One of the prominent rap pioneers in Malawi was a group, the Real Elements. From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, they launched and defined rap music in Malawi. They defied the odds and made a mark on a music scene which was being run by music from Balaka.
But as rap music was growing in Malawi, the essence of groups started losing its prominence. A rise of individuals like Third Eye, Dominant One and Young Kay, among others, started giving rap music the reputation of a one-man-journey. There were also some groups during that time. But they did not succeed compared to the people that took the individual path. All the groups that were in existence then can no longer be spotted today.
The coming of Trap Squad on the rap scene drew from some of us the feeling that the group will suffer the fate of the other groups before it. But looking from its recent projects, from their album, ‘Royal Family’ it says otherwise. The group seems to be focused and have concrete plans for itself. Currently, it is the only rap group in Malawi which is both active and connected.
Besides that, its combination is also good, and this is the reason it will continue rising. Its boss, Revolver, is a man who has been around on the scene for close to a decade now. He is not a good rapper as an individual. But he has proved to be a man who has the Malawi rap game on his heart and that is what has kept him relevant. He has great eyes as far as assembling a team is concerned. The combination of the group membership is a result of his vision.
Stich Fray can easily be called the King of the Hook. That is where he has proved to be good at whenever he decides to be on a song. Besides that he is also one of the prominent producers of urban music. He has worked with various big artists and he is behind all the songs from Trap Squad. The combination of the genius mind of Fray and the team work is the reason behind the groups set pacing audios.
Sir Patricks, the group’s singer, is a gem in his own caliber. He has a great voice which he perfectly uses. He is the only group member I personally fear will think of completely going solo soon. Trap Squad has been behind his rise. But his voice may soon prove to him that he can do it better as a full time solo artist in another record label. But the group does not block solo projects as it can be seen from his recent individual productions. They have a heavy presence of the other group members. Perhaps, that is why he will stay.
Juda Gaga, the group’s First Lady, can safely be called one of the rap queens in Malawi. She is a ‘careless rapper’, that is how I look at her. She is not the type of rappers who are careful with their lyrics and how they can affect their image. She plays it the bad girl way; rapping all what she wants and leave the listener to guess if indeed she is what she raps about or the image of her artistry. She is a fluent rapper and full of swag. Being the only lady in the groups, it gives her a special platform on the scene.
[Mwiza] Chavula is the aggressive personality of the group. Through his lyrics, he can be seen to be a rapper who has a great sense of humor and does all he can to come up with the perfect combination of words. He has challenges with his speech as he is a stammer. But he overcomes that through an aggressive delivery, and combining this with his lyrical wit, he comes out sounding intelligent and powerful.
Chavula and Juda Gaga are a brother and a sister to each other. That makes the story even more impressive. He is the perfect definition of a good big brother; letting her sister appear a bad girl on the same song he is on. And it is not that he raps clean. He has also curved a reputation as one of the most outspoken rappers around. He is not afraid to rap on erotic matters in his lyrics. And he does it with his sister on the same track. The artistry space they give each other is rare.
*Wonderful Mkhutche is a speech writer, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.