NEW kid on the block rapper, King 98, says people should judge him according to his music not his father’s social status.
The artiste, real name Ngonidzashe Dondo, is the son of business tycoon Thompson Dondo who owns Impala Car Rental. His father is not new in showbiz circles as he has been promoting various artistes such as Winky D and Jah Prayzah by lining up gigs for them in the UK and Canada through the Impala SAMA Festival. Recently, he gave Selmor Mtukudzi a car.
At the age of 21, King 98, who recently launched his debut album titled Francesca has managed to achieve what most rappers can only dream of as he collaborated with top artistes Davido and Nasty C.
To cement their relationship, the two artistes graced his album launch in Harare and left many in awe.
King 98 said he is doing all this to build a brand that will be competitive internationally but others are of the view that King 98, a “rich kid”, is trying to buy his way into the music industry using his father’s links and money.
Speaking to Acie Lumumba during a special edition of The Lumumba Files (TLF) drive show this past Sunday, King 98 said he was his own person. Asked how he feels about people saying he is only a star because of who his father is, King 98 said: “For me, music is a passion. I’ve been doing this from when I was 13 and kept it a secret from my dad. To those saying it’s all about money from my dad, well I guess it’s a blessing in disguise because the plan of my dad being there (as my source of finance) is from God.
“People should judge me according to my music. We can talk about me being my dad’s child and all, but people should just listen to my music. I’m only 21 so they should give me time to grow as well.”
On his international collaborations, the artiste, who recently dropped the music video for his track, Wacko which features South Africa’s Nasty C and Mozambique’s Laylizzy, said he wants to have a global appeal.
“As Zimbabweans, we need to take our music to the international stage. I’m aiming to be at Drake and Kanye West’s level hence I’m pushing international collaborations and lining up shows outside Zimbabwe,” he said.
King 98 said his father, who is his hero, is the one who pushed him to aim higher.
“Go for it, my father told me. Why would I choose to drive a Toyota when I know I have the potential to drive a Range Rover?” said King 98.
Commenting on the Zim Hip Hop industry, King 98 said in order for it to thrive like Zimdancehall, its artistes need to be united.
“One thing I appreciate about Zimdancehall artistes is that they support each other. In hip hop, it’s all about egos, fights and scandals and as such we won’t grow.”
King 98 said he is planning a show where he will invite established and up-and-coming hip hop artistes to perform as part of moves to unite them.