The story about me getting into Kenyan Hip Hop is a rather strange one. DJ Finalkut of Homeboyz Radio approached me when I was just one month old at Homeboyz Radio, an intern at that and asked me if I could host Hip Hop Culture with him. I knew close to nothing about KE Hip Hop, in fact, my first show was rather shaky but with time, I got exposed to different rappers and discovered that hey, there are some talented individuals out here. From believing that there isn’t legit Kenyan Hip Hop to overhauling the content on my blog so I could focus on Kenyan and African Hip Hop to even starting a podcast late last year with a friend of mine, Kevin Grands, just to talk about Hip Hop.
We started this podcast late last year, the first episode was actually recorded on December 31st and we basically wrapped up 2015. The highs and lows as far as music was concerned worldwide.
Episode 2 though, that one was pretty random. We called it “Random Sense” because we had no structure. We weren’t sure what exactly we were going to talk about or even how it would sound after being edited. After listening to a rough edit, we floated a couple names until I came up with the name “Random Sense”. Well because I’m a genius (sorry Kevin I’m taking this one) and because it was a random episode but whatever we talked about ended up making a lot of sense.
On this episode we compare Kenyan Hip Hop acts with the rest of Africa, influenced by Sarkodie filling the 02 Arena in London. Him being the first African artist to hold his own concert there, not to mention the first Hip Hop artist from Africa to achieve this fete. The arena hosts about 20,000 people and has before hosted international superstars such as Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and more.
This recording happened at a time Cassper Nyovest had also joined Nicki Minaj’s Pink Print Tour in Mzanzi, him filling the dome in South Africa last year (October 31st), a concert that was totally sold out and him going down history books as the first local act to do this.
We encourage Kenyan rap artists to hold their own concerts with the main aim of promoting the culture and exposing people to their music; making it easily accessible. We debate on whether performances should be with a band or whether it should be play back and just how supportive fans would be.
What does it take to hold a concert in the 254 as a local artist? From packaging, branding, management and social appeal, we share our opinions as well.
We’ve seen many artists change up their style. If a rapper was really hardcore, it gets to a point where they make “commercial” music. When asked why, more often than not the answer is usually, “I’m giving the fans what they want…” so, is the type of music an artist makes dictated by the fans or not? Kevin Grands says that if fans knew what they wanted they’d be artists themselves… so NO. Do you agree?
On RK Podcast we also talk about management in Kenya and what it means as compared to “serious” management in the rest of Africa. It’s a pretty serious but interesting episode so you should definitely forward this to any artist (or music lover) you know… cuz we’re cool like that! 😉