Have you heard of a shebeen? A shebeen is an unlicensed establishment that sells liquor. In the hood the more common one is a house, a meeting place with a never-ending house party. In Zimbabwe the shebeen culture stemmed from colonial times when the indigenous folk were barred from entering bars and clubs that were reserved for Europeans.
A shebeen became a refuge of sorts, disreputable, yes, but a place where everybody was welcome to let their hair down and sip on a couple of cold ones over some music. During the lockdown phase of the pandemic when bars have been closed, shebeens offered an illicit hangout spot for revellers seeking escape….
And this brings us to Shebeen Rap. Shebeen Rap is sub genre of Hip Hop which fuses 90s Kwaito music and other elements to bring about a sound that appeals to a diverse audience while they down their beverage of choice (or rather what their hustle affords them to, no posturing)
On this backdrop, Dough Major drops his first album Shebeen Rap Papa Vol 2. a 24 track album mixed and mastered by Roman Rap Studios. Shebeen Rap Papa Vol. 2 is a follow up to Dough Major’s 2017 Shebeen Rap EP.
Dough Major is a Zimbabwean rapper and co-founder of the Roman Rap Studio. Starting off rapping fully in English Dough Major switched it up to create the sound now known as Shebeen Rap.
What do I think about the Shebeen Rap sound?
You take Hip-hop blend it with Kwaito and House music and end up with a compound greater than the sum total of the elements that make it up. A reflection of how music is dynamic, constantly evolving yet staying the same. Shebeen Rap captures the essence of the ghetto culture, in a world where Hip Hop seems to be more an elitist movement, Shebeen Rap takes it back to the streets, where the gates are always open.
Shebeen Rap Papa Vol 2.
The opening track Early Early sampling Chimora’s Eli Eli had a chorus that took me back to the 90s and I found myself singing along. The song has a sort of trippy high story going but sounds about right, isn’t it this is shebeen rap… Oh and then there’s Kacheche channelling some Marshall Munhumumwe Rudo Chete. Shebeen Rap Vol 2 feels familiar.
So Slow could easily be my favourite jam simply because Tash ate up her verse…..
The songs are mostly in Shona peppered with everyday street lingo and witty relatable punchlines. Shebeen Rap is carving out a niche in Zim Hip Hop, fun, upbeat from the street and doesn’t pretend.
Links to streaming the music can be found below: