To Diss Or Not to Diss: The Ray Vines and Holy Ten Debacle

The Zimbabwean entertainment industry is never short of controversy and some “some violence”. 

This week popular comedian Ray Vines is on the receiving end of some really strong social media abuse after he stirred a lot of disgruntlement with his negative review of Holy Ten’s new offering. This again has raised the question of artist-to-artist etiquette. Should an artist comment negatively on another artist’s art? To diss or not to diss?

By Lennon Mudzengerere

The arts industry is arguably one of the most competitive industries on the planet and in Zimbabwe especially. The digital revolution has birthed thousands of content creators and on a daily they are on our social media feeds jostling for attention. 

The Zim Hip Hop scene is probably the hardest scene to penetrate and getting into the mainstream industry in Zimbabwe coming from Zim Hip Hop is not an easy task. One person that seems to have jumped that hurdle over the years is Holy Ten and the young deep-voiced leader of the youth has had people eating out of his hands.

The problem with fame especially in a competitive entertainment scene is over the top scrutiny. We knew it was coming for Holy Ten and it seems his share of some “hate” has finally come through. On the 22nd of February, Holy Ten dropped Appetite which was scheduled to drop a week before but was delayed due to Soul Jah Love’s death (may his dear soul rest in peace). Ravines dropped his opinion on the song and Twitter went bollocks. Before we talk about what the Mukukuzvi boss had to say let’s just get a quick review of the song.

Holy Ten- Appetite

One thing that we have the first talk about is the prerelease promotion. One thing that was on point from the get-go was the promotion. The series of tweets which started over a month ago along with the Risky Life drop and several Tik Tok Videos was enough to raise a lot of excitement. The announcement that there was Anita Jaxson on the track was enough to create enough hype for such a massive drop.

Visuals are one thing that we have to talk about. The seamless scene transitions, the shots, and the wardrobe are amazing and the video can easily be one the best that we have seen this year. The director has a clear vision and the execution was top tier. We have to give him props for that.

The song itself does not carry the contemporary hip hop sound that we have become accustomed to from the self-proclaimed “Leader of The Youth”. Appetite is a fast-paced Kwaito – Rapjam with a distant calypso feel. The sound is new and we do not hate it. One thing we like though about the song is that the production quality is up there. The vocals fall effortlessly into place and the beat progression is quite amazing. The lyrics though could have been done a little better but overall the song is good.

Experimenting with a new sound is difficult and we believe Holy Ten did a great job and with enough radio play and online promotion, the song can do quite as well as MwanaNdakubirai. Adding Anita Jaxson to the song was a masterstroke. Anita murdered her verse and the superstar value she brings is quite a huge bonus.

The Rayvines Debacle

Now that our opinion on the song is out of the way we can talk about Mukukuzvi boss. Ray Vines posted on his Twitter account, “Handina appetite handisi hangu Kuifeeler…director we video ndiye akagona chete Suhn please save the hip hop culture” The uproar was instant with people throwing some really lo blow shots.

Off late Rayvines has been Vocal, stirring a lot of controversies especially after seemingly throwing shade onWinky D. The question that then comes to mind d should a fellow content creator comment negatively on another artist’s work especially publicly?

To Diss or Not To Diss?

The problem with music is that it is subjective and people are bound to have their own opinions, so we are not going to be talking about what Rayvines thinks about the song. What we are going to be talking about though is etiquette. The Zim Hop industry is small compared to other genres in the country and when one person makes it out, the last thing we should do is pull them down.

We are not saying that we should support and sugar-coat mediocre content but the public criticism coming from one of the loudest voices in Zim Hip Hop is quite a little off-grid. Ray Vines is entitled to his opinion when it comes to music but scolding a fellow artist for neglecting the “culture” tends to draw the culture back even more. 
To Diss Or Not to Diss: The Rayvines and Holy Ten Debacle
To Diss Or Not to Diss: The Rayvines and Holy Ten Debacle
For a genre struggling to make it into the mainstream and we know no one understands that better than Rayvines himself attacking the most popular artist will not do the ”culture” any good.

In our opinion dissing another artist is acceptable but in the context of Zim Hip Hop, the last thing we would want is some negativity. There are multiple avenues that the Mukukuzviboss could have used to get his opinion across to Holy Ten. What is done is already done though and well, the discussion on artist-to-artist etiquette needs revalidation. On the other side, artists should be willing to take some criticism.

Every dark cloud lines up well though, the negativity seems to have helped Holy Ten get a chunk of publicity. The video has done very well on YouTube getting over 50k views in the first 24 hours.

Check the song out here and let us hear what you think... Holy Ten- Appetite -
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