Chimurenga Renaissance is the hip-hop project of Shabazz Palaces member Tendai “Baba” Maraire. He brings on Palaceer Lazaro, the other half of the Seattle-based duo, as well as Hussein Kalonji for his forthcoming LP, riZe vadZimu riZe, which hits stores on March 25th via Brick Lane Records.
While Maraire and Lazaro ramped up the experimentalism on 2011’s Black Up, making a collection of abstract yet excellent songs, Chimurenga Renaissance produces decidedly more straightforward material. Despite this, the music often still features the wildly eccentric sounds and committed songwriting of Shabazz Places, as evidenced by Maraire’s 2012 mixtape and ode to his Zimbabwean roots, Pungwe.
Maraire continues in this same direction on Chimurenga Renaissance new song “The B.A.D. Is So Good”. Here, the beat is luxurious, absorbing an array of influences from reggae, jazz, and African mbira music, all while peppering in prominent spacey synth and splashes of sampled, distorted vocals. Lyrically, Maraire deftly takes a clear-eyed look at life on the streets, exploring the “black American dream”, calling out “crooked politicians,” and many other social ills. Listen in below (via SPIN).