Dimitri & The Scarecrow: In Hindsight

“Today I was thinking about what it means to be a 21st century African” says lead vocalist, Dimitri D. Kwenda on the intro to “Agendas.” More than an intro, it is a statement of purpose on Dimitri & The Scarecrow‘s new EP, In Hindsight. The second of a trilogy of EPs that started with 2023’s The Cleansing, Kwenda said the EP “chastises a fear of embracing growth, stirs the African trauma and makes an attempt to reinforce the core values.”

The chastising begins right away on opening track, “Hindsight.” Kwenda raps “Spooning an agenda like you really ain’t pathetic” over reggae-inspired organs, dub bass played by Robin Malinga, and menacing brass handled by Martin Birungi. Also joining Kwenda on the five song EP are guitarists, Emmanuel Mungulen and John Alexander Inyanga.

The talk of agendas continues on second track, “Agendas.” The song takes a more straight up hip hop approach with a boom bap beat and light J Dilla-style organs. Kwenda raps about going to a Colonial school and how it was used to spread Colonialist propaganda. He battles the self-hatred that comes with that kind of education by embracing hip hop and art.

“Agendas” begins to talk about the poverty Kwenda grew up in but “Freedom Seekers” really dives into it. With help from rapper Ruyonga and soul singer Blessed San, They talk about eating cabbage and beans growing up, not having vehicles, and Africa call cards over a boom bap beat filled with brass and sampled piano.

Of the last two tracks, the closing track “Magitare” is the most interesting. Magitare means guitar in Shona and sure enough, the beat is the most guitar-forward on the album. Kwenda embraces a style that leans more towards slam poetry while the chorus is handled by Zimbabwean singer, Raven Duchess. Despite the chorus being completely in Shona, it is the catchiest of the five tracks.

Closing the album with its catchiest track leaves the listener wanting more; luckily In Hindsight feels like it has a lot of relistenability. For the rest of the world who often (sadly) neglect Africa, the album is a window into the continent’s music, influences, and lifestyle. It is a powerful statement, one which rarely disappoints.

Rating: 8.4/10

Listen on Apple Music

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