Chitubu is not incredible but it's not bad either
Jah Prayhah dropped his eagerly anticipated album Chitubu on 02 November 2018 which makes it two weeks since the release. The local market has given a lukewarm response to the album. The reviews in the local papers have been brutal in their rivals with some labeling it poisoned chalice and the beginning of Jah Prayzah's fall from grace. One such article from Sunday Mail's Prince Mushawevato drew the ire of Jah Prayzah who felt he was being unfairly targeted by Prince Mushawevato who he believe has an agenda against him after penning scathing reviews of his albums consistently since 2015.
Chitubu I believe has been unfairly evaluated. While it doesn't match Jerusarema which in my opinion is Jah Prayzah's best album, reviewers have ignore the fact that Jah Prayzah is now a continental superstar who can't just cater for local fans. While the album has not become ubiquitous as he previous albums, the response online has been impressive. Dzamutsana video has pulled in an impressive 709 000 views in just over a week. Majority of his songs have done more than 120 000 views. Collectively the album has done close to 2 million views. Dzamutsana has also been the number 1 trending videos since it's release. These figures are mouth watering and unprecedented in Zimbabwe music.
Besides the impressive figures Jah Prayzah has also managed to balance his continental quest and the need to satisfy the local fans. While he doesn't replicate the traditional sound that many Zimbabweans fell in love with, he offers a sound that has modern elements but is close to his original sound. On Chikomo he expertly fuses guitar with violin to produce a majestic sound. His collaborations with Sauti Sol on Special Somebody and Patroranking on Follow Me are superb as they do not water down his sound like what happened on My Lily with Davido where he changed to suit Davido.
These songs will most likely get their own videos as I expect him to drop more visuals. Once that is done his album will reach even more people and I believe this album will see him getting more African fans while he keeps a significant portion of his local fans. The album will definitely be successful as I believe it will sell more continental after he penned a distribution deal with Universal Music Africa.
While the album might lack explosive hits synonymous with previous hits, it's still a very good and balanced that will see him enjoy more continental success. Sections of his local fans maybe disappointed but many will enjoy and he will continue as Zimbabwe's biggest music star in the foreseeable future.