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Probeatz: “Before I Go Underground” Album Review


By Jesse Ncube.

Prolific beat boxer, DJ, actor and one of the best alternative hip hop artists in Zimbabwe recently dropped a master class of musical art in the form of his third debut album titled “Before I go underground”. Last week it was Indigo Saint giving us the chills with his lyrical genius this week Probeatz release BIGU a ten track album!

The rapper is not new to the musical scene, he has had a great transition from being Zimbabwe’s greatest beat boxer into a well-respected player in the game and he is on top of the pile in the Zimbabwean entertainment hierarchy.

His entry in the Starbright competition in 2012 placed him on the spotlight where he managed to scoop the top prize in the special talent category. Since then, Probeatz has not looked back and today he has grown to become a star in an industry that does not give freebies and he’s popularity is not questionable

On the 17th of September 2021, he released his ten-track third album featuring quite a number of upcoming artists like McKnife, Just Jabba, Charma Breezy and Crooger among others.

To say I like Probeatz would be a dull uninspired understatement: a complete injustice! Surely, it could take someone a while to differentiate his craft from other musicians, develop originality. His style of music can make one change their opinion, like facial hair on an adolescent boy; he hates it at first, but in time, it’s engrained and transforms into a core feature of his budding personality.

He features more of his discography, similar to the singles he has dropped in the past, features, solo projects and his first album Twenty five with a mixture of different artists. Probeatz shows that he is more than a rapper, he’s an multi talented musician and he fully understands music & it shows in the arrangements, lyrics, production on tracks like “Prayer”, “Dzimwe nguva”, “Don’t go” and “Standards”.

If one take time to give an ear to the album paying particular attention to other artistes who featured, one would realize each artiste’s role; others cover all the hooks and others alternate the responsibility of adding substance to the album. Throughout the album, I’d say the rapper played hot potato with a grenade and the aging questing of was he much explosive was answered there.

Although there are a lot of other rappers in the game, Probeatz is one rapper who should make you proud to be from the 263 because of his ability to deliver a message, be it a solo or collaborative set – a notable distinction is how he ate up the chorus living no crumps behind on “Ibhanga Iroro”.

The production on this album is absolutely flawless. The “Don’t Go” instrumental seamless incorporation of Afro Fusion and RnB brims with a creative excellence with his lyricism adding a smooth finish at the top.

This is pretty much the story on the entire album, which is characterized by a group of upcoming artistes taking turns to match the effortless sublimity of a productive team that probably left the studio on fire because of how much heat they produced.

At ten tracks, Before I go underground should manage to command attention right to the very last song, although at certain points towards the end were sluggish and complacently underdone. It felt like he was going through the motions for sake of adding weight to his latest project.

Before I go underground isn’t as iconic as his previous albums, but it’s definitely worth the listen, and whether or not it is one that should be kept on repeat mainly depends on one’s patience and their threshold for Probeatz’ consistent vocal performance.

Listen to the album here


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