South African artistes Zakwe & Duncan glorify themselves and in a sense their musical gifts in a new compilation named for them: “Zakwe & Duncan.”
Both artistes have a lot in common, besides been friends. They might be called veterans in South African music, having manifested many years ago on the country’s music plane and made remarkable contributions to the culture.
Although they are from – or rather signed to – different record labels, they manage to flow splendidly together, weaving many tales and experiences into one fine whole that will fascinate many out there.
Zakwe & Duncan had informed fans of their upcoming eponymous project before releasing it, so fans were in on their creative flares. However the tracklist was a big cause for irritation: it wasn’t exactly clear and one had to s train to read it. Who cares to walk the path of aggravation toward accessing an album? Not us, really.
Released 4 December 2020, “Zakwe & Duncan” album houses 15 tracks in all. This rap compilation features associates of the two artistes, including the girl band Q Twins, K.O. DJ Tira, Kwesta, Lilly, Max Ov, Beast, Supreme, Assessa, Just Bheki and Kay Masta – mostly hip hop voices.
“Zakwe & Duncan” album begins with “Side D,” leading the listener to “Side Z,” and ultimately ending on a “Phumelela” note. By then about an hour would have elapsed. No qualms. The one hour is worth it.
Where Zakwe and Duncan irritated us with their barely legible tracklist, they managed to redeem themselves with the songs in this compilation as a whole. In one honour we managed to forget that we had been irritated at the outset by what we could barely see.
The making of “Zakwe & Duncan” album was entirely without fanfare and the result is irreproachable. Here you have to rap veterans at ease with their gifts and with those they elected to work with, spitting their bars like champs.
If a 5-track list of the best South African albums of 2020 should be made, “Zakwe & Duncan” album might not make the list, but it might find a spot in a much longer list.
In their choices of guest, Zakwe and Duncan did just fine, as they actually flowed well with those they picked. The result should warm the spirit of just about any hip hop nut, whether they’re conversant with the Zulu or not.
“Zakwe and Duncan” is not the first collaborative work between the two artistes. But as far as we know, it is their first joint album – a body of work for alert minds.
Like almost all firsts, it should give a brilliant view of what might follow. In this case, we should say it should be something not only energizing but worth sharing as well. The two artistes are good together and should leverage on their musical synergy for more entertaining numbers in the future.
“Zakwe & Duncan” album might be taken for a sterling prelude. Isn’t that what it is, really? This album elicits pleasure, although now and again thoughts of the barely legible tracklist intrude.
If we say three point five stars out of five will be ideal for “Zakwe & Duncan” album, best believe that’s what it actually merits. But then we’d welcome your thoughts on the project as well.
So, done following the review, you might want to give the album a star rating as well. And if you think, we’re ungenerous with three point five stars, you’re welcome to break the biggest candle on our head in the tradition of Giovanni Guareschi.