Crispy Fresh! Kenya’s Latest Tracks Worth Your Attention

It is another Friday! And in this week’s edition of Crispy Fresh, KenyanVibe and Kapuka Kulture collaborate to bring you some of the freshest tracks that caught our attention.

Sit back and enjoy!

Somebody New- Bensoul

Celebrated Afrofusion singer, Bensoul, is gearing up to release his album Lion of Sudah on April 4th, 2023. Somebody New is the fourth number off the project. It is a break-up song where Bensoul assumes the persona of a man who has moved on with a rebound. He arrogantly gloats, bragging about his new-found love. The production of the song is heavily influenced by West African high-life tradition, with soft but lively guitars taking center stage and reserved but strategic use of drumming to add pleasurable rhythm

The singer also addresses the toxic gender wars that have dominated cultural discourse, with the line “true love got no laws,” as a response to the radicalization of society by red pill and blue pill talking heads encouraging people to view romance in transactional terms. The song can be interpreted as a call to break up with the toxic idea of love, and to embrace the idea that somebody new could be a new way of looking at love.

East African Girls- Kagwe Mungai ft Nameless

“East African Girls” is a song by Kagwe Mungai featuring Nameless. Kagwe is known for his hit-making abilities and his ability to fluidly switch between rapping and singing, without being confined to any specific genre. The production on “East African Girls” is so diverse that it’s hard to pin it down to a specific sound, but this is something that Kagwe excels at doing. Ultimately, the song can be classified as a hybrid of gengetone and afrobeats. The track features lively drums, whistling sounds, and chants that infuse a unique East African flavor into the music. The theme of the song is centered around appreciating the beauty of East African women, making it a club anthem that celebrates the joys of life, including drinking, dancing, and having fun. Nameless, a legend in the Kenyan rap game, contributes an energetic gengetone verse that adds an extra layer of depth to the track.

Hello Sadness-Hook ft Karun,Steph Kapela,Sim Citizen

Hello Sadness is a beautifully crafted break-up song that showcases the collaborative efforts of some of the most talented R&B and alternative artists in Nairobi. Produced by Hook, who recently completed a long art residency in Nairobi, the song features Karun, Steph Kapela, and Sim Citizen. The R&B instrumental fused with a heavy electronic influence achieved by a synthesizer gives the song a dark and melancholic feel that represents the theme of the song perfectly. The echoes in the background add a funky swagger to the song, making it suitable for both a moody setting and a party setup.

Karun’s verse talks about how sadness engulfs her after breaking up, but she is so used to that sadness that it comforts her. On the other hand, Steph Kapela starts off his verse by singing about how love can disappoint before assuming the persona of a villain who doesn’t care about hurting people. He raps, “I’m not innocent, I probably did some stuff.” With its emotional lyrics and expertly crafted instrumentals, Hello Sadness is a song that will undoubtedly resonate with anyone who has gone through a tough breakup.

QUESTIONS- Razor Man

Razor Man, an alternative artist known for his adventurous sound, released a new song titled QUESTION earlier this week to celebrate his birthday. The song encompasses a wide range of genres, including electronic music, R&B, soft rock, psychedelic rap/hip hop, and even bedroom pop. However, it does take from a very specific sound that creates a decidedly Afrosounds pattern as the main melody, intertwined with elements of soft rock and electronic music synthesizers. Razor Man’s signature deep voice, swinging between baritone and a croaky deep bass, delivers the love song’s message about the need for communication. In the chorus, Razor Man sings, “Be real with me and speak to me when you’re in need,” emphasizing the importance of being truthful and open with our romantic partners. It is refreshing to hear a male artist speak about these themes as they are often considered feminine traits in Kenyan culture.

Look Inside- Superprodusir & Kevin Grands 

Look Inside is a powerful collaboration between Kenyan hip-hop producer Produsir and MC Kevin Grands. The track draws on stoic philosophy to argue that hope and strength can be found within oneself through determined reflection and meditation. Kevin’s lyrics emphasize the importance of staying true to one’s goals and persevering through hardship. The production combines elements of old-school hip-hop with a laid-back version of an African electronic beat, incorporating electric guitars and drums to create a sound that defies genre classification. Kevin’s medium-paced delivery ensures that his words are heard clearly, with punchy moments throughout the song. Look Inside is a testament to the chemistry between these two talented artists and their ability to craft a message that resonates with listeners.

Big Bumpa- Pulalah Master

Pulalah Master is a talented artist with a diverse skill set that includes being a music journalist, DJ, producer, and dancehall singer. He launched his music career in late 2021 after resigning from Boomplay to focus on his artistic pursuits and has already released six singles. Pulalah produces beats for himself, and his latest song is decidedly dancehall, with an instrumental that builds from low to high energy and repeats. The drumming patterns are reminiscent of dancehall’s global peak in the 2010 to 2014 period, and the song is clearly designed for the dancefloor, with a slow sensual performance in mind. The theme is heavily sexual, with a focus on praising a big backside, a body shape that was once popular but is now less so due to changing beauty standards. Pulalah uses his voice to great effect, using high pitch for the hook and shifting tone to keep the verses engaging and vibrant.