featured REVIEW


Zimbabwe Legit Brothers From The Mother Glow-In-The-Dark • 2005

13 years after the album was recorded, it’s finally released on Gitd Records! African brothers Dumi Right and Akim came straight out of the motherland to make it in the cruel American rap game, determined to give the dark continent a voice. Through Dave Funkenklein, they got signed with Hollywood Basic and released an EP. However, due to poor promotion and label troubles they never got a chance to make a proper breakthrough. But no more weeping, because here is their unreleased album, dusted off and ready to take the group where it belongs: in the annals of hip-hop history.

'Brothers from the Mother' contains songs that already appeared on the EP, an album that is treasured by many cratediggers who could lay hands up on it. For instance, the infamous DJ Shadow mix, one of the man’s greatest and earliest productions, the fantastic 'Doin Damage In My Native Language', which is ZL's mainly known single and 'To Bead Or Not To Bead', produced by Black Sheep’s Mr Lawnge. But even without these classic cuts, this album is all that. The production is charachterized by African roots and culture, containing tribal drums, rhythms and choruses. For example in 'Rhymin wit the African Symphony'; 'People jumpin to the thumpin of the tribal beats, that’s boomin the room and the drummer keeps beatin', the lyrics are not your average rhymes but fresh funky lines with a few stylistic, vocabulary twists and imagery 'My style is fat like Jabba The Hutt'. Also, you can hear the struggle for black awareness. For example, the complaints about an African culture being exploited by capitalist countries; 'The system runs the culture blind, Africa is not a trend, now it’s been commercialized' and secondly, slavery; 'In slave ships we were stuffed and cuffed and then sold as if you’re not enough...snatched from Africa like a baby from a breast'. Tracks like 'Basically Speaking', 'Definitely African' and 'Straight from The Mothership' bulk with Afrocentrism and also shine in production. Different kind of traditional African instruments like flutes and percussion are inserted in the beats and inflame you with a jungle fever. 'Give Up The Props' is an up-tempo track with funky horns, a dope Redman sample and a bugged out bass line. The album ends in style with 'More Damage', a typical Cadence production with sparkling jazzy loops and an old-school, Big Daddy Kane sample scratched in the chorus.

And so, early 90s hip-hop returns with a deeper African soul than it ever had. Straight Afrocentrism like one could find on Last Poets, X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers and Jungle Brothers albums. This album, like no other, takes it back to the mothership, even further than Parliament did. Available on enhanced CD (including the video clip of 'Doin Damage In My Native Language') or vinyl, make sure to pick this up because this is regained classic material, guaranteed to make a fan’s day.

POSTED ON 07|13|2005 by cpf

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