Album Review: Black Dillinger – Mavara is King

Black Dillinger - Mavara is King

Mavara is King – @Black Dillinger

Review by: SoulSista Sekano

Artist: Black Dillinger
Title: Mavara is King
Producer: Selecta O Jugglin’ & Black Dillinger
Label: Jah Muzik Productionz
Genre: Reggae, Dancehall & Hip Hop
Release Date: 25 January 2019

Black Dillinger is back with a beautifully titled album ‘Mavara is King’, which is named after his mother Vuyelo ‘Mavara’ Madolo. With this album, Black Dillinger pays homage to his mother with the lead track titled Mavara, which goes deep into the his roots and lineage and delivered in his native language isiXhosa.

The 15 track album opens up with ‘Mama Afreeka’ where Dilli expresses his respect and gratitude towards a Black Woman and ‘Afreeka’. There are many songs about the Black Woman and Africa and they tend to sound the same with recycled lyrics and Dillinger’s song is no different; but there’s something about how he delivers it, the energy is electrifying and one can literally feel the love;  It makes it hard to move on to other tracks.

That same energy is evident throughout the whole album. Dillinger and the team brought in some heavy weights on this project. The album doesn’t feel rushed, it is clear that the listener was put into consideration. The featured artists bring in an element of an intercontinental feel to the mix, reflective of his persona and career. Trinidad born and American based Marlon Asher popularly known for his Marijuana anthem “Ganja Farmer” features on the track “Nice Day”,  an easy feel good song that reminds one to always look on the bright side of life and always give thanks and praises. Jamaica’s Jah Mason comes through on the song “Dirty Laws” which tackles the system, another Jamaican Excel Black features on the song “Keep on praying”, the album also features popular Trinidad singer JaMelody on the song “Fast and Furious”, other features include Zimbabwean and South African based Jah Seed, Quest Maguire and TOP.

Dillinger is often accused of sounding too much like Sizzla Kalonji, and in some songs the similarity is striking, but does not take away the brilliance of his works. He went all out on this, from the colourful artwork on the cover, the title and most importantly the Tunes. Mama Afreeka, and Mavara is King are the two song that will resonate with everyone because Mothers are King, and it’s very important to know where one comes from.

Then there is a track called Shaka Zulu, with its very curious and puzzling lyrics: If Shaka Zulu was a king / remember that King Selassie Is a King of all King / yeah, If Mama Nandi was a Queen / Empress Menen is A Queen of Queen / yeah, King Shaka Zulu Kill Di Lion/ He was alone with him Dagga and Shield /yeah, Rasta di Conquering Lion Straight from Mount Zion / Selassie di King of all King yeah” . Puzzling because these are important figures that have played their roles respectively in  African History, putting one over the other is very unnecessary to say the least. He titles the song Shaka Zulu, then continues to dethrone him?  He explained, when quizzed about it, that: “As a rastaman I’m forever hailing the King and Queen”

This might arguably be his best work to date. If you are looking for an album that is full of slackness,  twerking inducing lyrics then this is not for you although there is some unwarranted swear words on – ‘I teacher’ ft TOP (hip hop) and on Jancro, his clash hit song which surprisingly made it to this album –  It’s not enough to put anyone off this album.  It is refreshing to see that there are artists who are still true to what they believe in and are not swayed or pressured by the mainstream, more importantly are not influenced by the ‘skrrskrr’ new age listener who is clouded by lyrics that are merely there to promote drugs, sex and alcohol.

The entire album is a pleasure to listen to, the title could use a By-line which explains who Mavara is, as not everybody knows Dilli’s mom is Mavara, and it always leaves one with the lingering question: Who is Mavara?  The collaborations with other artists seem to have been added to give it an international feel to it, but this album on its own would still make it to the international charts without the these featured artists, because him and his team put in some real work into this.

Mavara is King is available on all digital platforms. Do get yourself a copy and you won’t be disappointed.

Black Dillinger - Mavara is King


01. Mama Afreeka
02. Mavara
03. Keep on Praying feat. Excel Black
04. Nuff Things Changed
05. Jancro
06. Shaka Zulu
07. Dirty Laws feat. Jah Mason
08. Fast & Furious feat. Jamelody
09. Rejoice
10. When My Time Has Come
11. I Teacher feat. TOP & Quest Maguire
12. Nice Day feat. Marlon Asher
13. Relight feat. Jah Seed
14. Everyone
15. 345 (Bonus Track)

Featured Artists: JahMelody, Jah Mason, Marlon Asher, Jah Seed, TOP, Excel Black