Evolution – definition: the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.
This week on HBR’s dedicated hip hop show The Jump Off, e-news correspondent Jinx will be breaking down Kenya’s hip hop eras.
Like all music genres across the world, Kenyan Hip Hop has evolved and its evolution has spawned some of the great lyricists that we have today including our very own Jump Off Freshmen.
Seeing as how learning about the evolution of something helps better understand it and grow a deeper appreciation of it, this week may very well be your chance to hear about and fall in love with Kenyan hip hop.
As explained on the Monday night edition of The Jump Off, Kenyan hip hop has grown through specific time periods, starting off from …
…the Ukoo Flani- Kalamashaka era,
…transforming into the Calif-Ogopa era….
which morphed into the 25flow era and that era has now been reborn into the NuNairobi era.
Throughout this evolution, there is definitely awe in the artists who seem to have transitioned right through the times, remaining relevant to date and there are also sad times where artists fell through the cracks of time for one reason or the other.
It’s bound to be an exciting couple of days as we journey through time so hold on to your seats and catch the ride every Monday through Thursday, 7pm – 10pm on The Jump Off with Corine Onyango and Jinx.
After releasing his African mixtape ‘No Longer Trapped in Africa, DJ Kafii mentioned following it up with an all Kenyan EP to be called Keuriosity and to feature some of our top artists.
Having come a long way from hosting a once a week Saturday afternoon dancehall show on Uptown radio, to touring with Kenya’s number one band Sauti Sol, Kafii’s EP is set to create waves across the continent just as did his MTV Base featured mixtape.
No Longer Trapped In Africa was hosted on DJ Bash’s website which plays host to this #OverdoseHBR deejay’s (his HBR radio show) mixtapes and other Kenyan music exclusives.
We had a chat with DJ Kafii who revealed more about this upcoming music collection saying he’s got his mind on making it a five song EP but refused to talk about which artists he’d be featuring, only hinting that one of them is one of Kenya’s top femcees.
We’ve got some of our sources saying it may be either Fena, Phy or Deal (or all three…. who knows) and while the speculating continues, here’s a snippet of one of the jams.
So which Kenyan female artist do you think it is? Catch DJ Kafii’s show ‘West Connect’ on HBR every Monday from 10am to 11am (CAT).
Every so often. a brand new single catches the attention of our producers’ very adept music ears and it earns the chance to rule our airwaves as Record of the Week (abbreviated as ROTW).
It’s never a dull moment on the Record of the Week (ROTW) segment of this website, where hits such as Major Lazer’s ‘Run Up’ and Calvin Harris’s ‘Slide’ (both past ROTWs) have lived.
It where you can go to find out what music jams are creating waves on the scene long before the rest of the world catches on.
It’s been 10 months of celebrating big jams and we have found that in all ten months, these were the 4 Kenyan jams that sat at the ROTW table.
Muthoni Drummer Queen’s ‘Kenyan Message’.
Produced by two incredible Swiss producers Jean “Hook” Geissbuhler and Greg “GR!” Escoffey, Kenyan Message addressed Kenya’s current sociopolitical scene in an well shot, 3 minute something visual and the song, which later received a star studded remix, was actually part of Muthoni’s sophomore album.
This track as the first Kenyan track to be ROTW this year, playing on heavy rotation all week back in March.
Oksyde & Khaligraph Jones ‘Atiyo Matek’
Shot by Chief Rocker Entertainment, this video was the ultimate collaboration between mentor and mentee. ‘Atiyo Matek’ was recorded at Blu Ink studios and was later mastered at Swim Records, and was this Jump Off Frehsman’s first stay at ROTW.
Quite possibly the biggest banger to have been released from the 254 this year and definitely not Octopizzo’s first stint at ROTW, having featured multiple times since his ‘Ivo, Ivo, Ivo’ release.
This former ROTW video was shot in USA by iconic director Russ Fraser and has since gone on to garner millions of views.
Fena ‘Doing Her Thing Though’
Fena is also one Kenyan artist who is definitely no stranger to being featured on ROTW. This singer has had a slew of hits be on ROTW from as long as I can remember since her ‘African King’ single. ‘Doing Her Thing Though’ pays tribute to Kenyan females who are succeeding at their crafts and features name-drops of famous Kenyan women like, Lupita Nyong’o, Huddah Monroe and Edith Kimani.
In case you missed the Industry Nite event that went down at the Gallileo Lounge Waiyaki, we are about to share with you picture evidence of why you should not miss the next one.
The event which was hosted by Homeboyz Radio’s Sheila Kwamboka, saw the up and coming talent in Nairobi as well as the veterans in the game share one stage with yet another amazing line up.
WYRE the Love Child, made the crowd feel the carribean vibes with his electric performance. Performances of Bless my room, Chuki, Uprising among others songs gave the audience life together with his band, the iklektik band.
Sanaipei Tande, with her amazing performance of Ankula huu, Rastaman, Mfalme wa Mapenzi. The audience were touched with her emotional performance of her new hit single Amina.
Ousmane, the man with the voice for the ladies was also hype on his set. His songs already speaking to the ladies, he effortlessly went through his catalogue of bangers like ‘Dunda’, ‘VIP Love’ and ‘Nuks’ with good reception.
Lyrical Erico, with his remix hit Bambika alongside Shanky Radics, once he hit the stage, he had the same energy as before.
Steph Kapela, the singer/rapper extraordinaire made an amazing performance and brought he crowd to a stand still with his performance of his songs BY FAITH, GOT THE SAUCE and DON’T FORGET ME. We always love Steph Kapela’s energy on stage and his enthusiasm in the Kenyan music industry scene.
Other amazing acts of the night included Jivu, Royalty by black, Le band and Beraccah Kisia.
Rapper Femi One says that she is giving Kenyan F emcees an opportunity to “awake from slumber,” well it looks like they have been having sleepless nights coming up with bars to respond to Femi’s diss track Pilau Njeri and her opinion that Kenya lacks real female rappers.
We have all heard Njeri’s clap back by now, (if not, then check out the Homeboyz radio website again)
And now, you probably don’t know her but she says you should blame the industry if you don’t!
Introducing Kyki; also known as Sirikali, a Nairobi based Coast F emcee; though she said Pilau Njeri was a big joke while talking to 64HipHop, she grabbed the opportunity presented by Femi Uno’s diss track and released the song “Kuku mwitu” and now the video is out.
She has not only called out Femi but other Femcees as well including Njeri, Muthoni the Drummer Queen, STL, Sosuun, Noti Flow and Kush Tracy.
And like she wasn’t done, she didn’t even spare the kings, taking a hit at rapper Kaligraph Jones and telling King Kaka to ‘eat grass’ (take a look at the video and you will know where she buried her chills) but wait, she said that she is ‘too high’ to mention the rest who she didn’t mention; we all know that she holds rapper Octopizzo in real high esteem, so no he does not make it on the ‘others’ list.
“… Sungura wewe kula majani, dead empire so we ni mjane… ati Wangeci na we ni coward, mistari see-through ka maji kujaa flavor ya kahawa, provoke can’t save you… kengine kanajidai makali na ako kwa advert ya maji, we ni model ama supermarket dummy? Juu rap huwezani. Rudi Dumberi… sosuun we si celeb na kufunika bila bedding… Drummer Queen kitu gani?… umeskia Kaligraph, uwache kizungu mob na huna hata cert ya high school…”
Mejja Meme Hadhija aka Okwonko had us all up in stitches and entertained with his comical videos and witty lyrics that he created in the past so how about we do a little flash back of some of the Majengo bred Genge artist’s memorable releases.
In 2008, his song “Jana Kuliendaje” became a massive hit thrusting the star into the limelight, gaining him his first award at the 2008 Chaguo La Teeniez Awards.
The video spoke volumes and so did the lyrics portraying the life of a reveler or should we say a man on the verge of becoming an alcoholic, the video is full of comedy and educative at the same time showing the negative side effects of drinking silly. And yes the famous mama Gathanga makes her debut in this video.
Landlord was another hit that many folks related to considering the fact that ‘Landlord trouble’ does exist and its worse if you actually live in the same compound as your landlord just like Mejja whose not only being hounded by his landlord but also comes home to a huge lock on his door that he knows nothing about.
And then there was “Furahia maisha” that’s all about enjoying life no matter what. Mejja proves that he truly loves to live it up or “kujiachilia” as he puts it in this video, he is a true party lover, even throws a house party full of gate crashers and he still gets down with them (as long as they are not ‘watiaji’ the tribal lot)
This was a creative one alright: “Niko Poa” or “barua” he is writing to his brother back in Majengo, Nyeri telling him he’s figured the Nairobi life, while he’s brother breaks down the drama happening back in Majengo in the most entertaining way.
There was also “Bongo la Biashara” featuring genge rapper Juacali “over my ex” and “Quality ka hizo” featuring Pizo Dizo. The Majengo bred Genge artist has since joined the group Kansoul (comprising of KidKora and Madtraxx) and together they have been releasing club bangers like “Nyongwa” “dabo tap”performed on Coke Studio and were nominated for the MTV Africa music awards; listener’s choice with their latest release being “no woman no party”