If music is a language that the heart only understands. So hip-hop is for the head because rappers are dishing out food for thought, meet the enigma who is Jungle Loco
How best can you introduce yourself?
I am Jungle Loco, a Masvingo born and bred rapper with 3 decorated albums to date. Nothing more nothing less.
Most people remember you for Tochimhanya 2015 right? Walk me through that response
Most people know me for my award winning album Bata MaStreets. Now that has been the biggest highlight in my career so far. But yeah Tochimhanya was one of those crazy moments. I just felt I had to represent my city and go out to prove that ain’t nobody else running it (as J Brown had claimed) but only us the natives. I didn’t kick it because my hommie Noble had been dissed as initially purported, I was hungry.
I had hommies warning me at that time after learning I was already penning a response the day after ‘We Run It’ dropped. They were apprehensive from the thought that folks were going to make sure I won’t ever get played on radio and block some pathways to my blowing up, hence the line “gen’a rondi tipper mfesi wedu usadaro“. So we did this track with Pepzee (Masvingo based producer) in like a day. Then we then dropped it the same day Calvin (MHSRIP) dropped ‘Used To Run It’ and the streets went crazy, I tell you.
Masvingo is known for its strong battle rap culture, how has that shaped you as an artist and rapper?
Well battling is an element that boosts confidence, charisma, stage presence , lyricism altogether. Far as confidence and stage presence is concerned, I would have drowned after that mic glitch during my ZHHA 2020 performance but I went on to kick an acapella freestyle and managed to retain that energy. As per lyricism, I don’t wanna brag my guy but feature me on any track right now I tell you bar for bar rappers can never par.
You took a sabbatical studying the game or pursing other ventures?
I was on other ventures my bro. I don’t really study the game I do what I feel I should far as music composition is concerned. I actually have more Central African music, sungura and jazz on my playlist than I got hip hop. If I followed trends I wouldn’t have kicked the Mudhara Loco hook in the manner I did.
The rebranding from Jungle Kid to Jungle Loco, what’s the story behind?
Jungle Kid to Jungle Loco resembles growth. Loco being the alter ego, having been known to be more of a battle rapper I morphed into a laid back guy with crazy rhymes and punches. I dropped close rhyming and introduced this other skill where I will be using words that can also be used as sounds e.g. “pandoti its a calling hakusi kuzvifonera imi ana nhingrrrr”
Your sound has evolved from your first album House of Hunger to the First book of Loco?
Yes my guy, evolution in these parameters is inevitable if one is success oriented. I had to switch from the deep deep underground vibe to these sounds much softer to the ear but at the same time retaining the lyricism and oozing more wit. It really aided in broadening my listener base. Change is always good if it is change for the better.
What disadvantages are there for rappers outside of Harare and Bulawayo?
To be honest the time has passed when we would complain about airplay, being sabotaged etc. All that no longer exists
You have a label, how do you manage that and your career?
That clothing line is my little brother’s, FREE APPARELS. I only help market it. Hence the lines on Petrikupinda; “apa lil bro is takin over free apparels heavy cloba handikujute, no MDC but kana uchida MUCHEKA huya tiKhupe” lol. You can check the Free Apparels page on FB or @freegarb on Instagram or his personal FB account Settie Chikwati.
Album of the year Zim Hip Hop 2020 and working with the production team?
The album, bro that was a lot of work. Shout out to Zim Hip Hop Awards for the accolade. At times I would go record at night because the electricity would always come back late hours. I had beat changes on certain songs too, the creative process, you know the dynamics. Mudhara Loco was first penned on that Ginde beat before Crooger used it. I had to switch to a fast tempo one and Jonn delivered as always. I did tracks at Analog Stereo with Lyre, he mixed and mastered about 8 tracks on the album. Pepzee did 7 and Looda Beats did 3. I got beats from Cyber 101, Jonn the producer, D Varren, Cyp, Pepzee and I also did some there. I’m quite fortunate to have worked with producers that understand my craft pretty well…makes execution easy.
The Peels and Kikky backlash claiming they had the better body of work than yours?
Oh the backlash lol…. doesn’t that happen on a yearly basis? Well they expressed their feelings. Not sure if it’s healthy for artists who should be working together on getting Zim Hip Hop out there. It boggles my mind because I love and respect these people but then its their opinion not mine
Your favourite all time book and your current read?
Rich Dad Poor Dad and The House Of Hunger, tie. Currently I’m on the hustle and the music my bro, the time now, you know how it is.
Message to the younger Jungle?
Have no fear. Speak your mind. Love mankind, have a lot of compassion. But if they try take advantage of that then turn as sour as possible so as to mark your boundaries. Stay focused and positive.