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Rap group Wet Bed Gang releases "Ngana Zambi" with Bonga as guest

The rap group Wet Bed Gang released this Sunday "Ngana Zambi", the first album created from scratch - "from the first 'beat' to the last word" -, in which they rhyme about current affairs, with the collaboration of 'kota' Bonga in the narration.

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"Ngana Zambi" began to be thought up in 2018, a year after the debut EP "Sons of Rossi" - a tribute to one of the founders of the Wet Bed Gang 'movement', João Rossi - and was the first work that Gson, Zara G, Kroa and Zizzy Jr. made "all from scratch."

"It's all original, all 100 percent ours, from the first 'beat' to the last sentence," said Zizzy Jr. (Pedro Osório), in an interview to Lusa news agency. Until then, the works included some songs with "Internet instrumentals".

The four grew up together in the Portuguese municipality of Vila Franca de Xira, where they still live and have a studio, and where they spend a lot of time "always working, doing new things".

The themes of "Ngana Zambi" were created together, from 'beats' from various producers, such as Charlie Beats, Holy or Lazuli. "[In 2018], we had the songs, the product that matters we have almost always, but then we had to compile things, so that they made sense," Zizzy Jr. told Lusa.

The album, with 14 themes, that had planned to be released in 2020, ended up suffering some changes, from 2018 until today: "A lot of things that were going to be part of it came out before, as 'single', like the themes "Envy" or "Perseus".

Through their music, the Wet Bed Gang likes to transmit "the truth", something that "nowadays it's very easy to hide, because of the way you can manipulate facts".

"Of course that's not all, but one of the things I'm most proud of is the way we don't lie about anything, we are as truthful and honest as possible with people, we tell it like it is and those who like it like it, those who don't?

In "Ngana Zambi", the Wet Bed Gang rhymes "a lot about current affairs", touching "on subjects that are not comfortable to listen to". In terms of sound, this album "is Wet": "Those who are fans of Wet know that we don't have a style of music, a shelf, we do what comes out of our soul, and the album has a little bit of everything.

"It has the rebellion part, it has the love part, the consciousness part, reflecting on other kinds of issues. What I love about this album is that it has a bit of everything, so that all families can listen to it, from the oldest to the youngest," said the rapper.

The title of the work is an expression from 'kimbundu', one of the languages of Angola, which is explained in the introduction by the "great Bonga".

Zizzy Jr. considers that the Angolan singer "explains in the best way possible, in the most genuine way" the concept of Ngana Zambi, and "I would really like people to listen to the album to understand", but he agreed to explain to Lusa the meaning of the expression.

"Ngana Zambi is someone superior and it's like Bonga says in the album: it's not necessarily God or something related to religion, it has to do with the world itself too, because we can be protected by our mother, by our father, it's a protector, a guardian angel", he described.

Bonga's participation is not limited to the beginning of the album, the Angolan singer's voice will appear between the themes, as a kind of narrator.

To have the 'kota' Bonga on the group's first album is "a great pride" for the Wet Bed Gang.

"We invited 'kota' Bonga to come to our studio, he was there with us, 'super nice', 'super accessible', he explained everything to us, helped us, complemented the album very well", said Zizzy Jr.

Despite being "kids starting out on the path of music," the Wet Bed Gang are aware that a lot happened before them "that deserves a lot of respect, a lot of applause, a lot of bowing." "The 'kota' Bonga is a great example of that, for everything he did.

Since their emergence, the Wet Bed Gang has racked up millions of views on the videos they share on the group's YouTube channel, which has 480,000 subscribers.

"Devia ir" has more than 40 million views, "Aleluia" and "Bairro", about 18 million each, "iNrresponsável" more than seven million and several other songs exceed the one million barrier, unusual numbers for Portuguese groups.

The group's success, "which people think is more sudden," began in 2016.

"At that time Zara and Gson released 'Não tens vistos', our first song that hit a million. At the time hitting the first million was already an otherworldly thing, so it was a ladder, because 'Haven't You Seen' didn't hit 40 million like 'Should Go.' It was an evolution, like everything else," recalled Zizzy Jr.

The 'rapper' can understand that some people think that the group's success was sudden and wonder "'where did these kids come from?'", but stresses that "there was a lot of work behind, many years, many hours, that people don't know".

Since they started, they've always been independent from publishers and distributors, and that's how they want to stay that way. "We sing what we want, when we want, we release what we want, when we want, and what is generated by our music is divided equally among the four of us," he said.

By living from music they continue the dream and legacy of João Rossi, who died in 2014 and would have been 35 years old today. "Ngana Zambi", an author's edition, is another tribute by the four to the older 'brother' who incited them to start.

"The most beautiful thing about it all is that the album cover is a picture of Rossi's daughter. It's very much not only that Rossi is a guardian angel to her, but the fact that he left her here makes her a guardian angel to us as well," shared Zizzy Jr.

As for plans to perform "Ngana Zambi" live, there are none. "We probably won't play [live] yet this year [because of the covid-19 pandemic], we have that thing on our minds already," said Zizzy Jr.

The last time the four took a stage together was in December 2019 in Angola.

"In Portugal, since September 2019 nobody has seen us [on a stage], and this album was very much for that, to release and go on the road, to be with people. Whatever God wants, but we're already in the mindset that it's another year that we won't be playing," he said.

Despite this, "Ngana Zambi" comes out anyway: "Listen, enjoy, enjoy, and then one day, if this goes through, we will sing it.