#UnKutTheCypher Ssn 2: ALL STAR

UnKut the Cypher premiered in December bringing together an array of artists to a total of 26. Both male and female Hip Hop artists displayed their years of practice and skill to a live audience, on five different beats. The second edition will be happening this Sunday at Dream Lounge from 5 p.m. hosted by myself, and here’s a look at some of the stars who shined brightest from the first edition.

Steph Kapela

An Amos and Josh protégé in his high school days at Dagoretti High School, Steph Kapela earned his stage name “Kapela” from his art teacher during an art and music festival where he and a friend sang in acapella. “I changed the letters later on to make it more unique and more African to suit my identity,” quips Kapela. After high school he travelled to the States for higher studies and while there, he began his music career. He returned to Kenya in 2015 and linked up with producer Atwal via Instagram. Steph has featured on four songs off Atwal’s album, Trap Heaven. His vocal skills, writing and delivery prowess are all over records such as Like This, Rotate, Over You, Sweet Sixteen and Work. Able to sing really well and able to drop bars as well, catch Steph Kapela’s Got The Sauce, By Faith and Forget Me on your favorite local radio stations.

Dope I Mean 

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is produced whenever you do pleasurable activities like eating, drinking, laughing, listening to music etc,  so Dope I Mean is the “feel good” chemical, dopamine! Get it? On his music he says, “Now I know exactly what material different people like from me, so in every project you’ll find a track or two to your liking.” Part of AD Family, a Hip Hop collective currently promoting heavily what they call their style of music, Shrap (Sheng+ Trap), Dope I Mean has released one mixtape with them, Buds III, which you can find on their SoundCloud page. AD Family is currently running a campaign against the promotion of Kapuka and instead encourage promotion of other genres of music that are internationally recognized.

Pro

When Nelson Namwaya AKA Pro grabs the mic, he can switch up from Hip Hop to Kapuka, Swahili to English, with ease. “Doing Kapuka means that I have Kapuka fans out there that wanna listen to that kinda music,” Pro says, adding that Hip Hop fans who don’t listen to Kapuka need something to listen to and vice versa, so he needs to do both as an entertainer. As Kristoff’s older brother and the one who taught Kris how to rap, Pro says that it’s great they’re doing the same thing because at the end of the day it’s support. He adds, “Before I release a song I have to send it to him because he knows… he’s done hit songs.” As he tries to reach Ricco Beatz for production, songs by Pro that are currently in rotation are Lewa Lewa, Usijifunge (ft. Ares 66), Tufunge Ndoa, Chuki, and Kameshika, whose all star remix is coming soon, amongst others.

K Green

25 year old rapper K Green (AD Family) doesn’t take off his Ray Bans for anything! His manager says it’s because he’s attached to them, like his lucky charm and it’s easier for him to perform with them on. Green started rapping 7 years ago, starting off start with dancehall music. Surprisingly for an entertainer, Kevin is an introvert. You can check out his latest music video, “Boss Iko”, on YouTube, extracted from Pacho’s slogan, “Na tuko tu Pacho kwani boss iko nini?”

Asum Garvey

 

Every time you hear an Asum Garvey track you know you’re in for great lyrics, wit and bars!

Born Malcolm Garvey, Asum embarked on his music career as a teenager. Drawing inspiration for his craft from personal life experiences, he has 2 solo projects to his name, My Discovery, released in 2014 and ‘The Exercise EP’ under his label Hot Box Music, released in 2016.

 

 

Lover of Hip Hop, content creator and presenter at Homeboyz Radio, blogger, host of Industry Nite red carpet interviews, podcaster (RK Podcast with Kevin Grands) freelance writer for KenyanVibe.