MUSICIAN, composer and writer Naboth “Rizla” Rimayi (30) is probably Bulawayo’s top notch hip-hop promoter and artistes’ manager.
Rimayi co-founded the website Da-Grape-Vine.com with Lwazi “Kompozitioner” Mpoko, which gives the latest news, exclusive interviews, videos and albums of international hip-hop artistes.
He has proven to be a multi-talented artiste, who boasts putting together Da-Grape-Vine TV, an urban culture online TV show which has featured Bulawayo artistes and events helping promote Bulawayo talent countrywide as well as international artistes such as Mic Crenshaw from the United States.
“We saw the need to showcase and share our love for hip-hop culture, not only from Bulawayo and Zimbabwe, but from the rest of the world as we believe that hip-hop is global,” said Rimayi.
The showbiz personality developed an interest in music at the age of 16 while at Plumtree High School where he would entertain his peers during school shows.
Born in Bulawayo, Rimayi grew up in the western suburb of Tshabalala and is the only child in his family. He was raised by a single mother and his grandparents.
In 2005, he featured on Musician Lyrical Insane’s first Extended Play (EP) titled Born 2 Reign.
Rizla teamed up with Spinx, a hip-hop artiste and producer, to form the crew SKR, which released a mix tape titled Gold Tapes Vol 1, in 2011.
In that same year, he worked on a compilation with an independent record label from the US, Face The Music, and launched a clothing line — Grapevine Clothing — which is an array of street fashion that the hip-hop culture identifies with.
As a writer he has contributed to South Africa’s hip-hop publication called Hype Magazine since 2007 and writes for other hip-hop publications from around the world.
At the beginning of 2011, Rizla came together with Bulawayo music producer Tswarelo Mothobi and Trevor Ncube, a videographer, to form the collective Kings Kraal Republic.
He performed at the Shoko Festival, an international platform in Harare alongside Michael Crenshaw from US in September 2012. Their song BYO was released as part of the African Cup of Nations) soccer showcase music compilation for March 2013 featuring South African heavyweights Hip-Hop Panstula.
The artiste says he wants to own a media corporation and is determined to make it big in the music industry.
“I have a passion for media and I hope someday to own a media corporation with television, radio, print and digital portfolios,” he said.
“I want to show people that with discipline, hard work and passion you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. You can live the life you want to live.
“For me hunger to achieve can literally keep me up at night working, researching, studying and perfecting my craft.”
At the beginning of 2014, he resumed his solo career as an artiste releasing his first mix tape titled Trace Elements in July 2014, which had over 500 downloads in one day and 1 000 downloads in a week.
The mix tape has been featured in a US magazine as a top-12 global mix tape to look out for in 2014. The mixtape received airplay on local radio stations.
Rizla is currently working on an EP titled #TheGrindNeverSleeps which carries his first single Paper Chase released on January 14 2015, Rizla’s date of birth. It was produced by The IV and is making waves on radio stations in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, the UK and US.