OPINION: My E-True Revolver Story: Revolver Tribute



By Harold Kapindu

Its been a week since Revolver answered God’s call. Its been a week since I posted something on Facebook or tweeted. Mainly because of two reasons, firstly I didn’t want to sound too emotional and secondly, I am not type that takes it to social media when something is trending.

Am not going to say Revolver was a good or bad person because showering praises at the departed is not my cup of tea. And as per tradition, we do not speak ill of the departed. But am going to share something, you be the judge.

I knew Revolver at MCA in 2008. We both loved Hip Hop and we both rapped so we quickly became friends. He featured me on his first radio hit track “Been around the world”. I know most of you think “Hustle ngati M’mwenye” and “Sindidanda” were his only hit songs. Well, I wouldn’t blame you because you don’t know the history.

Revolver broke out when mainstream radio was not playing Hip Hop. The only time Hip Hop songs were enjoying airplay was at night on FM 101’s “The Drill” and Joy radio’s “The Tunnel”. This was the time when “Been around the world” introduced Revolver to the underground Hip Hop community.

When he was MCA entertainment president, we used to booze together till wee hours. He gave me food when I was hungry; he gave me a place to sleep. He was one of the few artists that visited me at home in Zingwangwa. When I visited Mzuzu, I only knew Revolver and Ron CZ. They gave me friendship in a strange place, when I needed it the most.

In 2012, when I was active in music, I organized a show at Zanzi (now Amazon club), most artists I approached charged me. Revolver offered to perform for free and he travelled all the way from Blantyre. This is the guy who believed in my craft.

On 4th November 2016, I travelled to Blantyre to cover the UMP Awards. On Saturday night, I met Ron CZ who told me Revolver had gone for an operation but had been discharged. He said he was at Home. We agreed to go see him the following morning, Sunday 6th November. That was when we heard he was gone.

Distance and work affected our friendship. He was based in Blantyre, I am based in Lilongwe and the only time we talked was on Facebook, twitter and on the phone. I could not tell exactly what he was going through. Typical of all men, we always try to look strong even if we are unwell.

Its always unbelievable to hear a friend has died. Having heard the condition Revolver was in; I still found it hard to believe. But, depending on how one thinks, some say “we live to die” while others say “we are dying to live” and one day we all shall meet our maker.

I remember meeting Able at the UMP Awards. Able is a kid I have known for years. He is a good freestyle rapper and a battle rapper. He has won 6 battle raps consecutively including the UMP battle raps since its inception. Able promised me that he was going to dedicate his victory to Revolver if he won. Unfortunately, he lost. After losing, he walked straight to me and said; “Sorry man, I let you and Revolver down.” And I replied, “It’s all good fam, it happens. You win some, you lose some.” I was not disappointed.

Able was very disappointed. But am sure, where ever he is at, Revolver was not disappointed.

Then, when the event started, artists took turns to salute the fallen rapper. Physix, Fredokiss, Rina among others used every opportunity to pay homage to Revolver.

Now let me address, the issue of lack of love and unity at the Revolver burial. Contrary to what has been trending on social media, the issue has nothing to do with lack of love and unity rather the issue is to deal with punctuality.

As Malawians, we have this preconceived notion that burials take place around 3 or 4 pm. By 1:30pm, Revolver’s remains were lowered into the grave. The time most people were leaving to attend the burial. The true story is, most artists came late while others gave up when they heard that the ceremony was done. And as for a tribute song, good things take time and am sure artists are in the studio working.

We have lost a friend and a brother. Rest well my friend.



#OPINION: The Trap Squad situation

By Harold Kapindu

Pop music lovers remember Backstreet Boys, NSYNC or Spice Girls. R&B fans remember B2K, Destiny’s Child or Silk. Hip Hop heads remember Almighty RSO, EPMD or Grave Diggers. The question is where are these groups now? The obvious answer is they don’t exist anymore. They parted ways.

No matter how close people may become in a group, at some point they grow apart. It may be because of age; members grow up and get married whereby having huge responsibilities or simply having different ideologies as they grow older. In some cases, some members feel they have become bigger than the group prompting them to pursue solo careers. Or it might be because of greediness.

Lately, we have seen Blantyre based urban music group, Trap Squad members going back and forth on social media and on radio. Apparently, Sir Patricks and Stich Fray have left the group. The rumour was they were to be signed to Dan Lu’s label but the two artists in question denied the rumour. Then the remaining group members went on Joy Nathu’s “Made on Monday” radio show where they accused Sir Patricks of greed and coaxing Stich Fray to leave the group.

But, was going public a good idea or it was just another publicity stunt? We have seen groups breaking up or members leaving the group without anyone noticing. A break up story would come up when fans noticed that there was something wrong.  Questions would be asked after noticing that a member was missing at a concert or not appearing on an album.

Yes, there was no Facebook or Twitter but they had MySpace. They never took to their MySpace or went on radio to announce their exit from a group.

Some groups break up for good while others break up and reunite. Even the mighty WU-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep once broke up.

Where there are two or more people conflicts will always arise. What matters is how do you resolve those conflicts? Addressing internal issues in public is not a good idea. This only strips off your integrity as human beings. Remember, you are a human being before an artist.


#OPINION: Collaborations or Features

By Harold Kapindu

Collaborations or features play a significant role on an artists’ career. In most cases, up and coming artists collaborate with established artists when they are making an entrance in the industry.

We have seen this working for artists like Akon who collaborated with legendary rapper Styles P on “Locked Up”, Chris Brown’s collaboration with Juelz Santana on “Run it” and locally, Tay Grin’s collaboration with David Kalilani Formerly known as Stix on “Break Out”. Mind you, artists like Styles P, Juelz Santana and Stix were already big artists and the collaborations worked out for Akon, Chris Brown and Tay Grin who were new to the industry.

Collaborations also help artists to expand their fan base. When artists collaborate, they introduce each other to a new fan base for a respective artist. A good example is a collaborative effort between Nas and Junior Gong on “Distant Relative” EP. The EP introduced Nas to the reggae fraternity while bringing Junior Gong closer to the Hip Hop community as well.

Of recent, we have seen musicians collaborating with DJs and producers. Collaborating with a DJ is important since DJs are either on radio or performing in gigs. This helps push the music and the featured artists. Producers and musicians easily create masterpieces when there is great chemistry. The chemistry between DJ Premier and late Guru always stand out in this respect.

Collaborations must be strategic. Artists should know what they are looking for in collaboration. I have noted with great concern that most Malawian artists collaborate for the sake of just doing a song. No plan whatsoever. This is a waste of time and resources. In every endeavor that an artist is taking must be valued in monetary and career terms.

Tay Grin and Zani Challe must be applauded for the strides they are making in flying the Malawi flag so high. Tay Grin’s recent collaborations with Nigeria’s 2Baba and Orezi and Zani Challe’s collaboration with Patoranking are quite strategic and seem to be working out for them. This is something that budding artists must learn. Collaborate to progress and not to impress.

#OPINION: Stop the nonsense!

By Harold Kapindu

Local media has lately been attacked by artists for favouritism. Some disgruntled members in the arts world have taken to social media claiming print and electronic media practitioners pay attention to selected individuals while sidelining others even if they have something worthy talking about.

I find this discussion rather irrelevant. My point has always been that artists should have management and public relation teams to act on their behalf when dealing with the media. I have noted with great concern that most artists become untouchables when they have one or two hit songs. They feel media should chase them for stories and updates on new material. This is absurd.

If you want to make it in this industry you need to have connections. Yes, an artist has to have high self-esteem but arrogance and individualism won’t take you to greater heights. Know who does what to do what you need at a particular time. You need to know producers, brand managers, radio personalities and showbiz journalists.

Having your song being uploaded online or played on radio is not good enough. Not everybody downloads and streams music online, listens to radio or watches TV; you need to push your material in different avenues to attract a wider audience. For instance, press releases to print media to target those that read newspapers, magazines and online tabloids to target social media fanatics.

Showbiz is about pulling stunts in this hashtag generation. Stunts help you get publicity because when you have done something it trends and people talk, tweet and post about it. In show business, they say “Negative or Positive publicity is all equal to publicity”, however, be extra careful when pulling stunts. Some stunts will ruin your career and reputation; this is where brand managers come in to protect you as a brand.

Being an artist is not cheap. The way one carries themselves matter. People take you seriously if you are also serious with what you do. Journalists go after somebody who is relevant and makes news. Not every Jack and Jill that has a song is newsworthy. Do something that makes news otherwise take a chill pill and stop the nonsense!




#OPINION: Invest in artist IT training

By Harold Kapindu

Malawi needs a hefty investment in artist Information Technology (IT) training to be at par with the rest of the world. Government has failed in arts investment forcing artists to become ignorant in technology. As a matter of fact, artists should be computer literate at a tender age so that they shouldn’t struggle to cope up with internet services in this generation.

To begin with, Malawi has struggled to develop since gaining its independence in 1964 because of computer ignorance. Most Malawian public schools start offering computer studies at Secondary level. Worst still, they only teach basic programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Students learn how to use the internet at a very late age.

In the west, our friends become computer literate at a tender age and start music and video production while young. This helps quite a lot because as they are growing physically and mentally, production and computer skills also grow in them.

Everything is going online in this modern world. The coming in of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp) has forced corporations to change from traditional ways to online. Prominent news outlets such as BBC, CNN and Sky News among others are all making sure to make their social media presence known.

The coming in of local news and file sharing websites like Nyasatimes, Nyasashowbiz, Mvelani, nyimbozathu.com  and Malawi-Music.com has made it easier for people to have access to local music and  helped many Malawians in Diaspora in keeping up to date on what is happening on the ground.

Nowadays people prefer checking their news on Facebook and Twitter pages because it is cheaper and faster as compared to buying a Newspaper. Gone are the days when file sharing was done via CDs, it is now simple to upload and download. WhatsApp has become popular for file sharing and communication.

However, as ridiculous as it may sounds, it is quite embarrassing that some top artists and promoters don’t even know how to use social media platforms. When dealing with social media one is required to stay online frequently because this is a fast generation that requires interaction and instant responses, otherwise the youthful fans take you as old fashioned and boring.

#OPINION Rap beef in Malawi

By Harold Kapindu

Rap being a competitive genre, beef is never inevitable. Beef may end an artists’ career while others capitalize on it to score points. Rappers create feuds over egos, betrayal, and love relationships or even over a name.

Lomwe vs. Tay Grin is probably the most highly publicized beef in Malawi. Lomwe claimed Tay Grin stole his song at the studio which he originally did with his former FM 101 Power colleague Mphatso Chikalipo. Lomwe went on to record a Tay Grin diss mixtape which had songs like “Rumours of War”, “u don’t want it” and “Death of Gule”. Tay Grin never did a straight reply but subliminal shots were heard in songs like “Beasting” featuring Tumi, Zubz and Naseela and “All the way” feat Sonye.

The battle of egos was probably Jolly Bro vs. Phyzix. This was the period when Blantyre’s Jolly Bro and Lilongwe’s Phyzix were both big. It was a question of who really ride or die for their city. Both artists released songs throwing jabs at each other. Many believed this beef could have gone bloody because both artists had street credibility.

Soon after a 2014 successful Genii, D1 and Third Eye collabo on “The moment”, Genni Black released ‘Dats dat heat” which had some lines that did not impress Third Eye. In the song, Genii raps, “with all respect, am never D1 or Third, if I’m the One I can’t be second to Third”. Third Eye went on to rant on social media and recorded his response “Genii Wack”. Genii Black challenged Third Eye to a rap battle but Third Eye demanded K1 million upfront saying he doesn’t battle for free.

Around 2005 and 2006, NIC was hired by FM 101 Power as a Sprite Hip Hop show and Hip Hop Drill host. Real Elements accused NIC for being selfish. Real Elements claimed NIC was only playing his and his friend’s music. They faced each other in a battle which was live on Power 101 radio.

The Basement’s Cyclone and Pittie Boys’ Cyclone had a feud over rap name. No specific songs were released but subliminal shots were fired in either group or solo projects. The feud died when both rappers went silent.

Rap is bloody. If you are a rapper prepare for war.






#OPINION Remembering Vic Marley

By Harold Kapindu

I am not one of those people who shower praises on the dead; I give credit where it is due and timely. Barely eleven years after the demise of Malawi’s reggae dancehall superstar and urban music pioneer Vic Marley, the country seem to slowly forget the icon, a development which is quite unfortunate.

As a kid, growing up in Chitawira, Blantyre I remember occasionally meeting Vic Marley when he was recording at MC Studio in Nkolokosa. That time, I was in a rap group “Maximum Sentence” and we could discuss music every time we met as that was our common ground. To those who knew Vic Marley am sure they can agree that he was a down to earth person despite his popularity.

Born Victor Kunje, the “Hii Hoo” star died on 24 May, 2005 in a tragic accident along Lunzu road. His only album “Mau Anga” had hits such as “Adaferanji”, “Malilime” and “Chidikhodikho feat Annie Matumbi” while “Traffic Police feat Blackamoore” was released as a single.

If you follow local music, artists out there are jacking Vic Marley’s style, especially dancehall artists but they don’t do anything to show they still remember the icon known for his twisting style and unique concepts. His Memorial Day has just passed but nothing has happened to celebrate his life.

In 2013, Vic Marley was honoured with a Life Time Achiever Award at Urban Music Party (UMP) Festival which took place at Blantyre Cultural Center (formerly French Cultural Center) in Blantyre, thanks to Nd’efeyo Entertainment. This is probably the only posthumous accolade the artist has received so far.

Malawi is known for easily forgetting her fallen heroes. It is therefore my appeal to all industry players including the media, artists and the Kunje family to act in unison in remembering the fallen reggae dancehall legend. Remember, apart from Vic Marley, the Kunje family has also given us talented artists namely Star Marley and Reptiler.

At this juncture, allow me to send my deepest condolences to the Nyanga family for the passing of Malawi’s prominent comedian John Nyanga trading under the moniker “Izeki” of the duo Izeki ndi Jakobo. May the souls of Vic Marley and Izeki continue resting in peace.