Shabzi Madallion has been hard at work in the years since his introduction to SA Hip Hop. He has consistently cemented his presence by putting out music at every turn and chance he gets. So no doubt, an album from him was long overdue.
Shabzi’s consistent presence throughout the years has paid off in making him a name the Hip Hop audience recognises. In his debut album, he gives us a bit about himself. The album is named after his mother, Nomvula, who has played a big role in supporting his endeavour to become a force to be reckoned with as an entertainer. She can be heard giving words of encouragements on the intro and on skits throughout the album.
Coming in the form of a 17-track package, Nomvula is made up of 12 full length songs, an intro, an interlude and an additional 3 bonus tracks. A generous offering from the Madallion. Shabzi’s ability to make good music takes the forefront on the album. It can be heard right from the first song, Wena, which takes you by surprise and gets you to pay attention. He is beasting on a trap beat and has the flow to complement it in just the right way. Niggas should be laying low/ cause every bomb that I drop gives you halos.
Shabzi makes it clear that he didn’t come to play as he goes hard on the project without overdoing the raps. He gets mellow to tell a story on She but it falls flat on delivery. Nobody Knows takes an L due to the hook, which is generic and cheesy. It does have two good verses featuring PdotO talking about the work that goes behind the finished product. Work which the average person is not privy to.
Guapo felt odd when it dropped as a single but it surely found a place as a track on the album. Musically it's a blend of modern beats that switch between trap and the bop you get on We On Fire. He switches up the sound and flow on When You Know and Play Like That.
The three bonus tracks are 28, which dropped as a single ahead of the album release; a remix of We On Fire, which features vocals from Zikhona and a blazing verse from Eric Rush; and Trap Dalli, where Madallion gives us a glimpse of his trapping abilities.
Shabzi carries himself with a level of confidence that portrays satisfaction. The album is more about showcasing music-making ability than telling a specific story. An official entry in the game. The essence of the album is captured in a few tracks; Where Your Homies At, Guapo, Bro and Destiny. He tells us how he navigates through what life throws at him as he reflects on relationships. But most importantly, Shabzi highlights the value of being self-reliant both in business and personal life.
Shabzi kept the features to a minimum, with PdotO, BigStar and Eric Rush being the only featured rappers. As should be the case on a debut. The name of the album is more to pay homage as opposed to being dedicated to his mother as some may wrongfully assume. Nomvula will be the project that Shabzi looks back to with pride. Small circle, large dreams.