In the ever growing Entertainment industry in the 254, the ladies have played a large part in its forging but they do not receive as much shine as they deserve. The ladies do bring their A-game in this male prevalent industry with steely rhymes; jam packed flows and catchy lyrics every time they hop on a track.
Today we want to pay homage to the ladies who have been handling the mic since the days the industry was in its formation phase. Days you could name all the artist played on the radio and we had magazine centerpieces as memorabilia. Let’s take it back to acts who have withstood the test of time and are still blessing us with ill music to date.
The First Lady of Hip Hop in the 254 emerged on the scene with the single “Ni Sawa Tu” which spiraled all over East Africa and placed her as a Femcee force to reckon. She teamed up with Wyre to form Necessary Noize and together they had the whole 254 dancing to their anthems. She was also a member of the East African Bashment Crew which had its own shine as well. You can reminisce with tunes like “Kenyan Boy’”, “Bless My Room” and “Tension”. Nazizi is a highly decorated artist with over 17 awards including Female Artist of the Year, Best Group, and Best Video. It is inspiring that she still has the “IT” factor to this day and she still releasing music like Wedding ring more so collaborating with new cats running the scene.
She rose to stardom through her singing knack in 2001 with three singles which had mad Radio rotation: Move, Tahidi and Papii were later leveled up with a big collabo –Ninanoki with Nameless and Amani had her place in the ‘local’ scene. From the Ogopa DJs camp, Amani is no stranger to hits and she has been a darling of the media till date. Her debut 2006 album “Tamani” saw her tour several countries giving her a special longevity and relevance. Her accolades include an MTV award, Perl of Africa award and working with R.Kelly. Being a sexy lady, some images have always surfaced in the paparazzi sections which make people thirst for her even after all this long. Never shook by time, last year she released a banger with Congolese star Washington titled “Bonbon” and it seems Amani’s career is far from over.
R&B stalwart Myra has a career spanning over 20 years and just like wine, she gets better and jells with it. From her breakout single “Sitaki’” by Samawati records in 1998, her graph has had an upward concave with her melodic voice getting better in every record. She can claim the R&B throne in the 254 since days of Tabasamu (2001), Nyisri Malong’o, Tie Dero and her ability to lace English, Swahili, and Dholuo on her records proves it. With time she also took up Afro-Fusion having African elements and western productions. Mercy has won R&B artist of the year and Female artist of the year at the Kisima awards. Fast forward to 2017, she is signed to American company Royal records and she has projects ready to be released this year under a wider umbrella.
Better known as S.T.L, you might remember her breakout single “Take It Back’’ which was a hit in East Africa and some Scandinavian countries. STL is eloquent on her raps often throwing some Kikuyu and Swahili lines in the mix, although based in Norway, she reps 254 in every jam. Remember the Jam ‘’Happy” with Kantai, who was a lyrical monster at that time, STL was able to match up bar for bar with him and that’s where her place in Hip Hop was seen. Over time STL has stayed floating sprinkling hits like Haba Haba, Lookie Lookie, Biashara, and Heck. She scored some international collabo with Mohombi. Her latest EP is trending in Hollywood and she seems to be our biggest export of female talent from the 254.