2024 has started with some solid projects from BW’s finest, Zeus. Even though one of his albums dropped on December 29th, I want to mention it because you might have been busy celebrating the holidays and missed it. For those who are new to African hip-hop, Zeus is a legendary elite MC who has put Botswana hip-hop on the world map through collaborations throughout the continent with some of the best African artists. He released his debut album “Freshly Baked” in 2008, which earned him a Channel O music video award nomination. In 2010, he ranked 4th on MNET’s top 10 African rappers list. In addition to “African Time,” which I believe is one of his best works, he has recently released two albums. One is titled “War and Peace,” while the other is a joint album with another Botswana legend named Nomadic, titled “Tswana Renaissance Art.”
If you are a fan of conceptual albums and storylines, I strongly recommend checking out “War and Peace” right now. Zeus has established himself as a legend who must not be mentioned in the same conversation as newer hip-hop artists. His pen game has aged like a fine wine and his flow remains on point. “Chi,” one of the songs on the album, reminds you of his mastery of his Pen. The song embodies a life force and is a great way to introduce new people to the scene. If you’re familiar with Chinese culture, you’ll understand the concept behind the song. “Big Homie,” featuring Apollo Diablo and Nomadic, is a street-real hip-hop track where the emcees flex their lyrical complexity, separating the sheep from the goats. It’s a bar fest that will leave you in awe and reflect on the old days of Wu-Tang Cream. “InterMISSION” shows how good Zeus is as an MC and writer. While some may argue that he brags a lot here, our OGs need to remind the younger generation of their impact on hip-hop and how they are the reason why it is what it is. “Kotsi” is a song that shows how Zeus’s generation characterized hip-hop by using samples from yesteryears. You can pick up on the melodies used on the beat, which include violins or trumpets. It may be the best-produced song on the album. The question remains: How many of Botswana’s current MCs will be actively rapping in 2034? What Zeus has done for Botswana hip-hop will go down in history considering how he did it independently. To this day, we are still waiting for a rapper from BW to reach Zeus’s level. “GOAT vs KID” is another recommended song that you should check out. Overall, it is a beautiful, well-balanced album from the first track to the last one. “Bona Bloma” caught me by surprise because I never imagined Zeus rapping so smoothly on a drill-fused beat. Experience is crucial, and a typical MC will always be an MC. It’s clear that old MCs can jump to any beat, but can the new faces in Botswana hip-hop jump on old-school instrumentals? We’ll see. I highly recommend this album if you are a fan of authentic, well-written hip-hop. It features King Kanja, Tshepo Moanakwena, Cibil Nyte, 2mello, The Bro, Apollo Diablo, and Nomadic. ButiOnTheTrack delivers some of the coldest and dopest beats, too!
I(illy) give this album a good 7.5/10. Check it out and let me know how you feel about it. Don’t forget to follow all Hype Magazine Pages.