ExQue is back in 2008 with his third full length album entitled ‘Grown & Sexy’ after the okayish ‘Love Is My Religion’. Ngapawanewo munhu anomubatsira pamaTitle emaAlbum ake nhai (lol just jokes).

This album is a much anticipated offering considering that ExQue is one of the most successful Urban Groovers from the genres early days. I was looking forward to hearing what ExQue has to say this time around and err… ummmm… nothing has really changed. He uses the same production team from his last album of mainly Russo and MacDee. This one opens up with Mupewo Rudo, the hit song featuring Leonard Mapfumo & MacDee. The song is about a love so good that it eclipses the union of Gospel stars Baba naMai Charamba, Oliver naDaisy Mtukudzi or anyone else who thinks their love is potentially stronger. It is already a hit song featuring on the PowerFM charts this year and currently in the Top 10. The lyrics left my jaws on the floor with lyrics like ‘zvinonakidza kuSatisfaya mukadzi, uchimuita yese uchimuspaka mukadzi, uchimukissa kissa uchimuFeeda nerudo… mudzimai ari sensitive, mudzimai ane maPressure points’. Murudo is one of my favourite songs on this offering which also made it to the charts early on in the year. This one features Zimbabwean songstress Tererai Mugwadi and the melody is just beautiful. Thumbs up to this tune! Handidi Newe features musical comedians Xtra Large. It is great to hear Xtra Large still making me laugh after all these years.

ExQue mostly maintains the same slow, chilled out rap that made him popular over the years with the love songs that sometimes leave you wishing you were in a relationship. On Zvaunondiita, it is ExQue like you have never heard before and sounds like a pop song. He makes an attempt at singing (don’t be fooled it’s nothing to write home about) and surprisingly i was able to stomach the song though it is nowhere near my preference. Besides that it is the first single from this album and made it to the Top 100 of 2008. I could not help but wonder if ExQue is still trying to win his lost love from the last album, his songs are more about trying to win back a girl who has been wronged than anything else. Ndaramba is a track that makes me believe what i just mentioned and the instrumental reminds me of his smash single Mazirudo. I think this one is a potential hit talking about kuramba kurambwa (refusing to be dumped). Whoever this girl is apengesa ExQue shamwari wakaoma, blaz vanokuda ivava! Other songs on the album feature artists like Stunner, Taurai Mandebvu, and Junior Brown.

It is no lie that ExQue is a favourite of many and this album will do him more favours. Technically, it sounded like a rush job and it lost a lot of marks because of that. I really expected a better job especially from a producer of MacDee’s calibre. For The Grown & Sexy is really more of an album for the not so grown and those who like Urban Grooves without much lyrical depth. The same formula has won him many a fan and he sticks to what he knows best: rapping about love. I have since accepted that he will never change that. It is a decent offering and to ExQue fans of old chances are you will love this one.

Cover Art – 3/10
Music – 6/10
Technical Sound – 5/10
‘I Like’ Factor – 7/10

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