Despite the dire year we’ve all experienced due to the pandemic, quarantining, and raising our voice on pertinent social issues that have peppered our last twelve months, music and creativity has proven to be the backbone and the rock of whatever sanity we still have left as well as the renewed resilience which we have gained. Fresh off of releasing his much heralded album, “Kupeleka Nyali Ya Moto” (passing the torch) Zambia’s music titan, Holstar hasn’t eased up over the last year as far as cultivating his musical legacy, uplifting his listeners, influencing other artists, and remaining steadfast with expressing the pride that he has for Africa. Recently Holstar teamed up with Malawain rapper/producer Dominant 1 to create their latest collaborative effort entitled “African Diamond”. The six track EP is a great combination of soulful tracks, that captures the boom bap sound of hip hop with doses of rhythmic African vibes. My favorite track is  “Lost Generation” ft Kim of Diamonds. “Lost Generation” is a message filled song that points out the ills of our hip hop culture as well as the lack of strength that hip hop culture and music was originally founded on. (“Wait a minute?/What happened to the shows/The microphone checks/The heys and the hos’”). The lyrics on some of the other tracks also invoke a sense of cultural pride and love, on tracks like “African Diamond” and “Mulange’s Kabompo” as well as tackle topics such as having a financially independent mindset which can be heard on the tracks “Dolla Circulate” and “Do It Yourself”.

Overall, I love the chemistry Holstar and Dominant 1 have on this EP – like Dominant 1 mentioned on one of the tracks, “We stay equipped/Holstar steers the ship.” Hence, both artists “show up” on the EP overall in terms of skills and talent but, the ability to recognize the leadership qualities in their creative collaborative effort speaks volumes about the amount of respect these two artists have for one another. Musically, “African Diamond” is the kind of empowerment and encouraging lyricism that we need right now, know matter what part of the globe you are on.

“African Diamond” is now available on all of your favorite streaming platforms. Enjoy!