Hip hop is a form of music that goes further than being just rap music. A culture that has predated Kenya’s entertainment industry over years has a fascinating history and here are some of the facts that you may not know:
1. Female MC veteran
We have seen a number of Kenyan female rappers as well in the hip hop scene. Nazizi and Rat-at-tat, however, MC Sharon aka Decibel is the real women ambassador of Kenyan hip hop. The singer, rapper, producer, poet, writer and activist is no stranger to the Kenyan music scene having sufficiently splashed her mark around over the years.
2. From Gangsta to Boombap to Trap Music
Kenyan hip hop has been fast moving with the trend. Kalamashaka begun with Gangsta rap, then Abbas came in with Boom bap style and now Octo’s trap style.
3. First Kenyan music endorsement
Wakimbizi, sang the interesting songs ‘John’ and ‘Hallo Hallo’ were the first group to get endorsement by Safaricom. Good job!
4. First group to trend worldwide
Just A Band’s video, Ha-He’ on ‘The return of Makmende went viral worldwide leading them to travel the world and perform in various international festivals.
5. Jimmy Gathu was once a rapper
Jimmy Gathu has done it all, however do you know he also rapped?? In 1991 he released a song on road safety called ‘Look, Think, Stay Alive.’
6. First Kenyan on Tidal.
If you didn’t know then now you must know that the first ever Kenyan music on Tidal is Hip Hop, thanks to Kenya’s female powerhouse Karun. She uploaded her “Sun & Moon” album on TIDAL.
7. Kenyan underground act
Many artists have risen from underground like King Kaka. The underground hip hop scene is also vibrant. According to many, Oksyd is the illest up and coming hip hop act.
8. Kenyan Hip Hop Legends
These are Hardstone, Kalamashaka, Mashifta, Smoggiz, Nanoma and Ukoo Flani.
9. Kenyan Graffiti
If you have walked through town, you have seen Bankslave’s awesome designs. His graffiti is one of the amazing elements of hip hop where one expresses oneself through art.
10. First Kenyan Group
Many of us know Ukoo Flani, however Achong pong clan.
Any other cool facts on Kenyan hip-hop that you know of? Let us know below!