Yesterday, Kenya’s pioneer entertainment website and East Africa’s leading online site did an article about the Top 5 rappers in Kenya. Okay, for a minute they had me going, till they said that Jay A is not on the list because he had recorded a certain song with a production house that is not Hip Hop. I expected Africa’s leading Hip Hop site, carlthatruth.com to respond but since they are not yet back online, I will take this opportunity to defend Hip Hop. For starters, never mention Jay A in any Hip Hop list, he is not any where close to that. Secondly, Ghafla is no longer a music site, they are more of a business franchise, which I can’t blame them since bills (and Uncle Chim) have to be paid, and writing about music and broke rappers all day will not carter to that. Now onto matters that actually resonate, the list put up by Ghafla should have been titled Top Five Mainstream Rappers in Kenya. When it comes to Hip Hop, noo son, you aint got your facts right. You can’t mention Kristoff, who was recorded live in a Capital FM cypher revising his written rhymes, alongside Octopizzo. That is an insult son. Without further ado, here is the real deal. Keep your mouth open coz you will need that air.
Kenyan Hip Hop is more leaned to the Swahili language and Sheng and most successful artist locally are the ones who embrace this languages. Go ahead name whichever you wanna. Scar is part of the group Wakadinali and as the group name suggests, they are out to preach that pure Hip Hop. The guy has BARS and punchlines! Coincidentally, he is signed to BigBeats Afrik, the same label that houses Kaligraph Jones. Get with the program.
Anyone who knows anything about Hip Hop, especially the Kenyan one will tell you that J is one of the realest lyricist in the game, whether Gospel or just pure conscious music, trust this brother to deliver the truth. I give it to Ghafla for at least getting that right
Formerly Octopizzo’s right hand man, this the realest shit (pun intended) to come from Kibra. The dude got his freestyle game on lock. Any day, anywhere, anytime, Virus will battle your favorite rapper and he will win the battle. Ooh yes he will. Virus has got that raw, street, gutter flow and lyrics that only real Hip Hop heads like @JichodaDog will understand.
2. KALIGHRAPH JONES
Well, nothing more to be said about the K to the J. If you haven’t yet heard of him, kindly get out of the cave you are living in my guy. Prowess aside, he is one of the artists I believe will put our image on the Hip Hop map internationally. Lest I forget, that diss track to Octopizzo was the most foolish thing he ever did. I interact with artists all around Africa and right now, Zimbabwean MCs are destined to take over the African rap scene. Why? Because they are united. I was more disappointed that ProVoke, one of the illest producers right now, was also amused by the move. Wake up guys, there are bigger battles to fight, we need Grammys.
1. KING SHUKID
You wondering why he is King? well, I can’t help your ignorance, Google was created for your lot. Whenever there is a Hip Hop argument and this guys name doesn’t pop up, I always die a small death. I mean, for how long will you dimwits sleep on the kid? Here is the deal, remove the dirt off your ears and get some Shukid on that whack playlist of yours. Just a single play and you will be hooked. The brother has THAT Hip Hop attitude that will get Dr. Dre reconsider working with Em’. From being part of Nairobi’s nightmare Coola Gang, Shukid can comfortably hold his own.
Well, under the mentor-ship of provoke, we are witnessing one of the greatest artist to emerge yet from the Kenyan scene. She is the only lady worth being in the group as she brings something unique to the table. That ol’ skool we used to cherish so much from the Lost Boyz may soon be part of our playlist if she continue on the same path. Wangechi is destined for the world stage honestly. That is why she is among the Kings.
Kenyans, if we need to bring that Grammy home, then y’all should reevaluate your priorities as far as music is concerned. Switch whatever is on your playlist and for Christ’s sake, get out the comfort zone and listen to something new. Be open to new sound too. Challenge the deejays and presenters to play you something new. Deviate from the norm damnit!!