Inspired by legendary hip- hop icon and broadcaster Kenny Klips Nkhotakota-based hip hop artist, Vitu Marley, real name Vitumbiko Makumba has released a debut album titled China Nsolo China Nzeru.
Makumba said the remarks by Kenny Klips—who died early this year which he made last year—during Malawi Hip Hop Awards, made him embark on an album project.
Upon receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award, Kenny Klips, through rapper Hyphen, said “Malawians don’t love hip-hop”.
Makumba said: “I believe that was the truth because most Malawians only support the kind of hip-hop that gives them attention in public eyes”.
He said, in Malawi, “if you are a lyricist, you are labelled as hard-headed and primitive”.
“However, I believe that we are all spiritual beings having a human being experience and it is this experience that shapes us to be better people and therefore this album is about my personal experiences which I want to share with the public,” Makumba said.
The youthful artist said China Nsolo China Nzeru is a Sena phrase which in Chichewa means “Chili ndi Mutu Chili ndi Nzeru”—literally translated as whoever has a head has wisdom.
The 11-track album was composed and written by Vitu Marley himself and it features Lexie, Prime and JMC, among others.
The project was recorded and mixed by Nefter of Day Break Studios in Lilongwe.
Makumba said that the album was also partly inspired by the teachings of Maat, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Marcus Garvey, Thomas Sankara, John Chilembwe and Haile Selassie.
“They all preach the same message which is; know yourself and have confidence in yourself without the help of religion and politics and make something for yourself without the slave master’s god,” he said.
Makumba started recording music in 2018 after being encouraged by peers who witnessed his rap battles and freestyles at Malawi Adventist University.
“As an emcee, I stick to the original hip-hop, the boom bap, the DJ cuts and scratches, the graffiti and all the real elements of hip hop,” he said.