Zimbabwe Legit Brothers from the Mother

A lost hip-hop classic from 1992 released for the first time? It’s enough to make hip-hop nerds salivate, and the claim is true as these old joints from Zimbabwe Legit fell through the cracks many years ago. Signed to the doomed Hollywood Basic label that gave an early voice to Organized Konfusion, Charizma and DJ Shadow, African brothers Dumi Right and Akim were lost in the shuffle when Disney’s short-lived venture into hip-hop was squashed. Brothers from the Mother has that classic sound you would expect from the Native Tongue era and it’s this factor that makes this record a must-hear for heads. "Straight from the Mothership” sounds as though it could sit well with Lords of the Underground while "Cross-Examination” rides the Jungle Brothers tip — a pair of comparisons that will definitely leave you feeling nostalgic. The brothers’ venture into self-production veers off the path of traditional hip-hop with a live tribal drum session and, though not as exciting as pure beats, gives a little insight as to the sounds of the genre outside of North America, which was surely a first for the time. Even a baby DJ Shadow crops up in a down-tempo instrumental mix that, though very good of course, seems misplaced in the Zimbabwe Legit catalogue. Brothers from the Mother very well might have not have been a classic had it been released 15 years ago, given that it’s not as strong as some of the masterpieces released in the golden era, but hearing the heart that was running rampant back in the day within these songs makes this essential for hip-hop fans. (Glow-in-the-Dark)