After Bodak yellow majority of critics thought that would be it for Cardi B. Fast forward and barely a year later she’s dropped her debut album and it’s raising a lot of dust. She’s slowly curving herself on the upper echelons of the hip hop world. In my opinion she can now be spoken of in same breath with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Lauryn Hill, Remy Ma and many others. A magnificent debut album that fuses vulnerability, sexual voraciousness, paranoia and party music shows the rapper is capable of far more than punchy put-downs. In an age of slurred mumble-rap and sing-song delivery, there’s an old-school satisfaction in hearing someone deliver their bars with such, well, finesse. There’s even a touch of Biggie to the way she balances a thick local accent with absolute clarity and perfectly weighted meter, but her way of drawing out vowels before slamming them into teeth-kissing consonants is all her own. Clearly, she’s here to stay and the tide is slowly moving from Nicki Minaj to her.
Miss Ruby has hosted hip hop show Hip Hop Culture for the better part of three years and has gone on to create and execute the ‘Un Cut Cyphers’, events tailored to give ‘nu skul’ artists a stage and a platform to showcase their skills.
Having had a history reporting entertainment news on Homeboyz Radio, suffice it to say, Ruby knows a thing or two about the Kenyan music scene and is known to post exclusive interviews and entertainment news features on her personal Facebook page, like the all new fiery webisodes, #RubyRants.
Created as what seems to be a series of short videos that feature Ruby critiquing various aspects of the music industry, the first episode dropped a day ago and saw the Hip Hop Culture emcee take on rapper Kyki.
Remember her? The same one who chimed in on the ‘Pilau Njeri’ beef and who showed up unforgettably on NTV’s The Trend, getting interviewed in a setting of what was a metaphorical graveyard with tombstones that had known Kenyan rappers’ names on them.
The Facebook video which is no longer than four minutes long starts by giving Kyki credit on being one of the boldest femcees in the game and for solely producing her latest track before going into the visual for that track which happens to be the ‘Closer’ Refix she’s done.
Ruby talks about having had various interactions with Kyki, both from being a guest on her Saturday night show Hip Hop Culture and from hosting her on her first ‘Un Cut Cypher’ event, revealing that to most people, Kyki can come off as somewhat abrasive.
She thereafter gets into the new video calling it out for its poor quality saying:
“Audio production, zero. The video, we can’t even rate that video. Some parts of the video, the lyrics are not even syncing with whatever is happening in the video. I don’t get it.”
Watch the entire video HERE.
That particular post has garnered a number of reactions, some in support of Ruby’s sentiments including music producer Kevin Provoke who said;
Kevin Provoke There’s a thin line between being abusive and criticizing and kyki is not the latter ….When you go Being abusive to everyone and dont know when the line is draw how would you expect anyone who is professional in that field to help her…..thanks for the segment Miss Ruby
Among them were also a number of comments in defense of the ‘Avocado’ star and some of them read;
Geeks Wear Kenyan hip hop shall never grow when radio presenters keep on beefing with femcees nyi wote ni madem unafaidikanga nini mkipigana ? I hate homeboyz coz they’re in the Best position to grow local hip hop but because of presenters like ruby industry haitawai grow u need to check up definition ya hip hop radio host wewe na DJ hamna kazi ingine it should be to play these artists hadi tuchoke nao no one wants to hear ua opinion just give us local music
Dave Scamper Okay, Miss Ruby… When you want to offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, please come up with two genuine compliments to give about that person’s work and sandwich your critique right in the middle. It works every time. No one get’s hurt, no feathers get ruffled.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us online and definitely keep it posed for more info.
We came to know and love him through his two hour Saturday hip hop mix show ‘Hip Hop Culture’ (#HHC) which he hosted with Miss Ruby, Saturdays from 7pm to 9pm.
Well Final Kut was the subject of many an entertainment news source, when he abruptly announced giving his life to Christ, pledging to never play secular music again, which ultimately meant him leaving the show he’d spent the better part of a decade creating.
Final Kut shared the news via his Facebook page saying;
“Today 7am I woke up to go to church but I continued to snooze till 11am. So I decided I will go next week because I was not feeling well. Then some strength just came and i jumped prepared myself fast and rushed to Church. And as I entered,the sermon had already started and the preacher was shouting “the King is calling you! Think that was the title. So I chilled… After the sermon he asked if anyone wants to get born again and i was like thinking, nah me im good. Been born again before so all i need to do is just repent my sins silently in my seat and its all good. But he kept on saying “the King is calling who wants to come meet the King?”and i found myself raising my hand. So I went in front and gave my life to Jesus. I want to thank my brothers,sisters and pastors who have been praying for me. The King has been calling me for so long I’m just glad He never hangup! He will never hang up on you too.I have made up my mind and my heart to follow Jesus”
His big decision was followed by an even bigger one about what he intended to change or rather do differently so as to accommodate his new path in the light.
“The sacrifices I have to make is that im not going to play”Worldly” music anymore or I’m not going to spinning at clubs and bars anymore. Another difficult thing was sending my resignation letter . Yes I will be jobless for a while ,yes i will let go of a show i built with blood,sweat and tears. But yoh!King Jesus called me and i just had to leave all those things that were so precious to me. . He promised to offer me only 3 things tho. Inheritance, provision and sonship. So goodbye world , goodbye some of my friends I will be praying for you and please pray for me too. God bless”
While I imagine some of his fans didn’t take that too well, it appears the hip hop deejay has received overwhelming support since, with some of the reactions to his decision reading;
We caught up with Final Kut who along with sharing his excitement on embarking on this new journey, said he’s appreciated getting a lot of support from the Gospel industry namely from artist like Kamlesh, Nasara The Poet and DJ Sadic.
Final Kut who’d actually been born again three years back, says he is taking both the negative and positive reactions to this latest move in stride and also assured us that he won’t be leaving the airwaves for long, in contradiction to his statement about ‘being jobless for a while.’
The great news is, from his phone interview, after leaving Hip Hop Culture, Final Kut has plans to start afresh on an all new Gospel hip hop show set to air on Sundays on a yet-to-be-revealed date.
(Written By Hondo Kanhema)
The rap legend JAY-Z’s latest album, “4:44”, was released exclusively on TIDAL a few days ago to positive reviews from critics. Neil McCormik of The Telegraph gave it a full score, saying: “It’s a highly personal work bravely opening up the artist’s very human flaws as an example to others, locating in his own suffering a path towards forgiveness, redemption and, ultimately, a better world. There is little braver than admitting your mistakes and trying to change your ways. By embracing vulnerability, JAY-Z has taken a step towards genuine wisdom.”
The album is one of, if not JAY-Z’s most personal, on the project he opens himself multiple times, discussing family, personal issues, ego, and race multiple times through. The theme of the album seems to be about Hov’s legacy, how he will be remembered not just in the rap game but as a whole after his time is up. The 11 track album is his 14th studio album, his first since 2013’s “Magna Carta”, and delves deeply into his personal life. So what did Hov address in his album?
Apology to Beyonce & Meaning of 4:44
The fifth song in the album “4:44”, Is an apology to his wife Beyonce, for being unfaithful. In the song, Jay pours out his honest and true feelings and isn’t afraid to reveal his vulnerability, something seldom seen with fellow hip hop artists.
Look, I apologize, often womanize
Took for my child to be born
See through a woman’s eyes
Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles
Took me too long for this song
I don’t deserve you
His apology confirms the speculation that he had cheated, based on lyrics on Beyonce’s last album, “Lemonade”.
4:44 was written by JAY-Z when he woke up one morning at 4:44 AM, called up his engineer and recorded on Beyonce’s personal microphone. The song covers HOVs personal life, covering his relationship, being a father and how he affects his kids. JAY himself has called the song special, and “one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
“Killing” Jay Z
The first track on the album titled, “Kill Jay Z”, comes out guns blazing talking about ego, with Jay himself describing the song as a “killing of his ego”. Jigga brings up many of his troubles from the past and criticises himself for how he handled them. He goes on to throw shade at Kanye West, referring how he gave Ye 20 million dollars in advance (for his TIDAL contract), only for Kanye to turn around and start trashing him on stage during his 2016 breakdown.
You walkin’ around like you invincible
You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
I know people backstab you, I felt bad too
But this ‘f*ck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural
But you ain’t a saint, this ain’t KumbaYE
But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye
You gave him 20 million without blinkin’
He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*ck was he thinkin’?
“F*ck wrong with everybody?” is what you sayin’
But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane
The friends met after the incident and have since reconciled (although Kanye has been trying to leave JAY-Z’s TIDAL recently, claiming breach of contract), but it’s not like JAY-Z wouldn’t address the drama between the two in a song.
The stylization of the title of the song “Kill JAY Z”, is interesting, with JAY-Z recently changing his name from Jay Z to JAY-Z. The song being the intro, it signifies that this album comes from an entirely new persona and perspective that is represented by his new name.
The 36-minute album address other challenges and shortcomings he has faced over the years, including some slightly embarrassing situations, such as the notorious elevator scuffle between his wife’s sister Solange in 2014 and himself, stating:
Let go your ego over your right shoulder
Your left is sayin’, “Finish your breakfast!”
You egged Solange on
Knowin’ all along, all you had to say you was wrong
The third longest track on the album, “Smile” features an outro with Shawn’s (JAY-Z) mother, Gloria Carter. Jay looks back at all the bad memories and how they led him to change for the better. On the first verse, Jay mentions publicly for the first time his mother’s sexuality and how she had to ‘act’ straight, having 3 kids and marrying her husband. In the song, he raps:
Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian
Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian
Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate
Society shame and the pain was too much to take
Cried tears of joy when you fell in love
Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her
The last song, “Legacy”, discusses the legacy of his family and his family name, Carter. It is directed from his point of view, as he explains to his daughter Blue Ivy in a verbal will, the members of the family, what they have done in the family name and how Jay has worked hard to get where he was.
Although “4:44’ takes a slightly different route than his past albums, speaking about himself and his loved ones, it still has many of the themes that we’ve come to love and expect from Jigga. Themes like black empowerment and of course flexing if you got it (he denounced the “money phone” trend though) can be found on the album.
At the moment the album is only available on TIDAL
Miss Ruby V whom you know from HBR’s Kenyan hip hop show ‘Hip Hop Culture’ which she hosts alongside DJ FinalKut, was on #TheJumpOffHBR this evening where she talked about her new project ‘The Un Cut Cypher ‘which just went down at the Dream Lounge (along Ngong Road).
The event which was a first of its kind in the 254 saw some of rapper big names intermingle with upcoming stars who were given the stage to showcase what they’ve got backed by original beats produced by heavy weight producers from Kenya and beyond.
While discussing some of the new acts she feels we should all watch for, Miss Ruby talked on ‘Got the sauce’ rapper Steph Kapella saying “I hit it first’.
After laughing it off, Ruby explained her comment by saying that it’s that she’d worked with him long before radio played him and put him on her earlier Un Cut sessions.
So no. You can just go on and reel your mind back from the gutter it had wandered off to just now.
Steph is of course no stranger to HBR having had an exciting interview and freestyle on afternoon show #Class124 and as for Ruby’s Un Cut cypher, she talked about seeing a growth in female rappers and that should any upcoming talent need to a chance at the spotlight, they need only follow her on her personal social media avenues.
Next Un Cut Cypher premiers some time in June.
These two have had it in for each other for the longest time that I couldn’t be bothered to take you down memory lane and explain just how it all started.
Just know that it had something to do with an interview where Octo allegedly pretended not to know who Khali was and (again, allegedly) Khali taking offense at that.
Could all be hear say but that nonetheless, resulted in one of Kenyan hip hop’s most fun ‘back and forth’ since Clepto’s ‘Tuendelee’.
Showing up on HBR’s Hip Hop Culture (hosted then by DJ Finalcut and Frankie), they each did freestyles fittingly over the same beat and the videos went on to garner thousands of views
All of that happened an entire two years ago and since then, Octo and Khali have gone on to be two of Kenya’s most formidable artists.
Check it out’