Baba Maraire: The legend of the making of a legend

Chimurenga-Renaissance

IN HIS last post, The Peoples Hub’s Henry Makiwa reviewed the latest Chimurenga Renaissance album, riZe Vadzimu riZe. Today, we premiere the group’s latest video, The G.O.O.D is So Bad and share an account that demonstrates the intimate spiritual inspirations behind Chimurenga Renaissance’s frontman, Tendai “Baba” Maraire.

When he was 25, Tendai “Baba” Maraire travelled to Zimbabwe with his whole family, from their American base in Seattle.

A visit to a n’anga – Shona for a Holy Shaman – proved not only to be character-changing, but defined the destiny of a young Maraire, as man and musician. He recounted the visit with Makiwa, who interpreted it in both Shona and English.

Tendai Maraire: The Legend of a Making of a Legend

Important to note, is that Maraire had already been playing the Mbira. In fact, he started playing the instrument when he was 18 months old, and, from the teachings of his father, the legendary Dumisani, learned of its many different styles and tunings.

New Video

Maraire went on to fuse his fascination with hip-hop and his family’s African roots to create the spacey, avant-rap of Shabazz Palaces, a project he started with Ishmael Butler that found him touring the world and playing the humble folk instrument in front of huge festival crowds.

Lead single “The B.A.D. Is So Good” features helium-warped vocals tossed over a beautiful mbira melody and a hip-hop beat, all while Maraire eloquently confronts the state of black America.

Check out the video below:

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Words by@makiwahenry