Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is Nas the axis of evil?

Wasup guyz just been listening to Nas' mixtape called 'Death of Escobar' . I just like this guy he is ill with the lyrics. He is so good that a certain guy has started a capaign to prove that Nas is the axis of evil (666). The facts are really well researched. Whoever wrote it is well read and a tight hiphop listener so a kapukerian he may sound convincing or even doze to the explanation coz none of the trax quoted are mainstream. If u need the url to where you can get the article hit me up.
Am I alone in this or r u also smiling that Mahatma of Calif has finaly awoken from his slumber? I expect alot from him coz I always think of him as one of the consious after '...Shida zake millioni..' and 'mtu saba'.
Then there is this time i was riding in a matatu which was tuned to Kiss FM and I heard Angelah ...(whoever) say "...coming up next is, a song by a chic who is datin notorious rapper, one of the most notorious but consious rapper Nas........(and lots of other gibberish)". I was like "damn!!! Where does this presenter get her info from?" Its damn shame. Well for those of you who dont know why, U cant call Nas 'notorious'. The consious part sounded very blonde and Nas aint datin (her), he is married to her.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Early this year there was a debate on who Mwaf was I sent this to Buzz but it was neva published coz the same day it was to appear they had an Interview with Mwaf.
I have been following the debate from readers on Mwafrika. The very first time i saw a letter from a reader asking whether Mwafrika was a celeb or not, i was like "do i write back or not?" Then i thought it wasnt worth it but subsequent letters on the same have made me change my mind.
First I'd like to define who a celebrity is. I would define a celeb as a person who is widely known, a state of being widely acclaimed or simply a famous person. Be it a sports, music, art, media, politics or any other field. You can also be famous because of your looks or behaviour. Rasta, Wacucu, Wanugu were also celebs if we go by that defination.
To tackle the issue at hand, I'll say who Mwafrika is and then what underground hip hop is so that we can understand why he is a celebrity.I have never been upclose with Mwafrika but I know him for the last three years for killing mics while freestyling at 98.4 blowing up live freestyle battles by ripping wack rappers, knocking out a plethora of independent releases in acapella creating a wave of respect and intergrity withing the local rap circles. Through his show 'The Joint' he has built a vast nationalwide loyal fun base.He rocks the mic with an array of witty punchlines and rhymes that are finished like furniture enamel.Most memorable mcees posses wisdom, skill, mystique, style, tight flow, great timing, rhythmic delivery, dope voice, exceptional inflection, perfect clarity and believe me Mwaf is all that if u have seen/heard him battle.
Underground rap is a postmodern style of music borne of the impoverished neighborhoods and wallows in depth perception and substance with little or no regard for the mainstream. It also tends to keep away from major labels and its artists are mainly idependent. It can also be said its not so radio friendly despite it being popular in 'streets'.
Mwafrika can be categorised into underground rap coz he can never work with a label like Blu Zebra, Ogopa and does not rap about alcohol, clubing and women as other musician have choosen. One of the reasons why is he called the lord of the underground is because he is one of the best that the genre has locally having won numerous battles. Another reason is because in his show, most of the music he plays is hardcore and gangsta which are core to the underground rather than mainstream rap.
Being an underground artists does not mean that you are underground as a person. For example, Mashifta, Kshaka etc are very much known but their music can be classified as underground.
Those who say Mwaf is not known can be called 'general rap consumer' who defined as one who happens not to be very good at playing catch up. as in they do not see metaphors, skill, messages, sylabels, intlectual phrases, articulation so on and so on......mostly what is visible to them is cheap rhymes. To a general rap consumer, Nameless, Prezzo, The Vultures, Logombas are the local equivalents of NWA, Tribe Called Quest, Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Common, Canibus and to them, 50 Cent is the best thing since the invetion of the wheel.
Hate it or love it Mwaf is here to stay and is very famous to genuine hip hop funs.


I have been listening to radio and I have heard Nameless' new trak that features Nyash of Kleopto. As an ardent hip hoper, the song 'Jidai' caught my attention coz it was a rebuttal for FBI's war songs. So I conluded it is a battle rap.

Battle raps come in two basic forms. One is a live battle where rappers face off in person. The second is a record battle where its done in studio on song. True rap battle involves no physical fighting. Its a test of skill. A test of how well one has mastered bewildering array of lyricall display characterised by a synthesis of well crafted rhymes, elaborate metaphors, intellectual phrases, messages, improvisation, multi syllables and importantly one's articulate and effortless delivery.

Back to Nameless trak, its a poor show from a man his age. There is a line where he brags how much money he has earned and the loads of girls he has. I dont dispute all that but battle rap aint about money or girls but a show of skill. I should hear something intelligent from Nameless than crap considering he just got married and being one of the few local artist with degrees. He may possess glamorous image and magnificiency but he lacks 'micnificiency' in that song. Its like Michael Jackson doing rap. He claims that he has been in music for long of which I concur but it aint reflected in his lyrics. It does not redeem his image as a rapper to those who knew him when he used to 'take a Megaride' or 'converse' with 'majitu' . Nyash is a prodigy in terms of smooth flow but he still needs a workout in formulating his own style. I believe Nyash will never spit harder (prove me wrong Nyash) than he did on 'tuendelee' which was a perfect showmanship of skill. I however think it had a nice hook and a line i liked where he says something like 'mkifanya show mbele ya kioo......" that was a good line.

Examples of real battle emcee are Canibus, Nas, Ras Kass, our very own Mwafrika, Chiwawa, L-Ness, among others. Nameless should borrow a leaf from them and especially from the song Dc na Sisi from Mau Mau which though not aimed at anyone was a classic battle rap.

So long as rap remains, emcee battles will never end. So long as nobody is hurt or killed (physically), its natural to destroy and rebuild which to an extent spurs creativity as it was witnessed with Kleopto.

Death of Rap and Lingala: Appeared in Buzz(Sunday Nation) on 7th August 2005

Back in the days when there were two FM stations, Metro FM used to be everyones favourite. They captured every age and almost everyone coz they played almost every music genre.

My favourite shows were the "metro love zone' and 'the afternoon switch'. Everyone got to admit Metro's love zone was the best late night show we had. Kool R&B used to sooth our tired souls leaving us smitten. Another show that rocked was the afternoon switch. This is the show that introduced Kshaka, N.N, GidiMaji, Majizee, Ksouth, Hardstone among other hiphop pioneers to us. The show played underground local/International hiphop to the delight of real rap funs. I was one of those who never missed the show if I wanted to know a new local artist. They played the kind of rap you will never hear in any other station with the exception of Da Joint (Y fm) and Eve D Souza's 'Hits not Home Work'

Now that the station has decided to go Reggae 24/7, I think its a big blow to the slowly dying R&B and of course a another nail in the coffin for local and international underground hiphop.he impact of this will be felt by people who love hardcore rap that got consious lyrics. Ask most the underground cats and you will hear their musical careers have come down with it. There will be no more Muki Garang, most of Ukoo Flani Maumau music, and most of Ksouth oldies among others.

Its also the last nail on the coffin for the long dead lingala, and Caribbean music that the station played. Reggae is rising at a high rate because most kenyans are tired with local and international kapuka which is played over and over in major fm stations. However I got a problem with reggae coz of how local funs are violent during their shows. Y fm ofcourse now inherits most of the metro fm funs who loved the afternoon switch.