Planet Vin LP: Cal_Vin par­ties hard, re­flects on new al­bum

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Bruce Ndlovu

THE last year and a half has been like pages plucked from the sweet­est chap­ter of a fairy­tale for rap­per Cal_Vin, who in that time has gone from be­ing un­known to ris­ing to be one of the most sought af­ter hip hop artistes on the Zim­bab­wean mu­sic scene.

Long gone is the Lu­veve boy who strug­gled with fel­low rap­pers to put to­gether money to bring his fire and brim­stone lyrics to life on the screen as he could not raise funds needed to shoot a video for any one of his songs.

In his place has stepped in a bona fide rap star who is not afraid to boast of the achieve­ments that he has amassed in record time. This new found con­fi­dence is ex­pressed ex­plic­itly in Cal_Vin’s lat­est of­fer­ing, the Planet Vin LP, which was re­leased re­cently.

Never one to bite his tongue, Cal_Vin hits the ground run­ning on the al­bum’s open­ing track ti­tled Way Up, de­scrib­ing how his life has trans­formed over the last year as he is now able to sam­ple the perks that come with be­ing a rap star, such as VIP treat­ment at clubs. The theme of cel­e­bra­tion con­tin­ues in the al­bum’s next few songs, with Cal_Vin seem­ingly at ease rap­ping in both Nde­bele and English, a trait that has been harder to mas­ter for other rap­pers from the City of Kings who are mostly good at one or the other. A dis­tinct fea­ture of the first half of the 16-track al­bum is the party mood that most of the songs try to cre­ate. Most of the songs are up­beat, marked by pro­duc­tion that is up-tempo, plac­ing em­pha­sis on dance­able beats and easy to di­gest lyrics. On Ubusha­bethu, Cal_Vin cel­e­brates the cham­pagne life­style as the word­smith deftly de­scribes how he and his en­tourage cel­e­brate their achieve­ments at posh clubs. The high­light how­ever, comes from the rap­per’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with one of the city’s ris­ing stars As­aph on the song Izandla Emoyeni. The two trade deadly verses with reck­less aban­don and dis­play their prow­ess as word­smiths. As­aph is par­tic­u­larly out­stand­ing, as he so­lid­i­fies his grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion. The song will likely be a hit if it is pushed and mar­keted in the right way.

How­ever, the next song, Byo Got Hot Chicks, is prob­a­bly the low­est point of the al­bum as it fea­tures some of the lazi­est rap­ping from Cal_Vin and sounds like most other songs in the city re­leased by rap­pers fawn­ing over some of the city’s beau­ti­ful women who in­clude the likes of for­mer Miss Zim­babwe Sa­man­tha Tshuma and song­birds Alaina and Mimie Taruk­wana.

The sec­ond half of the al­bum sees the rap­per put his think­ing cap on and explore themes such as hope and love while he also doesn’t for­get the plight of the poor from Lu­veve with some rel­e­vant and bit­ing so­cial com­men­tary on songs such as Lil Rain.

The mood is more som­bre as the rap­per re­flects on the trap­pings of new found fame on Wrong Thangs while look­ing back on love gone wrong on track — Is You Happy which also fea­tures im­pres­sive vo­cals by Lil­ian and Jonah. The tran­si­tion from the lat­ter song to the next, Just Watch, is also seam­less and sees the rap­per at his lyri­cal best.

Although most of the songs are of a high qual­ity, the rap­per could have trimmed the ex­cess fat by leav­ing off a cou­ple of songs as they do lit­tle to shed fur­ther light on the multi faceted world that is Planet Vin.

Planet Vin CD cover

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