This is partly because the Zimbabwean rapper, called Gerald Mugwenhi on his birth certificate, is so gifted that even before listening to him other hip hoppers hover on the sidelines, full of trepidation and knowing the album is going to be good. How can it not be, coming from a cat who holds it down so tight every time he’s given a microphone?
Syn City launched last week following the release of the ground-breaking 3D video of the title song a few days before.
Producers of the 12-track project set up a count-down clock on Synik’s website, www.thisissynik.com, in the run up to the launch, requesting visitors to pre-order the album on major online shops.
The video to Syn City, a reference to Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, sees Synik team up with two of Zimbabwe’s top video producers and animators, Rufaro Dhliwayo and Nqobizitha “Enqore” Mlilo to produce the continent’s first 3D music video, viewable online on YouTube by selecting the 720p HD option and donning 3D lenses.
The audio project itself was forged at the iconic “Mt. Olympus” studios under the watchful eye of legendary Hip Hop exponent, Kudakwashe “Begotten Sun” Musasiwa.
“This project represents the cooperative spirit of some of Zimbabwe’s finest artists to create a piece of art that showcases our African beliefs of collectivism. At the centre of this record are at least 35 pairs of hands, and it’s just a blessing to see it in fruition as it is now,” Musasiwa, who is the executive producer of Syn City, said.
Throughout the Syn City record, Synik boldly challenges himself when trading verses with some of African rap’s heavyweights, from exciting “Nu school” lyricists Tehn Diamond and Karizma, pioneers Metaphysics and Begotten Sun; and street favourites MC Chita and Jnr Brown. Synik also enlists the talents of R&B singer Kito on vocals, bassist Junior Banton and poets Aura and Larry Kwirirayi.
Syn City, Synik’s debut album announces the arrival of the poetic emcee who this year finally decided to quit his 9-5 job to pursue a professional career as a rapper in an economically weak and underperforming industry that sits on an economy only just recovering from years of battering.
The 28-year-old has made his mark on local stages and last year shared the stage with UK rapper Akala at the Shoko festival.
The release of his critically acclaimed double single Find A Way/ God Within (2011) announced his firm arrival on the scene.
Synik has also lent verses to the projects of the likes of Nigerian rapper Fecko the Emcee, Zambia’s The Holsta, as well as the widely-travelled Harare lyricist, Outspoken.