Dumi RIGHT/Zimbabwe Legit
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Dumi RIGHT/Zimbabwe Legit

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Zimbabwe Legit tried launching its career in hip-hop’s early ‘90s Afrocentric phase. The debut was shelved and released a decade later, but now with its sophomore set, the African sibling duo of Dumi Right and Akim still create vivid and introspective music reminiscent of an era long gone. Albeit not the Afrocentric sound of Queen Latifah or X-Clan, House of Stone is firmly rooted in the sounds of mid ‘90s New York.

“Evil That Men Do,” punctuated with jazzy piano and saxophone melodies, pairs the duo with Prince Po (formerly of Organized Konfusion) and stic.man (of dead prez), with the four MCs trading stories of humanity in all of its positive and negative forms. The jazziness continues on the Pete Rock-esque “Where I’m At,” an upbeat head-nodder featuring Mike G of the Jungle Brothers.

Zimbabwe Legit’s African heritage is an important part of its sound, and is present throughout House of Stone. One of many instrumental skits, “Mfowethu” pairs tribal chanting with a tight-snared hip-hop beat. Meanwhile rapping is tackled in English, Swahili and Zulu on “All Over The Map,” which features several Southern African rappers like Maggz and Kenny Majozi.

Overall, the combination of positive lyricism, vintage production, and memorable guest appearances from underground staples like Vast Aire and Asheru, and legends like Chubb Rock, make House of Stone a memorable and refreshing release for hip-hop in 2007.

- Adrian Ruhi - Okayplayer.com


Brothers from the Mother, Akim and Dumi Right, came from Zimbabwe to the 'Land Of Opportunities' more than ten years ago to do what no other African rap artist had done before; signing with a respectable US label (Hollywood BASIC). Then, under the guidance of the David Funkenklein, they stood at the beginning of a promising career, however sadly shattered by the sudden death of their protégé and due to multiple label mess-ups. In 2005, we were proud to witness the comeback of the duo, and in particular 'DoomE', who released the album 'Of Unknown Origin' with Pep, while, at the same time, Zimbabwe Legit came back in the picture while Glow-In-The-Dark re-issued most of their older stuff.

Two years later, the new Zimbabwe Legit is ready to make noise with the much anticipated new album 'House Of Stone'. And what a comeback…stylistically this reminds a lot of the OUO album, most production is handled by Cadence of Raw Pro in his well-known jazzy ways, with a horn here, a piano lick there and some straight-up to smooth drums underneath it. Lyrically, Akim and Dumi Right are pushing their levels through the motivational presence of old school legends Chubb Rock, Skillz, Mike G of the Jungle Brothers, Prince Po and YZ and underground heroes like Vast Aire, Asheru of Unspoken Heard, Stic.man of Dead Prez, Breez Evahflowin and Apani B Fly Emcee. A line-up full of grandeur that adds a festive flavour to this celebration of rap. Introspective ('Still Trapped') (Hen Boogie production) as well as retrospective ('Where I’m At'), the two cousins deepen out their songs with narrative lyrics and a warm melancholic production to it. Ditto warmth in 'Evil That Men Do' with an easy sax-infested beat and Prince Po hittin it hard.

But it’s the combination between fast and slow, peaceful and partyesque, rough snares and easy kicks that gives this album an entertaining cadence (no pun intended). 'My mic might erupt, I’m Vast Aire, I talk like a volcano', the former half of Can Ox opens in the energetic anthem ('They need to ship out or shape up') 'Wake Em Up' while Chubb -'lyrically I’m The One it’s been clinically proven'- Rock takes us back to the days when he rushed the stage with Hitman Howie Tee. The bumpy bass line of 'All Over The Map', with some native African tongues, got our head bumpin even more. While the stereo is turned up another notch when the joyful rap dedication –when Brand Nubian meets KMD- 'Gotta Do…' blows through the speakers, celebrating the long-awaited comeback of a group that remained too long in the shades. Meet real rap, meet real Brothers from The Motherland, meet their steelsolid comeback. - Platform8470.com


Akim and Dumi Right of Zimbabwe Legit were destined for the history books as one of the first African Hip Hop groups to drop on a major American label. Unfortunately dark clouds emerged, the label went under and an unlucky thirteen years passed before Brothers From the Mother saw the light of day. Much like Raw Produce, the group of Pro Se Recordings bigwig and ZL collaborator Cadence, the 90's had other plans.

House of Stone's foundation signifies a new era for the pioneers with African tradition firmly in tow, layered with Jazzy textures and cameos by legends that might have you asking which borough they're from, not which continent.

The name of the game of House of Stone seems to be guests, guests and more guests. In fact, the lively "Gotta Do" stands as the lone platform for Dumi and Akim to get busy uninterrupted. The roster includes artists that made their mark both prior to and during Zimbabwe Legit's decade layoff. They'll transport you all the way back to the 80's with "Where I'm At" featuring Mike G of the Legendary Jungle Brothers, plus the larger-than-life Chubb Rock joins Vast Aire as they attempt to "Wake 'Em Up".

Legendary is one term that could be tossed around several times in this review. House of Stone's lyrical content is often intended to inspire, uplift and educate, whether it's overcoming struggle on "Vicious Cycle" co-starring YZ and Emskee, or reclaiming Hip Hop with the help of Cadence, Breez Evahflowin' and Apani. As soon as the infectious piano drops, "Evil That Men Do" shines amongst the pack. Prince Po delivers but it's Stic Man's verse that strikes a nerve. "They say it's wrong to steal a loaf of bread off of the shelf, I say it's wrong to have bread and keep it all for yourself."

If you're wondering where their African heritage comes into play, it's an ever-present aspect of the music. The most unique posse cut is indisputably "All Over the Map" featuring the African All Stars, spanning cultures, continents and languages. The LP is peppered with a few inconsequential yet brief skits such as a Vast Aire voicemail, although the tribal chanting of "Mfowethu" serves as a superior segue.

The "More Damage" and "The Smoke That Thunders" instrumentals at the tail-end of House of Stone would have been better suited as shorter interludes in the heart of the album. Wrapping things up are a couple of remixes to extend the party. The Khz Remix of "Take Back the Mic" provides a darker look than Cadence's original, while the reworking of "No Mercy" by The Last Eighth featuring ZL's Dumi Right and Skillz is a bonus track to reward the faithful listeners.

House of Stone is the brand of Hip Hop you can't possibly be mad at it, otherwise you may want to consult anger management.

Even xenophobic fans weary of a Zimbabwean Rap group will be pleased by the smoothed out, vintage Jazz sounds and poignant wisdom of the Brothers From the Mother. Simply said, they're not too bad at what they do. The album may not rank with its twilight counterparts but serves notice that the adadge of "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it" rings as true as ever. In the meantime, some modern Hip Hop artists might want to look into repair estimates for their broken sounds. - Artofrhyme.com


Brothers Akim and Dumi epitomize the philosophy of global hip hop. While they might have moved to the States to live out their hip hop dreams, lyrically their focus is strongly rooted in the social and political climate of their homeland.

They’ve taken the musical cues of groups like Naughty By Nature, ATCQ and early De La Soul, and molded them to create a curiously up beat backdrop for the struggles and ideas spawned from daily life in Africa. The style is instantly recognizable, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ve heard anything quite like this before. - Beat Magazine


In the early '90s, American hip-hop began to see a surge in Afrocentric consciousness, though this often meant donning a dashiki while ignoring African hip-hop.

Zimbabwe Legit brought a mellow, jazzy style and cool rhymes that were all set to change that, but label trouble kept their EP below the radar. That early material still remains blissfully fresh 13 years later.
- CNET.com


Discography

Zimbabwe Legit - House of Stone LP - 6 weeks on CMJ hip-hop album charts

Album received accolades in publications worldwide from USA, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa

Zimbabwe Legit - Where I'm At - Single - 6 weeks on National College and Mixshow Charts - Rapattacklives and RapNetwork Record Breakers

Brothers from the Mother LP (2005)

State Lines Compilation - Zimbabwe Legit "Crash Thru Walls" (2004)

Zimbabwe Legit EP (1992)

Mercy 12" Single - Dumi RIGHT (2006)
Reached #2 on National college and mixshow charts

of unknown origin LP - O.U.O/Dumi RIGHT (2005)
Look Good 12" Single - O.U.O/Dumi RIGHT (2005)

Photos

Bio

Aug. 2009 - Featured Video - Pandora Music Video Site

July 2009 -Featured Artist - Music Think Tank

2008 Winner Washington Area Music Award

2008 Award Winner - 25th Annual Mid Atlantic Song Contest

2006 Numark/Berklee College of Music - Musical Innovatory for O.U.O - "Pushin' Pens"

Zimbabwe Legit is one of the pioneering and best known hip-hop groups with origins in Africa. They have been involved in the music industry for over a decade and have performed all over the US and the world, from France to Japan on some of the biggest stages and most auspicious venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Their music and performance blends African themes, rhythm and sensibilities with the hardcore, gritty drum beat of the US hip-hop movement. They address topics that are socially relevant and make music that is uplifting and inspirational.

Hailing from Africa, Dumi Right and Akim first appeared on the scene as Zimbabwe Legit when they inked a deal with upcoming label Hollywood Basic back in hip-hop’s golden age. (Label was also home to Organized Konfusion, Lifers Group, Booya Tribe and Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf). After releasing their debut EP, Zimbabwe Legit found themselves tied up in the limbo of record industry red tape once the label closed its doors.

Zimbabwe Legit epitomizes the philosophy of global hip hop. While they might have moved to the States to live out their hip hop dreams, lyrically their focus is strongly rooted in the social and political climate of their homeland. They’ve taken the musical cues of groups like Naughty By Nature, ATCQ and early De La Soul, and molded them to create a curiously up beat backdrop for the struggles and ideas spawned from daily life in Africa. The style is instantly recognizable, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ve heard anything quite like this before. - Beat Magazine

2006 Winner Numark Musical Innovator Contest (Dumi RIGHT)

2007 Winner Fringe NYC Overall Excellence Awards
Best Choreography (Akim Funk Buddha)