New kid on the block, Junior Thembelani Mlalazi, affectionately known as Martin Jonatao in the Hip hop circles, recently released his debut EP titled TAO Ep.
By Marshall Bwanya
The Bulawayo born and bred artist released the book story music whose lucid lyrics depict the aspirations, dreams and shortcoming of the 17 year old teenager sensation.
The seven track EP was produced by prominent Bulawayo based producer Koko, who has worked with seasoned artistes such as Mzoe7, Asaph, J Garnet, Frixx and K Brizzy to mention but a few.
TAO Ep takes hip hop lovers on a versatile emotional roller coaster that is quite mesmerizing.
Jonatao, throughout the EP focuses on the repetition of simple catchy words and phrases to lure the audience to appreciate his song craft.
‘TAO,’ as coined and purported by the young wordsmith, means ‘the absolute principle underlying the universe,’ which basically describes the cause and effect in any given scenario, a bit deep and too philosophical for a 17 year old right.
In the EP Jonatao is a bit too sentimental and emotional expressing an artistic sour flare of realistic experiences where every teenager will be trying to wrestle with their hormones and emotions.
The track list opens up with the track Private lounge that ironically shares the same name with a exotic night club in Bulawayo.
Private lounge is a touching song that tells a tale of a gullible guy who falls in love with an exotic dancer.
In the song, Jonatao defends his relationship with the exotic dancer stating the obvious reasons we already know.
That she wasn’t really into exotic dancing but the situation had coerced her to be the bread winner, feed her family and pay for her studies.
Yeah, you probably have heard that before, but then again that story never gets tired and Jonatao sincerely makes sure of that.
The second track on the playlist is After all were Jonatao through his prolific wordplay describes a scenario were a guy caught cheating pleads for forgiveness arguing that he is equally bad as the next guy.
Bummer, the fact that you subconsciously accept there is next guy you know it’s over.
The track Linda that features budding songstress Melz Zieh articulates the notion of forbidden teen love that most parents don’t approve.
In the song Linda the youthful artiste explains the emotional and psychological struggles teenagers involved in relationships not approved by parents go through.
Jonatoa, however, fails to avail alternative solutions on how youthful love may overcome challenges and win the approval of parents.
The song Sorry not sorry the teenage rapper is basically unapologetic for his flaws.
A state one feels like they don’t owe the world any explanation for their countless mistakes, basically he is saying I’m only human after all.
This song self-introspects that being perfect is an illusion and no matter what one does you will never win the approval of everyone.
Life like a blunt is a jam that depicts basically two sets of individuals.
A go getter who sweats to realise his/her dreams and a foolish dreamer who simply fantasizes about making it without any effort or vision while time passes away like a light blunt.
The track Cuddle is basically the same concept with Life like a blunt advocating for one to control their emotions rather than their emotions control them.
This song portrays how Jonatao views logic over emotions as prerequisite recipe to success.
Nonke the last track on the EP acknowledges how both sexes in different occasions are instigators of bad break up in relationships.
In this song the young artiste explores the notion that beauty is stereotyped by the media and society.
Jonatao encourages his audience to recognise but not be negatively influenced by their facial flaws.
In a nutshell the TAO Ep is an emotional journey that resonates with current social and socio-economic situations youths from all walks of life experience.