When someone reads the Aarban Cypher, one expects to be written us “Urban Cypher” since its pronunciation sounds are the same. Okay what is the Aarban Cypher?? The Aarban Cypher is a is an initiative of Aarban Vibe in collaboration with Pawa 254 which at most time is referred by my peers as “Kwa Boniface Mwangi”. Yeeaahh y’all know Boniface Mwangi the Activist and Photographer.

Aarban Vibe and Pawa 254 came up with a twelve part series in the search of Nairobi’s Lord or Lady Cypher. The initiative is basically to identify Nairobi’s Raw and Real Hip-hop Talent and nurture it.

Last Friday I happen to attend the 9th Edition of the Aarban Cypher with an invitation from a friend [where was I all those previous editions.*slaps myself*].At first I was hesitant because I had that feeling of being an end Month it was destined for a great weekend. If I had to go then maybe I had to be turnt up.

The venue for the Aarban Cypher is always at the Pawa 254 rooftop, and since I knew that place I didn’t think twice, so I went. The reception at Pawa 254 is amazing especially if you love art and graffiti. Pawa 254 rooftop is set in a such a way that it can host events, and I was glad by the turn out since it’s always a free event. That is inline of attracting artists to showcase what they have.

The show started quite early and as usual a party is not a party without the DJ, the man on the Decks was Twitch Yo DJ who happens to be a good friend. He (Twitch) kept the crowd happy with great hip-hop tunes from back in the days to present while MC Keville ran the show. When the crowd was to capacity interested contestant had to do a warm-up freestyle before the competition started.

The competition had four rounds in which at every round there were participants who were eliminated. The Judges-Giovanni (C.E.O-Aarban Vibe) and VJ Mopreme had a difficult time coz the participants came in prepared. I learnt that the previous edition winner-Cee L. Nuke was in attendance. Without a doubt Nuke is good, his delivery wowed the crowd as he did a number of freestyles in between the rounds.

Other notable names were Wasabi, Robbi Voice, Didi Mask, Mtiaji, Sellasie and Paps who had one of my favourite punch line “Usiniringie Madem kama Fleet,coz mimi huchapa madem unaezadhani hawana Clit”. This line drove the crowd into a frenzy and I even thought at some point he was going to win. But the best part of the whole show was the face-off between the Trabolee and Luki the Monster. I later learnt that Luki the Monster is also a household name in Aarban Cypher because of his eloquency in 00#English. After two rounds of going head to head, Trabolee came out as The Lord Cypher for the 9th Edition and was handed a Trophy by the judges. The most notable thing I noticed was that the ladies were missing in competing for the top prize but as for being part of the crowd they were very good in cheer leading. I would wish to see Ladies participate in the next Edition. The Aarban Cypher always takes Place every last Friday of the Month at Pawa 254 rooftop located on State House Crescent. If you feel you have a talent in hip-hop this is the venue to show case your talent and let it shine. PEACE OUT!!!! Have a great weekend.


Written By: Stephen Mathews

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Twitter: @MasterSteve_