ALBUM REVIEW: Winky D - Vanhu Vakuru (2008)


Winky D is one of dancehall's most prominent artists in Zimbabwe and he has been gaining momentum from the early days. He rose to prominence on the Luckspin Riddim in 2004 with MuRasta which became an anthem from his release entitled War. From there it has been pretty much uphill for the soft spoken young star. I really should have done this review a few months back but ndaingoti ndichaita lol. Back to the business of the day!

Vanhu Vakuru came with much expectancy given that the dancehall circuit has been ignited of late with releases from other contenders like King Labash, Jusa, King Shaddy, MC Mighty, Trinta and many others in the past year. The title track is on the Dragon Neck Riddim by Eye Spy Entertainment headed by DJ Tinah. The riddim is not particularly to my liking but the song by Winky D is the best of the lot on the riddim. Barika is a song to remember with lyrics like:

'Samambo Solomon ndinorima mabhebhi, 
ndozopisa vaya vanoda kujima mabhebhi,
ndichibigga vaya vanovhima mabhebhi,
kwete kurohwa nehana ozopima mabhebhi,
neveClass kuratidza kuziva mabhebhi,
kuita small house kuratidza kuchiva mabhebhi,
Officer mirai kutikitivha bhebhi,
sungai ngochani inogaira ingava bhebhi.'

I could not stop laughing in enjoyment after listening to this song and it sums up most songs on the album. Ndiwe Une Yese is a love song about a girl who has got it all. It is one of the slower songs on the album but still exciting. Things are very different from this man's eyes and he conveys his feelings in a way i have not heard before. Vanosema Rasta is fast paced with an energy that features on many of the tracks. Winky D has this sort of ghetto talk (no pun intended) that just makes his music so undeniably Zimbabwean and different. His translation of our everyday talk and situations into music is a talent not many possess. It was great to hear the inclusion of the hit song from a few years back called Bhutsu which is about smelly feet and shoes (i know hahaha). I liked Chaputika which is like his announcement to everyone of his intention to stay on top for a long time and that this album is no fluke (which i certainly agree with).

There has been talk of the intense message of 'violence' on this album. I think for starters it depends on how you would like to look at it but it is no lie that a good number of the songs involve lyrics focusing on beef and physical altercations. The biggest hit from this album, Rokesheni which has been on the charts for months (yes, months!) is about the stand offs between people who live in different high density neighbourhoods around Harare. He talks about their different strengths when it comes to 'hood politics'. About the same content applies for his latest hit, Vanotaura which has only worsened the claims that his music is too violent. Other songs in the same light are Sutu Yezvibhakera, Dzungu (on the Doom Dust Riddim), Usazvifambise Mbiri and Maprati.

His flow becomes predictable after a while yet you still look forward to hearing to what else he has to say. To be honest, i was tempted to quote so many lyrics from this album but i would fill pages doing that. Most of the tracks here are top notch and dancehall fans as well as Winky D of old will enjoy this album beyond doubt. This soccer loving 25 year old is on top of his game by all means. I am looking forward to hearing his next album which he is currently working on. If you like Zim Dancehall i suggest you get this album as soon as yesterday. Urban Grooves fans might take a liking to this as well, i would buy it just for the enjoyable lyrics. Great work!

Music - 8/10
Technical Sound - 6/10
'I Like' Factor - 7/10