Hip-hop giants Hyphen and Third Eye face off in a winner-takes-all K5 million lyrical showdown on August 28.
Dubbed Game Zikwanje, the curators of the show say the rap contest will settle the age-old debate on who is Malawi’s king of hip-hop between the Lilongwe-based Third Eye and Blantyre’s Hyphen. According to primary arrangements, the competition will be beamed live on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) TV.
The two will be required to perform 20 of what they feel are some of the biggest songs to date, each for a maximum one minute. Out of the 20 songs, 10 will be solo projects and the other 10 collaborations. Fans will then vote through SMS to determine the winner.
Co-organiser Tapps Bandawe said the contest is a game changing concept in the history of Malawi music which is also a celebration of urban music in the country.
“There is no denying that at the moment urban music is the biggest vehicle for corporates to drive the contents of their brands.
“We want to use the contest to bridge the gap between the music industry and the corporate world. The concept has been modelled on America’s Verses programme,” said the seasoned music producer.
Bandawe said the response they have received in their quest to court possible sponsors and partners for the event is encouraging.
The artists themselves are bubbling in high spirits ahead of the historic rap battle. While recognising that anything can happen, Third Eye says he knows that his fans expect him to give his best and represent them well.
He said in an interview: “You put two lions in a cage, know that anything happens. I have been walking barefoot on burning charcoal and doing back flips on Kang’ombe Building at 2am daily. I have faith in my abilities and I know I will get the votes.”
On his part, Hyphen said the competition itself is interesting for the hip-hop fraternity. He said at a time when entertainment has been limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be interesting to see two big artists rocked in a showdown.
“I am digging up songs that I haven’t listened to in a long time and seeing which ones would have the most impact. I can’t really disclose how it is panning out. But this is a must-see event,” he said.
The organisers said they will soon announce the list of their sponsors and their partners. ZBS TV sales executive Emmanuel Magombo said arrangements to host the show are underway. He said the contest is expected to be aired from 9.30am to 11.30am.