Relax with BlackLinen3.0


Situation: Based on a True Story.

Mood: Feeling Free and Gliding.

Inspiration: Relax from Blacklinen3.0 Project.

Writing Status: Post written in first person because it was personal.

Location: #QCBC, Charlotte, NC.

Sometimes, artists have nothing to prove to me.Several of the musical or artistic man dem and gal dem hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and honestly I’m not sure what to do . Unfortunately, I tend to ignore or delay because nothing needs to be forced. My spirit leads me to my next post unapologetically, so welcome to this particular one which I’m compelled to scribe on 4/20/2018. With artists, I typically advise a first and last meeting so I can look into the artist’s soul. The internet is rife and full to the brim of people’s lost souls, so it’s equally important to find a pure one to write about.Remember, I don’t like looking at cameras because my eyes are the gateway to my soul.Why should I reveal my soul and expose myself to strangers?Anyway, being from Zimbabwe, Africa, typically we are typically distrustful of foreign travelers or normads from distant tribes or homesteads. We would rather be distant from the lens or voice recorders that might pass untrue statements to our foes – spiritual and physical.In any case, many fold to the noise of society without realizing one should only respond only to signals. Blacklinen was not barking noise as many do but provided a shattering, poignant, reflective and reverberating signal – so I responded. I was in a car ride to see the man dem when an Instagram connection spiritually converted itself into the physical.After a quick phone call, a humble, dark-skinned, dreadhead brother popularly known as Blakcklinen emerged. On our way to the studio, a chill Charlotte rap song called Relax commenced play. Riding through the Queen City boulevards to pass by a local studio, it’s sad we have to drive past countless homeless people. We won’t go into the reasons for them being homeless and why they are in their situation. It just makes me sad. homelessness and mental health should be everyone’s problem. In our tribe, we don’t leave people on the side of the street. We offer a helping hand because anyone can get a pink slip. Anyone can be marginalized or separated from comfort.Anyway. Back to the song.I had no idea what the track was about, but I decided to listen as carefully, deliberately and as intently as I could. Here are some noble excerpts extracted after a dozen plays during my day at the lab today:

Just Relax, Just relax,

Just Relax, Just Relax, Just Relax!

It’s a good day in the neighborhood,

I’m here in the crib burning Sandalwood,

Feeling good like I knew I would….

🔄

Played this track and got right to it………

……..I’m trying to live like every day,

Because everyday is a special occasion……..

🔄

…….Don’t go too long,

Face the storm,

Be patient, you gotta hold on.

…………We off the roof, sitting in the canopy,

I wish you could see how brothers see.

I wish you could feel how a brother feel,

When the sun really ain’t really down on me……..

🔄 ft. Merck

…..Just relax, Keep your cool!

Why you think a n**** ride with the crew?

Coz You know I gotta play by the rules……..

….. Guaranteed we will not lose….

In conclusion, there’s a reason Charlotte isn’t called Atlanta, GA like people like to compare it to. Charlotte’s her own person. She’s a Queen. She’s chilled and she’s relaxed. As you conclude this short read, why don’t you just relax? I specifically don’t want to continue with a long absorbing post about my experience with this project because like I hinted, some artists’ work speaks for itself through its written and performed art.African brothers who put their mind and soul into their passion are rare, so I’m grateful and delighted to have a front row seat to the renaissance and emergence of Charlotte Hip Hop and more specifically, Blacklinen’s Artwork compiled in seven tracks.I’m confident you’ll take a moment to experience the compilation with me. What did I do after listening to Relax? I did the following and you should follow suit:——Per blacklinen.bandcamp.com:The Album continues Black Linen’s socially conscious themes in tracks such as the poignant “MAP,” which begins with an audio clip from the 1982 documentary All By Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story, in which the Catwoman speaks on whether conflicts can be solved without violence: “Naturally, as a woman and as a mother, I feel if you give love that you will receive love in return.” The clip morphs gently into Black Linen rhyming, in his trademark laid-back delivery, “She said that she don’t have time to waste / She got to go, she can’t be late / Her train waiting, she gots to make it / On the other side is a fat ride / And a big crib, with money to play with.”………..©️ SonofGuruvé2018

Installment #2 – Unsigned Light – Burl Dollah


When I wrote “F your February ” I was telling the man dem and the gal dem about what we do at the #TribeofGuruvé. Here’s an excerpt:

I wonder why I’m limited to celebrating #BlackHistory during the shortest month of the calendar? Secondly, why is my checking account relegated to the ashes because of all the unnecessary content-consumption on telly, #Wallymart superstores and #radio?  Every girlfriend I’ve ever had, whether Zimbabwean, English, American, or Egyptian, exerted this pulsating pressure on me, and my little kindred spirit always caved in. Back then, I was a frail, little boy.

Alas!

But now, things have slightly changed.  I’m not as frail, but leader and #ChiefWarrior of a #ghostwriting collective of African Ghost Artists.  The modus operandi I set upon them is to politely be a #rebel with a cause, stay classy and challenge the #statusquo – respectfully, proportionally and delicately.  Part of why we don’t talk or reveal who we work for is because we are not worried about being famous.  The joy we get is purely from knowing our words are HELPING OTHERS one article, one song, one music compilation or one newspaper column at a time.

I also mentioned how the physical manifests itself if you spend solitude time in the spiritual. Not only did my absolute favorite artist right now like one of my Instagram posts just the other day, but I met a dapper, clean-cut, and if I can say – a rowdy brother in the Queen City mean streets over the weekend. This encounter occurred while on my “Ghost-writing tours of Wakanda”.

I’m a bit of a Social Provocateur, so all I asked the clean-cut brother in the fitted green polo was,

“Yo, you a rapper, B?

I’m sure you can guess. He said,

“No, I’m not a rapping ass ni**a, but that dude right there – he is”.

Shocked and bewildered, I got into @Afropean.Artist mode and did my best to strike a conversation. I definitely failed miserably at marketing my alleged ghostwriting talent, but because I used to work in a detail-oriented profession so my research and documentation skills kicked in – heavy.  I asked a couple of probing questions of the crew, made some quick double taps on the gram and followed a couple of characters and then I let fate take its course.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool Charlotte mandem were not happy with me because on Saturday our beloved team was playing – but I was wearing an AC Milan jersey.  Let’s not forget the recently inaugrated President of Liberia is George Weah who played for AC Milan and won the coveted Ballon D’or.  Google it. I guess it’s not about what you’re wearing, but more about what is etched on the four chambers of your heart.  I bleed Liverpool red and I have a rather large #YNWA #BillShankly gate tattoo on my back – which I will not be posting.  You’d have to be in the #TribeofGuruvé to see it.  Born during my rebirth, I realized I will “Never Walk Alone” after overcoming the loss of my spine.  My spine at the time were some old friends and many other things I sadly lost in an acrimonious 30-day period a couple of years ago. Dang.

But anyway, let me introduce a brother called Burl Dollah and shout out to his crew for making this post a reality. They asked me,

“Yo, if you out here ghostwriting, show us what you do”.

I said,

“Unfortunately, you have to pay for our silence bro.”

So, here it is. This is what we ALSO do at the #TribeofGuruvé.

We bring, juice sauce and power like @AfroB_ said in his song “Juice and Power”. We also write lyrics and recently started a biweekly song review column called #UnsyndLyt.

**Honestly, I’m actually not sure if Burl Dollah is signed, but he ought to have a million dollar deal.  I guess I need to research more.  All I can reveal is he was so chill and so kind to me on a regular sunny Saturday afternoon.  That’s golden.

More rapping brothers need to be genuine like Burl Dollah.

In the same breath, I bumped into my #PartnaDem riding his bicycle around the city with a pretty gal from Barking, London.  It doesn’t matter who she really is so STOP being nosy young fella.

Nonetheless, Charlie Chaplin and I are on the same creative level and maybe – maybe you will hear our voices on our #Podcast coming soon.  We just need to save some pennies and get it popping – but maybe we already started.   Desus and Mero are the ballers of it all, and we’re young beginners.  I guess there just aren’t too many Africans offering what we offer to the streets or to the culture and primarily for the gal dem and man dem.

I mean Black Panther just came out and if you’re not inspired – I don’t know man. We’ve been anticipating Black Panther for centuries. At least my ancestors have been waiting on Afro-Futurism.  Marvel gave it us, so now we are marching on to the promised land of Wakanda.   Shoutout to @ChadwickBoseman for confirming some things I wasn’t sure about being a real Wakanda Warrior.  Anyway.

Listen to this song:

More Fire:

I bet you didn’t know him before you opened this page.  If you did that’s cool, but if not, you’re welcome.

Honestly, sometimes I talk too much, but I bet you didn’t know I write even more. For now I’m just going to take a step back, chill and shut up.  Burl Dollah is the truth, man. He spits rapidly, clearly and is comfortable in his own skin like a slithering black mamba.  In Zimbabwe we call this venomous snake the “rovambira” which technically means “beating lanellphone”.  According the “trusted” Wikipedia,

“The lanellphone or mbira is an African musical instrument consisting of a wooden board with attached staggered metal tines, played by holding the instrument in the hands and plucking the tines with the thumbs”.

Let Burl Dollah preach and play his mbira.  Class is in session.

We at the #TribeofGuruvé wish him Love, Safety, Positivity, Good Food and More Success because he’s a rappin’ a** brotha. Our only fault is not getting a picture with him.

You read it here – first.

© SonofGuruvé 2018

Installment #1 – Unsigned Light – Soldier


You ever wake up at 6:00 am, have a raspy voice and all you need is a Marlboro cigarette and some cold water?

Well, that’s how this first installment of “UnsyndlLyt” made us feel.

  • Artists – Stretch Anon & Zeroh
  • Song – Soldier
  • Location – London, UK
  • Mixtape – The TMB Mixtape including the track Soldier
  • Date Out – April 2nd in London, England.

So, one Monday morning a #TribeofGuruvé partna dem hit us up because of our mutual love for the culture. You see, Grime, Afro Beat, Reggae, House and UK Hip-Hop flow through our veins whether we are in Zimbabwe, England or the United States.

We exist to bring unsigned hype and light to the masses for the voiceless gal dem or mandem recording raspy unmixed and potent rhymes because all they wanna do is help their good vibe tribe, families and friends.

Can’t we just give the mandem a chance to shine, earn some dimes and help other minds?

Many don’t understand that art is art whether scribed on a piece of paper or typed in a Windows 95 operating system. My iPad and iPhone 6s are are my scribing Bible. Man, if I was a desciple BC or AD I’d be recording lyrics and parables – daily.

So here’s are some excerpts that I was able to unravel from Soldier. If I am to opine, Soldier should be in a fight scene of Black Panther 2.  At least I have the vision for it. Soldier just seems like the soundtrack of a mid-motion-picture fight scene. I imagine the villain or victor preparing for battle – but the motion picture viewer believes in an imminent victory for the protagonist.

I’m not going to act I could decipher everything clearly because @TrademarktheBlock told me the track hasn’t been mixed and mastered yet. Personally, I prefer the raspy version for the same reasons I stated in my opening sentence.  New unreleased music to us is like fresh water.  To think that I was the first person in America to listen to the song is water that could quench even the Queen’s thirst.

The Pen is my sword,

And the victim is my den,

Switch blades, running through my brain,

Switch lanes with the draggers and the Feds….

Back to that movie scene.

Perhaps it’s an anime movie scene before a battle resumes between two war lords from an Anime violent scene. I’m not 100% sure, but that’s where I want #UnsyndLyt to take you each time you read our bi-weekly Reviews.

Solder, man I had to go through a lot,

I wasn’t holding a gun,

But I was wandering no one would come,

I didn’t know of too much,

I was holding……

…………

So I’m in training,

Mentally conditioned and my brain is,

Different ways to think this life is just a game………..

Anyway, I think I will end here.

I can’t exactly give it all away, but I think this review is perfect for building the anticipation the finished product deserves.

Braaapp!

One day we will have the whole mandem saying Braaap.

Special shoutout to @TrademarktheBlock for working with us and sharing their #UnsyndLyt.  Best wishes to the Soldier project.

Next #UnsyndLyt post is an artist called Raveena Aurora (@raveena_aurora).

She told us she was unsigned today. Hopefully we can help.  See you in two weeks.

#UnsyndLyt is the #TribeofGuruve’s Biweekly review of an unsigned artist. We focus on music found in Zimbabwe, The United Kingdom and the United States because we genuinely have experiences there.  Send us your favorite songs to adza@sonofguruve.com from an individual compilation or album and all we can offer is our honesty every two weeks.

#UnsyndLyt #TribeofGuruvé #Unsigned #Hype #Mics

©️ SonofGuruve 2018

Ice Cream


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Juan Take’s Cover for Ice Cream

“Politics is hot these days,

But these ni**as eating ice-cream,

City’s pretty dirty,

But these ni**as looking quite clean.”

– Juan Take

Klarki Zim from the undisputed Class of ’04 at the Jesuit Dragon College sent me an audio of our classmate’s tune called Ice cream.  Instantly, I got in contact with the visual director who provided the cover photo.  I rushed to my creative space to scribe some thoughts.  My euphoric freedom: my pen, pad and paper.  My youthful exuberance in capturing thoughts is my daily spiritual healing and self-care.  I urge you to do the same.  I haven’t been the same since I realized I could assemble a couple of words together.  Some read, some write, some launch Facebook Live and some go to the gym.  Some sing, but some are poetic artists I like to call rappers.

Remember when I wrote Blood on the Blouse? That was written early 2017 during some testy, cantankerous times in this journey we collectively call life.  The personal circumstances were compounded by the fact that my homeland, Zimbabwe was going through even worse.  At least, I was insulated by this Diaspora life right, but I knew that without the sheer grace of being Amai’s first-born son, I would be suffering ineradicable experiences because of a government failing to free my big sister – Zimbabwe.

Blood on the Blouse is rather graphic, and I realize why it’s my most read piece. I delve into this beautiful girl called Zimbabwe who was born April 18, 1980.  I expand on how she was being raped needlessly and multiple times without being given the chance of bearing and giving us grandchildren.  She was hurting and there was sadly blood on her once innocent blouse.  Here’s an excerpt I wrote when Zechariah and I were in the New Age Africa studio.

“She told me that Bob Marley came to Mbare’s ghetto Rufaro Sports Stadium and sang about her in the ghetto while the rest of the world was watching.  She got to be known all over the world.  She was honored by Kings and Queens and she remembers a cozy, yet deceptive relationship with the Commonwealth.  I began to learn more about my sister, Zimbabwe and in due time, good grades in my seventh grade allowed me to enter the best boys school in her city.  Suddenly, I had to leave because frankly I had to go and so did 3 million others.

Zimbabweans are at the core of the most profitable entities in the universe. The country can alarmingly be self-sufficient, but sadly it hangs on a thread of what I call diasporan funds and donations. Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, The London Stock Exchange and even Tesla.  All of these entities are full of bright and talented Zimbabweans who would love to contribute to their homeland directly, but over the last 15 years, Zimbabwe has suffered insurmountable and overwhelming brain drain.

I received a call from her and she told me some sad news,

She told me people are tired,

She told me people are scared,

She told me people are rising,

She told me supposedly $15 Billion is missing,

She told me people are dying,

She told me the water is not clean,

She told me companies are closing,

2.2 Million jobs are missing,

She told me the fields are barren,

She told me her big brother Evan started talking about the flag,

She told me this is forsaken,

But now it has sparked a movement that is rather potent.

She told me there are factions,

She told me she can’t sleep at night,

She told me she can’t pay her child’s school fees,

She told me they are stepping on her mother’s blouse,

She told me the corruption got her anger aroused,

She told me she doesn’t want to live anymore,

She told me no one knows where the diamonds went,

She told me no one is accountable,

She told me her womb could no longer give birth,

She said someone is stepping on her stomach,

She told me there is blood on her blouse,

She is in pain and she is disdained,

She told me there is a brain drain,

She told me the situation is just insane.

All I could do was cry and pray with her, because I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t have the solutions, but could only hope that those in power could wake her up from her nightmare.”

-SonofGuruve

The first two lines of this post refer to Juan Take’s opening remarks of his song Ice-Cream and an EP he’s lacing the final touches on – at least that’s what he says.  I’ve known this brother since I was ten years old.  In Borrowdale, I would chase him around in our Harare junior soccer league.  I was always trying to catch up, so I was later relegated to the bench of our Dragon Football XI in 2003.  King Kiri, the Sunday Mail business writer can attest.  He too was on the bench with me.  At least we’re now in the starting 11 of this writing  game.  If he’s Mo Salah, I am Sadio Mane. Go-bhora! translated Goal! in our native tongue Shona.

I didn’t realize Juan Take would become a businessman, but more importantly an artist offering reflections reminiscent of the best thinkers in the music industry.  When I listen to Juan Take, Fabolous, Nas, TehnDiamond, Common, MosDef, Talib Kweli, M.anifest, Burna Boy come to mind.  Homegrown, I‘m fond of his flow and effervescent political jabs delivered with ever-beaming hope, Afrocentric vibes and undeniable truth.  The heavily anticipated video is filmed by the Zimbabwean social-poltikker and Facebook Zimbabwe-resident-commentator Begotten Sun whose Tea Time Facebook series is African magic. “Salute”, he told me!  It’s coming soon.

The ice-cream of course refers to the alleged assassination attempt of Zimbabwe’s current President, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (EDM).  The stories and rumours lit up social media groups and circles (particularly WhatsApp).  Apparently, a rival political faction attempted to poison him using ice cream.  They temporarily forgot that Zimbabwe is a myriad of provocateurs and securocrats.

Remember, Zimbabwe means House of Stone and it seems, so is our current President – EDM.  After the alleged assassination attempt, he left the country.  He wrote to us – the people.  He returned.  He became President.  This exasperating drama unfolded before our very own eyes and frankly that was my least productive period of the year.

EDM is our rock and we have a duty to lift him up.  Many don’t know he is an absolute survivor and I draw inspiration from his role in freeing my big sister – Zimbabwe.  Many don’t know that the Rhodesians wanted to hang him, but he survived that too.  Many don’t know that in 1965, Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe, and led the “Crocodile Gang” which was known for its use of knives and for its attacks in the country’s Eastern Highlands targeting white-owned farms.  He fought white minority rule, beat it down and I was later born in a free Zimbabwe because of comrades like him.  Before you bring up the mythical stories about him understand that politics is not pretty and neither are our lives.  As you point out twigs in peoples’ eyes, realize your vision is blurry.  You’re actually seeing through one eye.  A log however, is lodged in your other eye. Facts.

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Photo by @MatthewBoka on Instagram

I wish EDM every success in Zimbabwe’s new dispensation – whatever that may mean to you as you read this.  I actually hopes he reads this post.  As one of Zimbabwe’s little brothers,  I am optimistic and that’s all I can say.  We are a promising people.  Don’t ever doubt it.

“The streets are dirty, but these ni**as looking quite clean.”

– @Juantake

Symptomatic of Zimbabwe’s meandering, pleasant and tough urban streets are glorious potholes and in some parts, decaying infrastructure.  The only exception is being ready to see a sexy red Ferrari, dozens of BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, Audis, thundering Hummers, and elegant Maserati’s – just to name a few.  It’s a melancholic injustice only balanced by the people’s patience and reprieve.  I’ve never known a people more peaceful than Zimbabweans.  We have a great deal of patience and I’d like to believe Ubuntu is what keeps the populace at peace.  I’m grateful to come from a lineage of resistant and hardworking people in the face of unfair or unpredictable conditions.  I just hope the streets no longer remain pot-holed and dirty.  It seems EDM’s rhetoric points to cleaning up these streets.  I have an eagle-eye on the moratorium ending February 28, 2018. If you’ve externalized funds, he’s cleaning up the streets.  He knows who you are, so come forward and let’s get to work.

I’ve read several tweets from Zimbabwean Twitter personalities including my favorite, @TrevorNcube, who reminds these externalizers and enemies of progress to be very afraid – very afraid.  The crocodile is hopefully cleaning up these streets and filling in some potholes.  I agree, let’s let bygones be bygones and let’s judge him from his first day.  That’s only fair.  Neither you nor I know the absolute circumstances that prevented his resurgence in ZANU PF Jongwe decades earlier.  Personally, I believe this new dispensation is a decade late, but we don’t take anything for granted.  We receive what we receive – for now.

ED

A younger Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa

“It’s the Sunday Church speaking weekend,

Heard the Pastors all speaking,

Prophet for profit,

The pockets they reaching,

Society’s commandments,

The Law – they preaching that,

Mr. Minister why you so sinister?

Trying to get your business up?

Via some tenders – Huh?”.

This sharp excerpt from Ice Cream speaks for itself.  I listened to the tune a dozen times and this second-last spiel above is my absolute favorite.  Some people in Africa look to pastors (with a small “p”) or ministers (with small “m”) for spiritual Guidance (with a big “G”).  Congregants fill community halls, buildings and classrooms beaming with endless hope, but the spiritual balance is often in disequilibrium with prophets seeking profit.  It takes a discerning mind to note this incredible exploitation of sheep seeking deliverance. Alas! Their pockets are filling and I’m not buying it.

I urge you to pick yourself up and halt looking to another human-being to dig you from your current circumstance or struggle.  You have what it takes.  Why are some of these ‘ministers’ so sinister?  I don’t know, but the truth always comes out.  Politics is hot these days.  I’m just frustrated that many tenders lack supervision, transparency and an admiration for governance or the basic rules of a controlled environment.  Juan Take tells it like it is so listen to him, because you might learn something.

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Zimbabwe’s new dispensation.

Chinobhururuka chinomhara, is a Shona-Zimbabwean proverb Amai always tells me. If you’re wondering, Amai is my precious little mother.  Everything that flies, has to come back to land.  So these preachers and ministers may be flying high while we the lamb watch with a keen eye but one day, the plane has to run out of gas.  The Crocodile is lurking in the waters too.  He is calmly gliding, but above all, the Sun is watching.

“I mean the moral of the story,

They got two houses – two stories,

Secrets in the cabin, you can stack them -category,

Farms is territory, when you get the Inventory,

Nothing mandatory,

Getting raped – statutory.

Couple of signatories ……

– Juan Take

Maybe I should lobby to be a government-resident-rapper in Zimbabwe’s new dispensation – but it’s ok.  I’ll stick to writing. In conclusion, perhaps my big sister Zimbabwe is healing.  I think her confidence is returning and her ovaries ready.  It seems she is oozing with optimism. Perhaps now, she can now bear fruit and give us grandchildren! Peace.

While its not Juantake, why don’t you also enjoy Thomas Mapfumo’s song, Chinobhururuka Chinomhara and don’t hesitate to have a good day.

  • Follow Juan Take here:

–  @JuanTake on Twitter // @rockpaperzim on Instagram

  • Follow SonofGuruve here:

–  @adza__ on Twitter // @SonofGuruve on Instagram

SonofGuruve is a member of the Shona tribe from Zimbabwe, Africa.  He doesn’t own a television, but he likes to cook sadza nemuriwo while listening to Afro Beat and writing blogposts every now and again. He can be reached via our Contact Us page.

SonofGuruve © 2018