Earlier this year, I (Rae Kiragu) was given the incredible opportunity to take on a new On-Air time slot that was mid-morning radio! (JSHBR)
Jam Session HBR – abbreviated as JSHBR airs Monday through Friday from 10am to 1pm (EAT)
Granted that leaving my previous slot The Weekend Breakfast (WBWR) proved to not be the easiest (read about my transition here), there was no denying that finally making it onto day-time radio felt like I was receiving a prize.
Whats-more, JSHBR was going to be (and is) an extension of the already successful deejay jam session mix-shows that existed albeit occupying one-hour slots. That meant that not only was I getting a new time slot, but I was also getting five epic co-hosts along with it!
With each day boasting of its own kind of chemistry, sound and general feel, Friday felt most appropriate to play host to a feature I only too enthusiastically created called ‘Dance Friday’.
Why create it? Because what’s a deejay mix-show if not a party!
Its aim? To create and provide a platform where Kenyan dancers, dance crews and choreographers could interact directly with an audience they may not have previously have had access to, while providing our Jam Session family with an enjoyable Live stream feed!
We have so far had the pleasure of hosting a number of dance crews and it became apparent that the dance industry is large and wildly unexploited!
So if you would like to get to know more about the dancers who are creating waves in Kenya…
And the choreographers behind them….
Or perhaps hear from the Kenyan creators of the worldly celebrated and internationally recognized apparel worn by dancers and athletes…
Maybe even get to watch the action for yourselfm via Live Stream, then catch JSHBR every Friday! And oh,… find some WiFi or have your bundles with you!
Following hot on the heels of her last release, Offset featured ‘No Drama’, Tinashe is now on Record of the Week (ROTW) with her latest release ‘Me So Bad’.
This after we’d listed a number of new singles that we projected to be ROTW this week, seems we were right in choosing this Ty Dolla $ign and French Montana collabo (‘Me So Bad’) as one in the number.
‘Me So Bad’ has an uptempo vibe to it which is very playful and catchy, plus, it dropped with it’s accompanying video which matches the jam’s energy with a bright color palate and sultry visuals.
Released this Easter weekend, ‘Me So Bad’ features lyrics such as …
I know you want my free time I know that we don’t play that, that, that, that I’m walking on a thin line I’m hoping that it break, break, break, break, break I’m tryna give you FaceTime, yeah Don’t mean you wanna wait, wait, wait, wait, wait I wanna better bassline, I wanna better bassline
It’s the creme de la creme of music jams that play out on radio each week.
The Record of the Week is a coveted spot on our airwaves and each week, a brand new mission to find and ‘crown’ a jam as ROTW begins.
It’s a tradition that we have carried out for the better part of a decade and I now outline five of what are clearly the most obvious factors to consider before choosing and naming a ROTW.
Please note: The process of picking a ROTW is a combined effort and a process that involves a number of the station’s producers.
That said, these five factors have been created and outlined as perceived by the writer (Rae Kiragu).
(In no particular order)
Must be a certified banger.
I mean just looking at the previous ROTW jams, (queue Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow, Octopizzo’s ‘TBT’ and Busta Rhymes’ ‘Girlfriend’), it is clear that an ROTW must appeal to a large number of people.
Has got to be new.
ROTW singles have often been as new as music that has only just been released. Never in the history of ROTW has there been a jam older than a week, to be put up as Record of the Week.
Is not limited to any genre.
Definitely one of the most versatile elements to this feature is that it can literally be a single from any genre. We’ve had Kenyan jams be ROTW, dancehall singles be ROTW, Hip Hop Jams be ROTW, heck, we’ve even had House music jams be ROTW. Just as long as they are bangers.
Must be representative of our brand voice.
I think it goes without saying that HBR is widely hip hop and urban. It therefore follows that our ROTW, irrespective of what genre it comes from should also be a good representation of this urban culture. I mean can you possibly imagine waking up to a rhumba ROTW on HBR?
It helps if it’s a trend setter.
In ROTW history, we’ve noted that most trend-setting jams have found their way up there. These include hits that introduce a new dance like the Nae Nae or the Dab.
Those are only five factors that determine a ROTW. Remember you can check out all ROTW jams from here.
Homeboyz Radio is now officially in Eldoret Kitale, Kakamega, Vihiga and the environs! How awesome is that!!
Homeboyz Radio fans will now be able to listen in on the frequency 91.2FM. You can now catch up with your favorite presenters and Djs who are now bringing fresh new sound and entertainment to the city of champions.
Start off your day with some good vibes from GMoney and Calvin from 6am to 10am. They will be bringing you some intriguing conversations and a super awesome playlist to start off your day with a bang.
Reggae queen Tallia is on everyday from 11am to 1pm. Join her as she discusses fitness on Tuesdays to get you into that gym mood and some nice one drop music on Wednesdays. You can’t afford to miss out on Throwback Thursdays as she plays your throwback requests and definitely The Juice in The Mix with Dj Bash, will get you in the weekend mood.
There’s no better way to spend your afternoons other than with Mwalimu Rachael on the ever so educative and entertaining show Class 124 from 1pm to 4pm.
Stuck in traffic for hours after a long day? Join the Ignition crew(Sheila, Kerry and Mike) as they get you home in a good mood with their hilarious conversations and debates.
Hip Hop fans are not left out as Corine and Jinx will be holding you down from 7pm to 10pm with the best Hip Hop tracks, Hip Hop news and exclusive premieres on breakout tracks from the 254.
Other shows to look out for include Weekend Breakfast, Football Fan Zone, The Basement, Afrocentral, Mwamba, Trinity Connect, Mtaani and Kingston 10.
Tell a friend to tell a friend to Tune In to Homeboyz Radio 91.2FM.
It’s a list that names the ‘who to watch for’ on the hip hop music scene in Kenya and each year, a new crop of emcees is chosen and throughout that year, we watch for their progress.
Corine Onyango’s Jump Off Freshman List boasts of some to the biggest names in the game including Lon Jon, Cashy, Khaligraph and C2K.
While this year’s theme is #NuLife with the focus being solely on new acts that are blowing up on the scene, there’s so far been mixed reactions to it one of which is by one @thegreatwawa all the way in the US who pointed out the lack of any females on the list.
Via a video posted on instagram, she mentions a number of femcees who to her would have been a great addition to the list but was not abrasive about it saying at the start that,
‘Yo real s**t yo, when I get home, Imma be on that Jump Off Freshmen list. Y’all ain’t right for not putting no females on there but you know what it’s okay. It just leaves more room to work hard for me to get on that mother ****er’.
The video caught the attention of Corine herself who rather than take offense said she rather looked forward to her joining the list saying there’s “plenty of room”.
On tonight’s (Wednesday Aug 2nd) Jump Off show, Corine and Jinx asked for the listener’s input regarding whether there actually were any female emcees (up and coming and not already established) who could fit into this year’s list.
What do you get when you mix the Ignition Crew, some suspicious looking substance and a special guest? The answer is…. an insane web series called ‘D Cups’.
They only just released the first episode of D Cups featuring Jump Off Freshman Barak Jacuzzi and let’s just say you find out quite a bit.
Watch all four of them respond to questions like ‘who’d you let fart on your face’ and ‘who’d you let smash your sister’ in the first episode, the game being, either you answer the very awkward, catch 22 question or take a sip of whatever that concoction is.
He champions African music on his Monday morning jam sessions ‘West Connect’ and is Sauti Sol’s official tour deejay. DJ Kafi had his beginnings back in Uptown Radio where he played only dancehall and reggae music before spreading his wings and trying his hand at music production.
With close to a decade worth of radio experience, DJ Kafii has toured many places along side incredible deejays and artists which was just the inspiration he needed for his latest project ‘No Longer Trapper In Africa’ #NLTIA
The music project dropped exclusively via Kafii’s colleague and good friend DJ Bash’s music site and is up for free streaming and download via the link below.
DJ Bash’s website is how you can get to know more about the ins and outs of the music industry as well as get to know more about this Teen Republik and HBR Overdose show hosting mix master.
“We’ve been ahead for so long in the UK, we’re so multicultural and that’s the beauty,” he says. “That’s why grime was formed, from this mix, this understanding of different people. Now other people are catching on. There’s a revolution happening.”
With awards like Best Video (2014) and Best Song (2015) at the MOBO Awards, Best International Act:UK (2016) at the BET Awards and Best British Male at the this years NME awards.He was also named one of GQ‘s 50 best dressed British men in 2015. British grime artist, rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director Joseph Junior Adenuga has cemented his place in Grime’s Hall of Fame.
Born September 19, 1982, to parents of Nigerian roots, Joseph Junior Adenuga, better known as Skepta; is grime’s golden boy. Born and raised in Tottenham, north London, he’s been making music since the mid 2000s, first as a member of Meridian Crew before founding Boy Better Know in 2006 with his brother JME. Skepta released his first, self-titled mixtape, ‘Joseph Junior Adenuga’ in 2006, following it in 2007 with his debut studio album, the precociously titled ‘Greatest Hits’ in 2007. He broke into the mainstream with the 2008 single ‘Rolex Sweep’, which featured on his second, 2009 album ‘Microphone Champion’. In 2011 his third album, ‘Doin’ It Again’, was released.
It would be five years before the release of his next album, the acclaimed ‘Konnichiwa’, which featured ‘Shutdown’, ‘Man’ and ‘That’s Not Me’ and scored the Mercury Prize. The LP also saw Skepta become one of the most well regarded artists in the UK and at the forefront of the grime revival – in addition to this he was credited with introducing non-UK artists such as his mans Drake to the genre. ‘Konnichiwa’ featured in the Top Five of NME’s Albums of the Year 2016 and entered the Official UK Albums Chart at Number 2.
Skepta was originally a DJ from Tottenham (his ends) based grime crew Meridian Crew. He released a number of instrumentals, earlier in his career, the most successful being “DTI (Pirate Station Anthem)”. Alongside his brother JME, Skepta joined Roll Deep for a short period of time before becoming founding members of Boy Better Know (BBK) in 2006. This was after the Meridian Crew disbanded after affiliates of the crew were convicted on attempted murder charges. All members of the collective use the record label as a means to publish their music.
Skepta clashed with fellow MC Devilman for the DVD Lord of the Mics 2, in what is remembered as one of the biggest clashes in grime history. Shortly after the clash, Skepta released a mixtape entitled “Joseph Junior Adenuga“. Skepta publicly released his debut album Greatest Hits on 17 September 2007, on his label Boy Better Know. In September 2008, he dropped “Rolex Sweep”; peaked at #89 on the UK Singles Chart and the lead single from his second studio album Microphone Champion. Microphone Champion was released on 1 June 2009.He then released the single “Too Many Man” with Jme, Wiley, Frisco and Shorty, which went to chart at #79.
Doin’ It Again is Skepta’s 3rd studio album and t features artists N-Dubz, Preeya Kalidas, Charlee Drew, Boy Better Know and Chip. The album’s release was preceded by four singles which attained varied chart success on the UK Top 40 Singles chart throughout 2010. The album consists of 15 tracks, seven which feature artists (with one artist being uncredited) and “Hello, Good Morning” recorded by both Skepta and Diddy-Dirty Money. For the song “Big”, Skepta collaborated with fellow English rapper Chipmunk. Skepta told The Sun: “Chipmunk and me were out in the West End clubbing together. I’d made ‘Big’ for my album with the producer S-X. I played it to Chipmunk on the way home that night when we driving back from the club together and he loved it so much that he came to my studio the next day to put in his verse down on it.”. The album is presumably named after a song on Skepta’s first album Greatest Hits, which is called “Doin’ It Again.” Shortly after, Top Boy went ahead to drop the mixtapes; Community Payback (2011) and Blacklisted (2012).
In March 2014, Skepta released “That’s Not Me”, featuring his brother Jme, peaking at number 21 on the UK charts. The single’s music video won the award for Best Video at the 2014 MOBO Awards. Upon receiving the award, Skepta stated that the video cost him £80. In late 2014, Skepta released another single titled “It Ain’t Safe” featuring A$AP Bari. This was followed in early 2015 with “Shutdown”, as well as features on “Red Eye to Paris” by Flatbush Zombies and the remix of “Ojuelegba” by Wizkid, also featuring Drake. Skepta and others joined Kanye West at a surprise show in London, performing numerous songs together during a shared set.
2015 saw Skepta dropped his most recent mixtape, “The Tim Westwood Mix.” Whetting appetites ahead of the release of Konnichiwa, the Tottenham-born grime favorite’s Westwood-curated mix is a compilation of some of his most popular tracks, featuring 19 cuts in all and kicking off with “Shutdown.”
Through a post on Instagram, Skepta announced that his album, Konnichiwa was due to be released on 6 May 2016. Konnichiwa was released to critical acclaim and became Grime’s highest charting album, peaking at number 2 in the UK music charts. Konnichiwa features songs such as “That’s Not Me”, “Shutdown” and “Man”. The release of Konnichiwa was celebrated with a launch party on 5 May 2016 held in Tokyo and live streamed on Boiler Room, featuring a live performance of the entire album by Skepta and supporting performances from Japanese trap artists Kohh, Dutch Montana, Loota, and DJ Riki.
Skepta began his “Banned From America” two-part, 14-show tour on April 16 2017 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which will cover cities throughout the United States and Europe. The tour was named as such in reference to Skepta’s forced cancellation of his 2016 “No Fear” American tour in support of Konnichiwa, when his application for a visa to enter the United States was denied.
“I had so many anti-climaxes in America,” he says. Since his star has risen in the States, numerous artists have been clamouring for a slice of Brit authenticity. But Skepta is unimpressed by their fame game. “Artists that I look up to, that I’d seen on television here in London, I meet them and they’re not even human,” he continues. “They’re just arseholes – people that, when I was younger, I thought were gonna inspire me when I met them. For real, they’ve gone too far. People tell them that they’re an artist and that they’re big and that’s what they become. I’m never gonna become the person everyone tells me I am.”
You could call Joseph Junior “Skepta” Adenuga’s rise over the last two years unstoppable. The Tottenham-born musician has captured an entire generation of young people, while taking London’s inner-city sound to the world stage. In 2016 alone, Konnichiwa entered the UK album charts at #2, he made his Glastonbury Pyramid Stage debut and Canadian rap superstar Drake announced he had “signed” to Skepta’s Boy Better Know label in the UK. Drake sealed it by getting a BBK tattoo on his shoulder. “Greatness,” he says. “Greatness is a state of mind.”
Richard Cowie, born 19 January 1979, is considered a pioneer in the British underground music scene with an inexhaustible work rate and a versatile music artist. Born with Caribbean roots from Trinidad and Antigua, Wiley is an English MC, songwriter, record producer and DJ hailing from Bow, East London. Wiley has always held a strong presence in the grime scene and his music has often influenced the up-and-coming acts. He has been a major factor at the early career stages of several UK artists like Dizzee Rascal, Chip, Novelist, Ghetts and Tinchy Stryder. With 12 mixtapes, 3 EPs, 2 beat tapes and 11 studio albums; Wiley is the “Godfather of Grime” and the “King of Grime”.
Featuring on pirate and drum and bass stations, Wiley got into the grime scene at the ripe age of 17 years. In 2000, Wiley joined The Ladies Hit Squad, a garage crew with his college friends DJ Target and MC Maxwell D. Achieving some success in the UK garage scene they decided to combine with rival crew Pay As U Go to create a super collective. After Pay As U Go separated, Wiley went on to form the Roll Deep entourage, which included Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder. They moved away from a traditional UK garage sound, and eventually found themselves creating music that would be termed grime. Wiley Kat produced hit singles “Eskimo”, “Avalanche”, “Ice Rink” and “Snowman” under his Wiley Kat Recordings label.
Wiley released his debut album, Treddin’ on Thin Ice, on 26 April 2004 under XL Recordings. The album included “Wot Do U Call It?”, a record questioning what name should be given to his music. The 15-track, certified-Gold project, is considered the ‘blueprint’ of the grime genre. Many artists have cited Treddin’ on Thin Ice to be the pinnacle of grime music. In 2006, Eskiboy released his 2nd album Da 2nd Phaze under the Boy Better Know label. The album consists of 20 tracks that have been put together by Wiley over three years. This was followed by his 3rd album Playtime is Over on Big Dada Records, an album which followed his eskibeat roots. Wiley’s eskibeat and solo material is managed by the Perpetuity Music Group. The album was released on the same day as Dizzee Rascal’s 3rd album Maths + English and includes a track “Letter 2 Dizzee” which calls for the end of the Wiley-Dizzee feud.
Released on 5 May 2008, off See Clear Now, “Wearing My Rolex” gave the King of Grime mainstream chart success. The cut produced by Bless Beats, who comes from the same ends as Wiley, sampled DSK’s song “What Would We Do”. In the UK, “Wearing My Rolex” entered at #4 on the UK Singles Chart; rose to #3 and eventually peaked at #2; managing to stay Top 100 for 22 weeks. Eight months after See Clear Now, Wiley went on to make another album, Race Against Time. Released in June 2009, on Eskibeat Recordings where he had far more creative control. The album includes the 2009 hit “Too Many Man” featuring Boy Better Know. Via his twitter page in 2010, Wiley released 11 zip files for free download containing over 200 tracks of old and unreleased music, including tracks from his forthcoming album The Elusive.
2011 saw the Godfather of Grime release a slew of projects. On 4th March, Offload Volume 01 dropped and 5 days later his instrumental album titled, Run the Riddim Selecta, dropped. 100% Publishing was released on 20th June, charting at #76 on the UK Albums chart. Keeping up with the times, Wiley released an independent EP for digital download. Tiltled, Chill Out Zone, the album was the first display of Wiley’s new genre which is a cross between R&B and grime called RnG (Riddim n Grime).
“I came to a point in my life where I realized that [I had] to actually evolve and I was just trying to put myself to the test, and make a real album that I would make. I used to do things and not finish them. This time around I actually did concentration from the start. If something wasn’t right, I went back and I said, ‘Wiley, this isn’t right.’ Not to say on the other [albums] I didn’t work hard, but it’s just that this time I actually did concentrate, and it’s probably the first time I ever have,” describes the creative behind his 8th studio album, Evolve or Be Extinct. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at #97 on 22 January 2012, then climbed up to #86 in the UK Charts in its second week. The Ascent and Snake and Ladders became his 9th and 10th studio albums respectively.
In March 2016, Wiley announced that he would be releasing an eleventh album, titled Godfather, and that the album would include 16 songs, 3 of which were to be released as singles. The album was released on 13 January 2017. The album entered at number 9 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming Wiley’s highest-charting album of his career. On 16 February 2017 Wiley won a ‘Outstanding Contribution To Music’ award by NME Magazine for his album Godfather.
Wiley is the pioneer, architect and seasoned veteran of the Grime scene to the point that over 2,000 Wiley fans signed a petition, which was presented to Tower Hamlets’ mayor Lutfur Rahman, requesting that a monument to the artist be erected in Bow. Scooping the MOBO Award back in 2013 for ‘Best Male’. Richard Cowie has undoubtedly inspired an entire generation. A man who has put his heart and soul into what he believes in and consistently shows passion and perseverance.