The mix of instrumental samples in the first 15 seconds of the intro track on Connect the Dots are reminiscent of early Public Enemy, and provide the first indication that whoever is behind the album is a serious student of hip hop. Then Zimbabwean rapper Dumi Right's (Dumisani Ndlovu) lyrics kick to confirm that, yes, you are indeed in the hands of someone who cares as much about feeding your mind as he does laying down beats to get you moving.
This is bling-free hip hop territory with heart, soul and intelligence, and the album is solid all the way through. Not that we were expecting any less from someone with Dumi Right's pedigree: he is a member of the pioneering and groundbreaking hip-hop crew Zimbabwe Legit, one of first rap groups from Africa to record hip-hop in America (read about that happened here) and make a splash worldwide.
(Video produced and edited by Magee McIlvaine of Nomadic Wax and filmed in Washington, DC and Harare, Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe Legit debuted way back in 1992, but Connect the Dots is Dumi Right's debut solo effort, and features emcees from across Africa - including Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The album is a metaphor for unity across the continent; it connects each unique part of the continent through the collective creation of the hip hop record. Topics range from the pursuit of freedom across the globe to artistic integrity and independence. The album maintains the gritty, classic hip hop flavor that Dumi has exhibited in all his previous projects with thought provoking lyrics and poignant wordplay over a backdrop of rugged beats from some of the underground's finest producers. The scope and scale of the project alone is a first with the geographic and cultural diversity on the record.
The release features production work by Coptic (who has produced for P-Diddy, KRS-ONE, Smif and Wessun and more), as well as Cadence, Saint and ST Mic, Subatomic Sounds and Young Cee. The album also includes previously unreleased exclusive remixes of tracks with hip hop luminaries YZ, Chubb Rock, C Rayz Walz, Breez Evahflowin' and Vast Aire.
Listen to samples and buy Connect the Dots at UndergroundHipHop.com or at hhv.de.