Chimurenga Renaissance is Baba Maraire and Hussein Kalonji.
Tendai “Baba” Maraire, the architect of Chimurenga Renaissance, hails from world-renowned Zimbabwean music lineage, as his father was Abraham Dumisani Maraire. Abraham came to America where he helped initiate a flourishing Zimbabwean music scene in the Pacific Northwest.
Hussein Kalonji is a first generation Congolese American born in Washington DC. His father was Raymond “Braynck” Kalonji, a world-renowned Congolese guitar legend credited with being the pioneer of the Congolese Rumba Soukouss sound.
Baba Maraire and Hussein found it inevitable that they would eventually start playing music together. After seeing each other perform at various shows, they began to blend their two areas of expertise, hip-hop and African music, and they continued to record and develop the sound that would later become “Chimurenga Renaissance”.
We were ordained to build a bridge strong enough to span oceans, but don’t fall off. Under the waters, we’re waiting with paws each larger than the head of a lion, rows of teeth, and jaws stronger than a Megaladon. Together, we are the black leviathan, panther of the deep.
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The Stranger - Chimurenga Renaissance’s riZe vadZimu riZe comes in at #3 on the Top Seattle Albums of 2014
OKPlayer - “By their name alone, one can assume that they’re looking to shake it up, but a deeper look into the rawness of their sonics unveils they’re devotion to the dirt.”
SPIN - “Rhymes delivered in a voice that merges KRS-One’s dancehall cadences with the chanted lyricism of the Last Poets or Watts Prophets.”
Consequence of Sound - “The beat is luxurious, absorbing an array of influences from reggae, jazz, and African mbira music, all while peppering in prominent spacey synth and splashes of sampled, distorted vocals.”
Mos Def - “I’ve been listening to a lot of Shabazz Palaces, Chimurenga Renaissance, and Death Grips”