire has with his ancestral home of Zimbabwe. This is reflected on the album artwork, the inlay story, as well as the heavy use of firm, in-the-pocket, and instructive African instruments such as ngoma, mbira and hosho.