CITY PRESS REVIEW: Moozlie changes lanes from presenter to poet

2018-09-16 00:00
 
Moozlie

ALBUM REVIEW: Moozlie is a charcater who has always seemed to be on the cusp of something great. Her debut album may be the first step in that direction. 

Victory by Moozlie

R79.99 on Apple Music

Rating: 3/5

Moozlie burst on to the scene as an edgy VJ at MTV, and after spending many years surrounded by musicians she now presents us with her debut album.

Victory starts with tribal-sounding drums laid over elements popular in rap these days. The arrangement is similar to something Sjava might knock out. The production also cleverly ladles some Columbian-inspired chimes, invoking Moozlie’s fascination with the godmother of cocaine trafficking, Griselda Blanco. I liked this about the track, but the raps took a while to develop any imagery.

Oh My was the first on a long list of surprises on this record. She starts with an Auto-Tune harmony, but quickly abandons that for a rapid flow.

Parts of this record are awkward, like when Moozlie reflects on her journey in entertainment so far. She touches on her early days at MTV, which isn’t necessarily a bad idea on a debut. I just wish it had been delivered a little better and rapped a bit harder.

Be Somebody affirms a trend in which rappers include a sonic salute to Nigeria’s Afrobeat movement. I enjoyed her clever take on this. The song’s lyrics are draped in Auto-Tune, but they’ve been styled to resemble Tracy Chapman’s Be Somebody, which is, of course, nostalgic and rather bold.

See the Sun is when the album really starts to take off and Moozlie finally serves up the kind of rap I believe she’s capable of delivering regularly. Her bars are shaped in a way that draws on the iconic style of TKZee. This song has that summertime pool party feel to it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a single.

This audio tour down kwaito lane continues on S’funukwazi, which is probably my favourite Moozlie moment of all time. If you’ve seen this home girl around, then you know she bad. She doesn’t come across as cute or bubbly. In fact, there are times when I honestly thought maybe she had an assault rifle under that trench coat on her album cover.

This homage to the dominant sound of the 1990s is topped with references to local pop culture that are smart, witty and rugged.Never Give Up is another kwaito-esque track that gives this album a solid core. She shows her hood love, and explains that the love she gets back is similar to what Brenda Fassie went through.

On the banger Pray (which features rappers Yanga and AKA) Moozlie kills her former stage persona Skhanda Queen and signals her new beginning as an artist.

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