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I do not censor myself at all. I say exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it: An interview with Outspoken the Humble Neophyte
Marko Phiri ,
June 17, 2013

Outspoken Outspoken the Humble Neophyte. That’s quite a mouthful. How did that come about?
Well, to be honest, I usually have to share my piece regardless how it will be taken and so the "Outspoken-ness" of me came to be, but I also found that as much as I like to share my point of view and opinion, I remain predominantly a student in life in all its multiple manifestations. My entire name is basically complimentary elements that I seek to discover myself in, hence I am: Outspoken Alpha-Intellect, The Humble Neophyte, True-Indeed, I-Am-Proof-Of-Emcee aka IdaKeptBrutha, Inner Silence, LoveThyNeighbor, Johnny Unstable … Spikiri-Spokoro BlazVaBlaz (Long right?)

Tell us about your new project and what inspired it?
To be honest, this project has been in the pipeline for close to five years. I started recording late 2008, some tracks that we used to perform when we made the group in November 2007 fell to the way side as the different emotions evolved. The project is a necessary release in order for me and my band to realize any growth. We have had crazy ideas and not enough time to focus on anything due to the nature of our lives. I am either stuck touring certain poetry circuits and workshopping all over the world and back home there is now a 9-5 (that wasn't there when I wrote The Slave-Masters Whip mind you!) and my band members also have lives to lead and mouths to feed. But we had to get this work out or it would've been a stillbirth. The inspiration of the double album Uncool and Overrated: God Before Anything was growth in hip-hop and in life . . . realizing what I personally feel as being important in life, the less glamorous and not-so-polished existence! I even decided to keep it sonically unclean, grittier, brash, adultered in essence and far from the glitz and such. It’s a sweaty album, dusty and heavy, very impolite in nature and delivery and mostly unapologetic.

Are you touring to promote the album?
I hardly promote myself. I will share a few links and reach out to a few individuals that I know, but I want it to have more of an organic life, the most important thing was just getting it out which it shall be soon!

You have one of the funkiest videos produced locally; take us through the conceptualisation.
The concept was to represent a duality in man. That was the main theme. You can see that there are parts where there is a call and answer element, the irony of it was how it was both militant and comical in execution. Similar to how people Toyi-toyi in protest, as much as it is a militant endeavor it is very much peaceful and almost fun. Liberation is always perceived as being a bloody beast, but in actuality those are the characteristics of bondage! So we decided that the video should capture the elements of militancy, peace, fun and straight up lunacy all in one go. After all . . . most of these wars and confrontations that nations find themselves in, the root causes are only known by a few men behind the scenes - the rest of us are left arguing over which form the idiocy should take.

How did you become involved with the The Nomadic Wax Diaspora Mixtape project works? Can we expect more projects like this?
I am actually a signed artist to Nomadic Wax. I have a distribution deal, and you will notice that my album will be available for purchase on their website soon as it is released. I have worked on over 8 projects with them and time willing I will be working on more.

What is the state of Zimbabwe hip-hop right now? How big or vibrant is the movement?
It’s bitter sweet. There is the Hip-hop industry that is doing better financially - it is more visible, regardless what the form or identity is, but the actual movement is divided now more than before. There is a greater rift between "underground" and "commercial" "real" and "fake", a bunch of words that are really thrown around to the detriment of the culture. I personally hardly listen to hip-hop. It’s too tedious and childish (even this interview could get me into flak in the "hip-hop community").

One of the issues that emerge in Zimbabwe’s arts scene is censorship especially concerning politics. How do you as an artist handle this where on one hand you are expected to enjoy poetic licence, and on the other, have to be careful not to ruffle political feathers?
I do not censor myself at all. I say exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. I personally feel that one shouldn't live and die with a chest full of his/her unshared self. One is always certain of death, but how you live your life moving towards it should be entirely ones own doing. But don't be stupid in your freedoms, there has to be a level of responsibility to it! hahaha.

What are you listening to now?
A few drunks arguing just outside my flat in the avenues, some crickets and cars passing with odd sounds coming from my laptop that actually have me a bit concerned!

Your all-time favourite MCs locally and internationally . . .
Forgive me as I go through my list: Kingpinn, mUnetsi, Godobori, Aerosol, Thot Illectrik, Metaphysics, Mizchif . . . Mizchif and Kingpinn have the most influence, but my all time favorite has to be Upmost MyBruthazKeepa aka Rhymez4Dayz. I am lucky enough to have a brother, a friend and a mentor in how dude masters his being in the craft of Hip-hop . . . you get to know that hip-hop transcends beyond hot music into purposeful growth in life. Internationally, also tough, I gravitate towards Yasiin Bey (Formerly Mos Def) Andre 3000, Lupe Fiasco and C-Rayz Walz.

Sadza+Madora or Chicken+Rice?
I’m frigging vegetarian! So I will say Rice rine Dovi neNyevhe! Boom! Caught you completely off guard with that one right? Hahaha.

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