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World Hip Hop Market in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)Published On August 1, 2012 | By jackson | Africa, Culture, News, Zimbabwe In late May, Bulawayo came alive for an open mic session that was set to promote local talent in a way the city had never seen before. Krusty (Kasi-Lunatics) at Da Flow Sessions By Naboth “RIZLA” Rimayi (for World Hip Hop Market) The event was dubbed Da Flow Sessions Vol 1 put together by a local graffiti crew known as S.U.P (Still Using Pressure). The crew partnered with www.da-grape-vine.com to set up a platform for local performing artists in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. The event brought together local artists from different musical backgrounds namely, rap/hip-hop, ragga, Kwaito and spoken word – something that had not been seen in the city for quite some time. Throughout the event, artists at the Cape to Cairo gardens platform took turns simultaneously showcasing their talents and entertaining the crowd on what was a hot Saturday afternoon. In one particularly explosive cipher, representatives of the local ragga and hip-hop scenes traded seamless lyrical gems, no doubt illustrating the potential of mixing Zimbabwe’s style influences in a non-competitive musical setting. Currently in its 8th instalment, this weekly event has managed to draw a diversity of local artists every Saturday afternoon as a means of expanding their skill sets and networking with other like-minded artists. Proof positive is the release of a collaboration track from hip-hop artists who have frequented this event. The track is amply titled “It Can’t Be Easy” with the crew Pheelcaveman featuring Tony Trickz, Rapz (from the Bulawayo-based Kasi Lunatics crew), Sean D and Mac. The track talks about the struggles that the artists have gone through just to get their music heard. Each event is structured so that artists bring their music on cd before things begin and are registered to perform at least two songs of their choice. Traditionally, the show has had lots of first timers and established artists alike sharing the same stage. Poets and comedians have also showcased their skills much to the appreciation of the audience adding a variety to the proceedings. Break dancers have also entertained the crowd with their amazing krump routines – that’s in large part to Kings Fam who always makes sure they come through with the most jaw dropping moves every time. Mac at Da Flow Sessions Vol. 8 The showcase has also introduced a component to the event – the Producer of the week – in which a producer emerges from a “producer battle.” It’s a means of having producers showcase their beats and instrumentals to potential clients as well as introducing themselves and their sounds to the people. This was necessary to fit in the program as a lot of artists seemed not to know who the local producers were or how to get to them. The producer battle has been so successful that it’s led to the “producer of the week feature” where a producer is chosen each week to showcase his productions from all genres. Notable producers that have taken part in Da Flow Sessions so far include Dj Face, Eunik Force, Smooth Man Beats and Beats by B.O.B. Notable artists that have taken to the stage include Mac who recently released his single “bheka thina jo” which translates to “Look at Us Now.” He is currently working on shooting his first music video to compliment his single release. Kidd Ego is an artist who has been bringing a lot of energy to the stage every time he has stepped up to the mic. Pheelcaveman the poet/rapper with a dope collaboration under his belt is another artist of note. Kwanfire Asaph and Young Solo are unmistakable freestyle kings as they have performed week in and week out killing the ciphers along with Nashie, Spartacus and DeBest. Not to be outdone is Kim Gold a female emcee of note holding her own in a male dominated showcase.