INTERVIEW – JUDGE (BlackDuo)

msela2 - judge

Judge is an emcee from Dandora. You can find his music on reverbnation, soundcloud and his videos on youtube. He is also involved with a peace movement, HipHop4Peace, that encourages young people to resist violence.


1. Yoow, Judge, give us a history lesson, where did it all start? Talk about the success of Black Duo, the “Rap kwa MIC” video, and projects you have been working on since then.

-Big up to everyone who is reading this I go by the name judge a member of a group called black duo. Blackduo is a group of 2 mcz judge and mo phat we are brothers same mother and father YEAH..
-We did get the intrest of doing hiphop in the year 1998 after the Swahili sheng explosion from kalamashaka
-RAP KWA MIC was our first video which was a suprice to the industry first underground video to be nominated I n kisima awards for the best hiphop group in Kenya
-ten years down the line still people going crazy any time a dj playz the song
Or any time I am on stage WOW what more can I say it’s a classic

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2. Tell us about your new album. What concepts are you working with, who’s featured on it, what’s different about this album, what producers are you working with, when/where can we get it?

-my new album is called alfajiri ‘ARISE’ after the post election violence in 2007 I was inspired to work on an album to elevate and to give hope to Kenyans through music
-the different about this album was the concept/message direct punch line I did try to balance the lyrics simple Kiswahili for the massage to prevail
1.ukabila ni sumu-tribalism is poison
2.umoja ni nguvu-unity is strenth
3.haki iwe ngao-justice be our shield

-ALFAJIRI was strictly produced by mandugu digital/amrose akula and pius aloyo you can get my new album in any store in Kenya or www.mdundo.com


3. I understand you helped organize a march of youths from Kibera to Town and from Town to Kibera, wearing the tishos, handing out CDs, and freestyling, you even got some news coverage. You mentioned you wanted to create a “POSITIVE A TENSION,” echoing Martin Luther King or something. Tafadhali, talk about your project, HIP HOP 4 PEACE, how it started, what’s it has done, it’s goals, what you are currently working on, and how interested young people can join.

-HIPHOP4PEACE is a movement for every one not only hiphop artist because hiphop is a culture of peace love and unity and this is exactly what the world needs not only Kenya.
We started this movement late last year with a few volunteers coz it was just for the love no one was paying or getting paid for the job so at first it was hard for people to join the movement but after the news coverage we did get a good explotation of our movement. Now, slowly, people are joining the move ment to bring peace back home ALIVE
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judgesolo@yahoo.com

4. Share some of your mistari and talk about where they came from, what they talk about, what inspired u to write them.

-mziki ni kama kusali-music is like a prayer what ever your tongue normaly comes real for example 2pac was talking on how he will die in his songs surprise that how he died
most of my inspiration comes from what is around me and that’s nature the good and the bad things I have gone thru


5. Where are you from, What was it like growing up?

-I was born in dandora raised in ziwani were people smoke a lot of weed to release the pressure according to the situation they are in even if u listen to my first single I did get the inspiration from ziwani
it was either u go hard or home if u can make it in ziwani u can make it any where


6. What kind of hustles were people involved in?

-It was all about drugs to make a living smoking and selling weed plus miraa khad

7. What does hip hop mean to you, What made you get involved in Hip Hop?

-hiphop to me means life because I have seen hiphop saving and maintaining peoples life

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8. What do the words ‘kazi’, ‘vijana’ and ‘mshamba’ mean to you?

-kazi means job vijana means youth man and mshamba some one who does not understand the swag

9. What is ‘politicking’?

-Man eat man society because of politic every one is bizzy hyping his tribal leaderz

10. What is ‘mental slavery’? Do you have a “philosophy of education”

-ukoloni mambo leo under paid

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11. Can you say anything about the youth drug problems in Kenya?

-drug is a problem in the whole world not only Kenya but for example the problem we do face is because of idling, joblessness, lack of education

12. Who/What is promoting violence, who/what has lessened violence?

– I cant say who is promoting violence but I can say what is promoting violence
Eg. poverty, tribalism, hate spich’


13. I hear some young people say Mandugu Digital has become a sort of monopoly in terms of big hiphop production in Kenya. It is difficult for young hip hop artists to make money off music in Kenya. What are your feelings on the availability of opportunities for artists to do high quality production/work? What advice would you give young artists about being able to make a living off their work?

-once you are good every one will like to work with u know for those who will not have a chance will always have something to say or blame it on the situation

-yo young artist are not making it international because of the quality of the music. most are trying to take a short cut in the industry without doing a proper research.
When they realize their music is not being played they start to blame it on people who are doing it the right way
-tha advice that I can give young artist is to stop complaining or to wait for some one to help them and be part of the solution

14. How do politics and your own personal values impact your work?

-what ever speech a politician will make a thousand life are depending on it

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15. Besides rappers, who else do you see ‘doing’ hip hop, other artists, deejays, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas, etc. ?

-hiphop is more than just doing it’s a life style that many people live but not all recognize example..models-hiphop walk, politician-who speak and walk the truth,
And soldier who are fighting for freedom all that is hiphop


16. How do you stay connected? Beyond the social media we are familiar with, what helps you stay linked to all different kinds of organizers and artists? What skills have you cultivated as a hustler and a professional, that you feel have helped you maintain a presence in hip hop over the years?

-performing different places getting involved in other projects like hiphop 4 peace movement, visiting schools talking to new generation to hear what they expect from us
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judgesolo@yahoo.com

17. Name your favorite musical artists, who are you listening to sasa?

-kenrick lamar , kitu sure, and my self


18. What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in the hip hop scene(s)? How do you successfully navigate the politrix?

-hiphop is a drug that u can use or abuse its like a double edge sword that many people are getting cut in the hype

19. Why do you think there aren’t as many femcees?

-ladies like money and the music industry in Kenya is very dry


20. How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa? What was it like recording “Msanii” with Lness?

-msanii was my first single to work with a femcee it was featured in a album called “kilio cha haki” a compilation of underground mcz. the song was recorded in nairibi and mastered in Amsterdam

-working with lness was a great opotunity to elevate and promote the femcee world


21. What can you say about any community hip hop projects helping young people today, that you know of or are involved with? (HipHop4Peace and others…) How do you think hip hop has changed from when you started with Black Duo to now?

-hiphop project have been helping the community even those who don’t know what hiphop is. example P.A.U. pamoja amani upendo a hiphop movement that involves every one not only artist
in Kenya hiphop have moved steps forward having new graffiti artist ,breakdance, mcz
-when I started hiphop very few cat were in the game because the competition was very serious them dayz it was a dream to have a chance to record because there were no studios
-this round every one is a rapper and a producer ….lol

22. Could you describe some positive things you have seen hip hop communities doing? Whether it is artists sharing resources, a place to stay, getting linked with work
etc.

-I have seen hiphop community organizing workshop to educate about a situation in the society or even raising a voice to those who are voiceless, sometime even sharing a place to stay for example if I want to work with distance relative

23. What hustles are you working on now? is there such a thing as hip hop jobs? ama only hustling? (Talk about any of your projects, musical or otherwise)

-kibao kaka there are many jobs in hiphop u just need to open your eyes I belive even seling your own machadise eg. Cdz t shirt caps etc that’s a hiphop jobs

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24. What are some of the obstacles/problems facing young people in Kenya today (zote, Lodwar to Dando to Westi?)

-lack of employment, drug abuse, nutrition, tribalism, politics etc

25. How are you interacting with artists across the globe and also particularly in East Afrika?

-net working, traveling, sharing the same stage, exchanging contacts after performing


26. What sort of positive things do you see happening with young people in Kenya?

-uniting to speak with one voice, positive movement, haki iwe ngao


27. How can people learn more about your work, music, performances and projects you are involved in?

-u can be connected in my movement through face book, twitter or reverbnation
Both I am using the name judgeblackduo.
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judggesolo@yahoo.com

28. What directions do you see the future of hip hop headed, both in East Afrika and globally?

-hiphop is a spirit that no one can kill so the [future] is bright


29. please give a brief bio of uaself.

My name is frankline otieno Milan aka judge born in 1984 my first album was kumekucha followed by alfajiri MUSIC IS THE KEY TO FREE ALL MAN KIND WHO BELIVE IN PEACE LOVE AND UNITY


Asante sana,
Judgesolo

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