Tagged: STORIES

MUSIC VIDEO – THIS IS THE LIFE (Washamba Wenza, Skobo and Ananda)

UPDATE: 13, March 2017: Song Translation of “This Is The Life” now available on Hip Hop Kambi. Also, check out the Skobo Fugee Collection, for more of Skobo’s mziki.

UPDATE: 23, May 2014. Smallz Lethal’s album now available on itunes; Common Mwananchi

Washamba Wenza is a hip hop movement with roots in Dandora. “This is the Life” is a collaborative track between the studios/hiphop families of G’Ganji, Audio Kusini and A-World, featuring an instrumental by Ken Ring. Check out more music from Washamba Wenza, G’Ganji and Audio Kusini/Kusini Recordz. You can download this classic hapa.

wasahamba wenza this is the life1

UPDATE (28 July 2013): Check out the new track from G’Ganji, Washamba Wenza and Ananda A-World, WASTE NO TIME (free download).


1. What inspired you to write your verses for “This is the Life”?


Smallz Lethal (Mshamba Mwenza):
12:48pm

Smallz Lethal

yeah man..we cn neva b too busy bro..first, 4 my verse..that is almst the deepest verse av ever written, the kind of meditation we had was maad man. basicaly,i was reffering to hiphop as a person, leting her knw how much impact she has on me n how am gonna b loyal to her..

Ananda (A-World):
2:26 pm

2 my side n as i know hiphop is life, n i simply referred to life as a teacher where i said that thru him, wen i woz a kid, i knew how to tighten my shoe lases when i run not 2 fall…lyfstyles also differ in that we gat hoods livin ths way so in our hood its diffrent and…’this is the life innawi yard!’


Flamez (Mshamba Mwenza):

12:24pm

Flamez Mshamba Mwenza

For the verses my part was actually time am basically writing how i see and feel about stuff.

tattoo0


2. How did G’Ganji, Audio Kusini and A-World come together on this track?

tattoo2

Flamez: ON THIS TRACK it was mainly A World and Audio Kusini on Ken rings beat

3. You guys have been putting out high quality music for some time now. What directions do you see the future of hip hop in East Afrika headed in?

tattoo1


Flamez:
Its growing and for me there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel

4. How can fans check out your music and support your movement?

Flamez: http://www.reverbnation.com/washambawenza, flamezmwenza@twitter ,flamez mshamba mwenza on facebook washamba wenza

Reverbnation:Smallz Lethal, Flamez, Ananda, Washamba Wenza

Soundcloud: Smallz Lethal, Kusini Recordz

On twitter: @A_WORLDs @Smallzlethal @Flamezmwenza @FUGEESKOBO @snipersp
@audiokusini_AK @KusiniRecordz

Youtube: Smallz Lethal Mshamba Mwenza, Audio Kusini, Ananda

Facebook: G’Ganji Records, A-World Kusini Recordz, Smallz Lethal, Flamez Mshamba Mwenza, Skobo Fugee supporters, Ananda

Washamba Wenza this is the life2

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INTERVIEW – Sniper SP (G’Ganji Records)

snipersp1

Sniper SP is a producer at G’Ganji Records in Rongai. He is one of the most hardworking and prolific hip hop producers in Kenya. You can find his work on reverbnation and youtube. You can follow him on twitter and check out his facebook group.


Shupav – Judge & Washamba Wenza (prod. by Sniper SP)

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

Ni nazidi kupanda ladder/
Hakuna kulala ni bidii nasaka mkwanja na/
Veins ndio mimi nitakaza/
Mpaka siku ntakufa mi ntazidi ku fight harder/

They are from a song I wrote like a year ago talking about how I will keep on struggling and never will I give up until I achieve my dreams. Hoping anyone listen to it will it gather the same faith and therefore making it an inspirational song.

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

I was brought up in Eastliegh but I have spent most of my music works in O’Rongai. I spent my tender age in the ghetto, struggling to survive because I didn’t grow up in a rich family. I remember being sent away from school many times because of lack of school fees. I even remember living in a church when I was 9 years. And at most times I have survived with one meal I day. I had to work as a computer tutor to buy a computer with this specs; p3 processor 400mhz harddisk 10gb ram 128mb – to start this studio I have [G Ganji Records] you can tell i went through by just looking into my eyes.

What kind of hustles were people involved in?

Like at a time I was selling calling cards for ‘Orange Network’ in the streets and getting 10 shillings after selling 10 cards. People sell secondhand-secondhand clothes in the streets. We used to collect used plastics and metal and sell.

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

Hiphop is creative art. It is the platform where artists express their creative minds. Like for instance graffiti, djying, breakdancing or rap. The life I was raised made me stand up and use my talents in all means to fight for change and I already feel that’s part of Hiphop. Why should I join rnb or dancehall and brother is crying in Hiphop.


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

Vijana are the youths of mature age capable of being employed. Kazi is struggle the vijana put to generate income. It may be generated in different ways with the different capacity and ability. Mashamba on the other hand is what people call those who have grown in the rural regions and have embraced the rural way of life as compared to the urban one.


What is ‘politicking’?

This is involving work with the impunity politics brings it. It can also mean the way people analyze the game politicians play in the media of governance.


What is ‘mental slavery’?

It’s whereby you are not free.

I think this means being unreasonably rigid with some facts in the mind. It is fixing the mind to a given fact and the inability to alter that fact on different grounds


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

Drug abuse among the youth is not only a predicament in Kenya but also all over the world. They usually introduce themselves. They reduce their life span, exposing themselves to potential risks that may even [cost] them their lives. If only these youths could find a way they can participate in community development, such abuses could not be heard as [vigorously] as it is being heard these days.

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

Incitement and tribalism is what I truly believe are the main causes of violence in Kenya. It is a pity to hear a friend you have grown with for a long time, involve himself with such an act. Politics is what I fear brings about the incitement and tribalism. You will find a group of two, three or more gathered together criticizing the Kenyan politics instead of [thinking] about the opportunities they have in investments. The youths have gathered together to counter the misery. Events [] being the instrument, they have been campaigning for peace around the country, preaching to the others, mostly their fellow youth to maintain peace and become conscious of the choices they make.

sniper sp2


How are hiphop artists making money from their music today?

Hip hop artists in Kenya dedicate themselves in producing their music and I find it true that they put the same in their hustle. Intellectual property has protected they creative skills and it is from there that they sell their creativity. This is just but one way; they (artists) may be called to perform or manage events or advertisement in the corporate world.


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

Politics involves the government and the government as the legislators, protects the copyright. I still don’t feel satisfaction on how our leaders protect and enforce the copyright. Corruption is mainly the cause of the prejudice, and it will be difficult for our music industry to develop with such practice still in force.

I always work with my instincts. The best always comes from heart and I believe appreciation will lead as consequence. Doubting yourself is the [worst] thing that can happen to you. People should know you as you are and that is from where success begins.

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

Hip hop is bigger than what most people see it to be. Beadwork [Shambalas] is another way of promoting hip hop through the diverse artistic work. We also see painters, poets and even initiatives contributing a lot to Hiphop.


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

Charon Don, The Late Guru, Immortal Technique, Tech N9ne, Khaligraph, Ace tha Don, Washamba Wenza, Nas, 2pac…

What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in the hip hop scene(s)?

People don’t just raise steeply at a go. You will have to start with believing yourself but on the way, from what I have experienced, you will encounter enmity as one of the obstacles caused from today’s competitive market. Most artists are from slums and ghettos making them poor of which paying studio times becomes impossible at times. And even the price rates of recording/ studio times becomes too low to suite most artistes.

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

To success, people have to struggle and most of the femcees consider it difficult in promoting their music, thereby losing their interest in music. There is also the mentality that men always dominate in the industry. I believe that women are as capable as men and therefore can produce good music.

[Check out Shikow na Samantha’s “Good Times” music video, produced by Sniper SP]

How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa?

The number of female artists in East Africa is few as compared to men, and having women in the industry encourages others to involve themselves. You find that women need to express themselves too so when they are given a change, Hiphop becomes stronger.

What can you say about the Mau Mau kambi, are there any similar community hip hop projects helping young people today?

Yeah like St. Mikes, Kalahari Jeshi, YGB and am even started mine called ‘Kambi Kuu’ whereby artists come together and share ideas and socialize.

g'ganji3

What type of community organizations, informal or formal are helping vijana in East Africa leo?

Most of the organizations are campaigning for peace as they involve them in community activities. I appreciate the effort they put in educating the youths on the developing world and promoting their talents like in sports. These organizations also have supported and sponsored local events that have invited artists to perform and demonstrate their skills.

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

there are many artists I know that play and manage football teams that interact with teams from other regions. Not only will you hear peace as the theme from their friendly meeting, but also from other events where they are called to perform. I have witnessed hip hop artists involving themselves in charity work, cleaning garbage in slums, feeding the less privilege and also leading in blood donation.


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)

I organized a couple of events in clubs and halls here in Nairobi, and planning more, it’s just at times it’s hard to raise the money, and again it’s hard to get sponsors with the name HIPHOP. I cant say there aren’t jobs in hiphop, because of course we see people selling street wear clothlines, shambalas, mixtapes and albums, but its not that easy. Its still hustling because you find that you are selling to a brother who is also from the same background/ poor.

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

Unemployment is what I consider the main obstacle in Kenya. Most of the youths [have] potential but have no channel to express their skills. Mismanagement in many instances has caused loss of jobs and opportunities in many institutions and organizations involving the young people. Committing themselves in crime is the worst activity as heavy criminal penal penalty or also costing them lives, lead as consequence.

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

Technology and the social world are growing and reaching the very local sectors. These have been the main channels for connection and interactions apart from posting songs and profiles in the internet. Events have also led artists to meet and interact, having a chance to exchange ideas and associate in constructing an ideal collaboration/invention.

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

Struggle that bears success is the greatest thing that can happen to anyone. Involvement in peace campaigns and nurturing the young talents has upheld the intelligence and capability of the young people in Kenya.


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

I have a link in most of the social media, i.e. facebook & twitter, from where I post my activities and works I have both completed and are about to be released. i rarely miss hip hop events happening around the region where I meet greater and potential artists.


Asante sana,

Kevlexicon

g'ganji2

Poems by Mwas Mahugu aka Gas Fyatu

Mwas Mahugu1

Mwas Mahugu (street name Gas Fyatu) is a writer from Nairobi. You can read more of his work in Kwani. Peep his interview.


THE RIVER

Has anyone swam in the river
Shivers, beer to liver
Cold as ice
Yet a furnace, sewer, rats, dark, roaches
Pet-a surface, alleys, cats, death poaches
Daily strife. Dusk to dawn
You sink, it stinks, you drown, and it’s a Town
A Nation, an Ocean of people,
A Continent of the simple-crippled by the strong waves
In abundance of food, famine rule
Despair, Diseases, forgotten
(Music)Abba dance of paradise
Like a drum, police pronounced kicks
Slums announce sick…..
People. Struggle a breast, poverty a nipple
Poor man a tick, rich man a hippo
Am Hip Hop, Rasta, Pastor, a prophet, a soldier, a voice?
A swimmer in this dusty river
Call it river Idd Amin or Hitler
They are crowning the King, am drowning
When I resurface a bee sting
On my forehead. My age mates are dead,
AIDS, Hunger, Crime, stray bullets
Single Mothers, stray shots
Running water, pot leaking
River concrete jungle, ghetto, a lion jungle
To be free, climb on treetop
It takes two to tangle.
Written on 24th-12-2005

MAN

Can a Man live like this?
Everyday of his life and strife
Breathe a -dew, which dries with sunrise
A death which resurrect on a new day
A leaf that shine, its youth pale
They say it is a Sea. Now I see
We sail with hope
When the sea is calm or rough
Yes we Love, moan, groan, we laugh
Yes we cry, we try, and last we die
Trod on Earth protected by heaven
Don’t worry my Cinderella
As they talk to god Bacchus
Tasted fruit is sweet, not eaten sweeter
Later she will create a crater of betrayal
But are he is loyal, she is royal.

Happiness (april 2006)

Happiness is not a land far away
It is like a hand you see everyday
Paradise of eternity
A price per dice to enter the city
Kings and slave strive, why? Ask the almighty
Eyes dusty to see the soul
That’s why we receive, bowls of ignorance
Wars
It is a thin hem on a garment
Yet strong.
Like a vein transporting blood
But never wrong
Amidst of flood, the life jacket
Amidst of death, the life jacket
To protect, we just need to project,
Our inner eyes, away from illusion, yes passion
Happy land is perfect nation

Life (august 2007)

This life is boring
This life is bowling
The balls without scoring
It is growing
Drawing one destiny
Dawning of reality
Cloning with fantasy
But destiny you yawn
Reality you own

Roof top

It is lonely at the top
Brains smoke like formula one car exhaust
Hitting the roof top
Sitting with proof cop
Stop to reminisce
The journey, the chili pepper tingles.

Rumors

Rain is coming
Wind is moaning
Fire is burning
A life is humming
Soldiers are fighting
Cultures uniting
The enemies are arming
Moon, soon, monsoon winds
Sun run, Stars shine
War. Peace. Stability. Life force.
a vessel. in the sea.
Only rumors. man is.


MY love(2011 march 13)

It is 2 A.m
Nothing looks the same
All I can do is just whisper her name
Can’t shout my voice is lame
Nothing but darkness, stuck ness in her web
Though the stars try to shine from far
And moon lends a hand
An attempt to light up my soul
Still I have to wait till dawn, on the lawn, alone
For the Sun coz she is my sunshine
I stepped on a landmine
I can’t move my foot, lest it blows
The damage all mine
Like a greedy businessman
I dug the mine
Found the Diamonds,
Like a poor man I beg
Who will tell her she is the almond
I need to break,
For miles
My heart has trekked
With my lips
Many i have pecked
But nothing can compare
To my alter ego
She is an eagle, when she flies
Can someone tell her she is guilty?
But am ready to grant her amnesty

Love is sweet(2011 march 15)

Love is sweet /love is a pit if you fall/
But don’t worry the ground is mattress not a quarry
Let caress you hurry hurry bury
Me in your embrace/I might marry you
Be my empress/I wish I could tenderly press
Your nipple and watch that ripples/the flush
As I explore your rose’s garden/well this coffees dates I wish they were
Followed by thunder and storm, ooh that gooey feeling
How it taketh me the vibration each way free.

Mwas2

Short Bio.

Mwangi Mahugu a.k.a Gas Fyatu is
one of the leading underground rappers in Kenya and a pioneer sheng
writer. He ventured in the hip hop scene in the year 2000, but his
interest started in primary school. He went on to be an active member of Music and Drama clubs and has several certificates for his outstanding performances.

He joined the rap crew Mau Mau camp, who hail from his neighborhood
Dandora Estate, a ghetto in the Eastland’s of Nairobi. What interested
him was the poetry and the choice of music; social conscious music
promoting Love, Peace and Harmony. He soon started to play around with
words, attending freestyles battles.

He teamed up with fellow rappers Zaka & BlackGzas to form the group Moshikali. As a group they released their first single in 200I “Ushapotea ” and went on to
perform in various venues, most notably the Nation TV’s music
program “The Warehouse” since there were no music videos at the time.

The same year while a student at the Kenya Christian Industrial
Training Institute (K.C.I.T.I) studying Computer Science, the college
library opened the world of literature.

He started writing fictions and commentaries and sharing them with
friends. People were very positive and encouraged him to explore his
talent in writing, The Rap monks Kalamashaka approached him to write
profiles for their tour and for websites, word spread in the streets
and another Rap group Mashifta, and other artists joined the wagon.
Gas Fyatu acted as the publicist of the Nairobi Mau Mau Camp and the Mombasa affiliates, Ukooflani mau mau. Later he became the manager of East Africa’s biggest Hip hop movement, Ukoo flani mau mau.

He was doing this voluntary and over the years he has gained vast
experience, street credibility, networks and [a familiarity with] the general atmosphere in the music industry. He continued multi- tasking, college work, writing, releasing singles in the streets, as solo artist and also as a group, while acting as the secretary of the Maono cultural group, an organization helping
young street kids to develop their talents in [Acrobatics], music,
traditional dances, football and capoeira. On the end of 2002 he
graduated with a diploma in computer science, and worked for four
months for Optical technologies and small systems solution firm in
Nairobi.

He is a one of the published writers in the East African literary journal, Kwani, 2004 and 2008. Kwani promotes refined literature and Mwas has participated in various literature workshops involving local and international artist; Summer literary Seminar (SLS 2004/5,The East Africa Writers Summit 2006 and continues to be a regular participant of the monthly Kwani Open Mic Sessions, his sheng novel will be out next year.

With Kilio Cha Haki (a cry for justice) an album compilation comprising of
38 rappers from the Eastland’s Nairobi, Gas Fyatu took the skills he had
attained and went on to work as an event organizer, coordinator,
distributior as well as a performing artist. The album was sponsored by
Youth initiative Kenya and a Netherlands organization.

In 2005 He released the chartbuster single “Hustle” recorded at Soul
Child studios, which took the streets by storm. It was a single to inspire
the youth to keeping hustling despite the hardship in the streets. In April he performed with two French Djs, Oil and Sharell, and was the organizer of workshop involving Ukoo flani mau mau. He performed at Carnivore along side Kalamashaka, Mashifta, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji among others, and during the Senegalese Didier Awadi.
Also participating in the “messenger of truth’s concert; Mwangi Mahugu has been in arts scene for a decade.

2009 he was a selected panelist in UN habitat urban arts Summit.
Representing Sauti initiative, his debut mixtape Machimbo archive is
in the streets, last but not least December 2010 he performed at
Ghetto radio Fight Aids initiative along side Kidum and is currently
working on his album dubbed Gas chamber.

He also acts as the East Africa Rise Up project coordinator in Nairobi, a
project uniting musical artists across East Africa. He is also operates an urban
music and literature distribution outlet along Tom Mboya street ,city
centre, Nairobi.

INTERVIEW – BURNEY MC (LUGA FLOW ARMY)

Burney MC Uganda passport Mixtape

You can follow Burney MC and Luga Flow army on twitter @banamuzik. Check out his music on youtube, facebook and reverbnation.

Check out some of Bana’s lyrics here.

please give a brief bio of uaself.

Born Walakira Richard in 1989 at St. Francis Hospital in Nsambya –
Kampala, Bana is a Hip Hop activist who raps and talks for Hip Hop in
Uganda. The Music and entertainment Young Achievers Award winner is
also member of the Luga Flow Army, a rap group that fronts and
protects the uniqueness of rapping and emceeing in local languages.

An ambassador of the Global End of the Weak in Uganda which is a Hip
Hop culture improvement programme that is currently running the End of
the Weak MC challenge across Uganda, he advocates for languages so he
calls himself the Luga Flow Revolutionary Activist.

Have tried to Quickly Answer them for any further Questions i will be
here. at times my diction might be wrong but hope you understand, just
ask whenever you don’t understand. hope this is helpful to you ..peace
bruv.


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

I came from the EAST COAST of AFRICA, UGANDA in Particular. Capital
kampala.. so i stay in a city called Bukoto, like 15 mins away from
kampala using a boda boda.

i was raised by a single mum after they divorced. So my growing up was
kinda hard.. Like me changing schools almost every single year but
still i enjoyed it a lot because it was very diverse. Shifting from one
place to another, but this allowed me be the kind of person that can
fit anywhere i go. It also allowed me not have a lot of restrictions
because my mum had less time to pay attention to just me, yet she had
to figure out how we were gonna be fed or pass through a day, this
further still allowed me to have a lot of freedom to express myself,
which in a way helped me discover my MCing skills. I have 2 siblings.
An elder sister and a younger brother.

My growing up was fun at the same time. Played a lot of games. Loved
football so much, and fighting dogs. Among other games.

What kind of hustles were people involved in?

Usually the kind of hustles depend on were you grew up from but were i
grew up from i used to have my bmx bicycle, so that was my hustle at
the early age. You hard to pay to ride it, my friend had a Nintendo
game boy, we had to pay to play it. We used to make wire cars and at
times sold them. But as you grow up the hustle changes. When i grew up
i used to sell Clubs complimentaries to students that loved clubbing.
We had boys that used to deal in phones if you needed one. And so on
and so forth.

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

Hip Hop is my Life, from the day i embraced it my whole mindset
switched. I can’t do the kind of hustling i used to because that’s not
me. Now all I do is speak. speak for those that can’t speak… it
has allowed me become a people’s teacher, teach them what’s right or
wrong. HipHop became my father when i needed one. So HipHop means
a lot to me. My closest friend.

I think in a way i was meant to be involved with hiphop. From the
first time i heard rap in Luganda, i didnt slow down on wanting to
know more about what it really was. Am one of those few people that
were not inspired by American hiphop. I was inspired by the LUGA FLOW
REVOLUTION that was in 2005.. then later allowed my self to understand
the history. Though i didn’t become active until 2008 when i started
learning and mastering the art of rapping in LUGANDA. So since 2008, i
dedicated my full time to doing HIPHOP.

 

What do the words ‘kazi’ (work), ‘vijana’ (youth) and ‘mshamba’
(‘farmer’) mean to you?

The effort you put in inorder to get results. You time and energy and
knowledge altogether is work.

Youth. Guess thats a young adult, someone like me or the biggest
percentage of UGANDAN population the youth.

Farmer. A farmer should be someone that runs a farm but still in the
street language it can mean any peasant man. When you don’t look urban
i can call you a farmer.


What is ‘politicking’?

Politicking is having some knowledge about a situation. Having some
sense of knowing what’s happening.

What is ‘mental slavery’?

Thinking that someone in a way is owning you and you should follow
their orders. The mindset of being a slave.


How are hiphop artists making money from their music today?

There are different categories of HipHop artists,
The mainstream artists who are always the artist in the spotlight or
the artists known to the media. So the media makes them known to the
people.

So these mainstream artists mostly make money from Gigs because they
are the artists the people are demanding. So the biggest way they make
money is through gigs.
These artists are also make so much money through making ads for big
companies. ..
So from GIGS & ADS

Then there’s us, the underground hipHop Artists. And the biggest way and
underground can make money is by branding yourself uniquely. Your
music is gonna help you get concrete fans, hardcore fans. those fans
that are not gonna go away no matter what. So this will help you have
a follow up then later you can sell your merchandise like CDS,
T-SHIRTs among other things. And also throw up concerts.


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

Good enough all the HipHop elements are embraced in UGANDA, the
BBOYS/breakdancing have a very big community in UGANDA, look up for
Breakdance project Uganda, The Graffiti artists are also doing it. Look
out for Spray It Uganda and even the Deejays. These are all doing
hiphop, so all we now need is to have like concerts that bring these
elements together, united .

 

Name your favorite artists, who are you listening to now?

It’s a variety of them, most of those rappers are from UGANDA. I love
listening to music from members of my rap group LUGA FLOW ARMY and
these are CYNO MC, ST NELLYSADE, FOEVER MC & FASIE MC.. i love
listening to them because everyone is unique in their own way.

Also love listening to BATAKA SQUAD, KWESTO, ABRAMS, SAVOIVOR,
ABEGANDA, LUGA LUGA squad, DTM, Anoid street. Among others.. i just
love listening to the underground

Then away from UGANDA.
I love TALIB KWELI< MOS DEF< IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, WISE INTELIGENT,
KRSONE, DEAD PREZ, JOEL ORTIZ, K’NANA among others ..i love listening
to good HipHop


What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement
in hip hop?

When you’re underground of course you meet a lot of obstacles. Like access to
studios, getting airplay, finding ways of making money once you
dedicate your full time to HipHop, getting gigs among others, but
after you realise it’s the same problems underground hiphop artists
face globally then you stop really seeing those as the very huge
obstacles. Now my obstacles are the worries that if i put out a very
political track won’t i get problems and stuff like that..

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

Maybe there are more female HipHop fans than males, and you know we
need the fans too. At times i go to HIPHOP nights and every male i see
in the crowd is an MC and am like where the females? because they are
always the fans. You know. perhaps it was meant to be like that.


How have women contributed to hip hop in East Afrika?

It’s a strong thing, a woman to be rapping, the lady from my crew FASIE
MC, has inspired a lot of female mcs to start rapping and in her lyrics
she is always about empowering the women. So i believe their biggest
contribution has been empowerment


What type of community organizations, informal or formal are helping
youth in Uganda today?

I would say Breakdance project Uganda is doing a great job, giving
free dancing lessons on a weekly basis.
I also run a community camp for MCS and you know here MCS are all
youth, so they walk in on a regular if they need knowledge about
mcing.its called EODUB CAMP.
And there so many other youth organisations and communities doing
great work here, most of which i don’t know because am mostly
surrounded with hipHop communities.


is there such a thing as hip hop jobs? or only hustling?

i believe there HipHop jobs, though you know there is an element of
hiphop called hiphop language so we always love to keep it as
hustling because it’s the way we communicate.


What are some of the obstacles/problems facing young people in Uganda
today (all classes, all groups?)

i believe the biggest problem is young people are neglected in
participation of the country’s development, we gat a very big
percentage of young people but in a way i believe they are not planned
for in the system of UG government ..once that is solved then the
rest will be fine. the young people need to be planned for.


What sort of positive things do you see happening with young people in Uganda?

I have failed to see any positive thing the government is doing for
the young people in UGANDA. At least not me. Haven’t not got nothing
positive from the UG GOVT.


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

You just follow me up on facebook .. http://www.facebook.com/banamusic
Or listening in on reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/banamusic
Or follow me on twitter @banamuzik

 

Am looking for a little more information about Luga Flow. The ‘Luga
Flow Revolution’ in 2005 you mentioned? Who was involved, what were
the song lyrics saying? Could you provide lyrics (in Luganda or
whatever other languages) and explain?

Luga Flow revolution in this sense was the time when MCS so much
started celebrating rapping in Local languages.. before that it was
mostly rap in English.. of course rappers started rapping in Local
Languages way back from the 90’s but it wasn’t until 2005 when it was
termed LUGA FLOW as rap in local Languages by Bataka Squad member
Babaluku, So 2005 was a big year for HipHop in Uganda. They mostly by
that time used to just rap about rap or HipHop like Saba Saba’s track
Tujjababya meaning we will blow up/ have a break through. A lot of
HipHop nights were started and the Annual Uganda HipHop Summit [began]. Since then this was like the birth of rap in local languages
termed as LUGA FLOW.


Also, am looking for a story too, maybe you can describe hearing
tracks by fellow luga flow members, or listening to bataka squad and
why you enjoy it, talk about what the songs are saying and what that
means.

First time i had rap in Luganda i was just surprised on how those
words were twisted to an extent of making sense, i don’t really
remember which track i heard first. But after that i moved forward to
start researching about that kind of music and got my hands to a
bataka squad mixtape, which had tracks taking about mostly their
villages were they came from .. rapping about kampala and stuff like
that. But it was just so interesting that it was in a language i
understood best. From there i also heard the milestones, this group
was made of East African rappers based in sweden but most of them from
Uganda, the likes of Kwesto, ibraw, iron African among others. So this
was more of my introduction to hiphop. But after researching more i
got to find out the Ibraw aka d’lux was the first LUGANDA rapper,
followed by Kwesto then others .


You could also talk about what Fasie emcee raps about to give people
an idea why her music is empowering..

Fasie, like on her mixtape called positive attitude, she is mostly
talking about how women now are no longer just left home to cook or to
look after household but they can be world leaders. Her aim is to look
for other female MCs, so that they can do projects together. She wants
to do a female MCS cypher. So she is still on a look out for legit
female MCS. To me i think this is not good for just the females in
HipHop but also women at large.

What can you say about the Luga Flow movement and affiliated artists?
How did they change the face of hiphop in Uganda? What were they
talking about and doing stylistically that was different? What about
the content of what they were saying?

You know usually it’s always hard when rapping in your Language and you
don’t keep it real, its very hard to be rapping in Luganda and you
talk about the Bling Bling. Because that’s not our Life. I believe this
was the biggest change the LUGA FLOW MOVEMENT brought to UG hipHop,
now MCs started being real rather rapping in English and imitating the
American rappers.

In Abanna B’eeka’s song ewaffe jenva- meaning “where i come from” they
were talking about the hoods where they grow up from. In K’abatuuze
meaning for the people by Abatuuze which was my first Rap group. We
were talking about the Hardships the people go through ..so LugaFlow
just allows you to be true to who you are hence allowing people relate
to what you trying to pass to them.

Also it wasn’t until GNL Zamba took LugaFlow main stream then UG
HipHop got a real break through in UGANDA. English rappers couldn’t do
that because first, people didn’t understand what they were talking
about. So it’s because of Luga FLow that the face of hiphop in Uganda
changed.

 

What kind of things make you feel the government is doing a poor job
helping young people? What kind of policies?

I just do believe they have not fully dedicated them selves to plan
for the young people in UGANDA.

Talk more about End of the Weak, what it’s mission is and how it works
day-to-day.

End of the Weak being a global movement ..each chapter has it goals
..what brings us together is the MC CHALLENGE. With End of the Weak
UGANDA we run a project called

Hip Hop Artists for Empowerment
Mission:

The Hip Hop Artists for Empowerment Project is
dedicated to providing youth education, HIV/AIDS
awareness, female empowerment, cultural develop-
ment and artistic growth, through Hip-Hop culture, in
Uganda.

Overall Goals:

1. To provide artistic, and culture-appropriate music-based
educational opportunities for youth and adults in the most
populous regions of Uganda.

2. To increase awareness and education needed to combat
HIV/AIDS, STDs and other transmissible diseases that impact
public health in Uganda.

3. To aid in achieving one of the UN Millennium Development
Goals for Africa to promote gender equality and empower women.

4. To strengthen the artistic and entrepreneurial skills of
Uganda’s youth, with a focused target on the female population.

So how have we been doing this from Day to Day, through hip Hop Artist
for Empowerment project as End of the Weak we donate free performances
to different organisations that [share] the same goals we [have].
So here i call up for those MCS that came from the MC challenge and
still wanna support to come through and help whoever invites us to be
part of a positive initiative!

WALAKIRA RICHARD aka BURNEY MC
THE LUGAFLOW REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVIST,
END OF THE WEAK UGANDA
(256) 782 147 588


Asante Sana,

Kevlexicon

UPDATE – 12 January, 2013: Check out Bana’s new local/international-inspired music video, “All for Luga Flow” off his new mixtape “Uganda Passport”

All for Luga Flow by Bana (Youtube)

INTERVIEW – Ekori Turkana

Ekori Advert 1

Ekori Turkana is a hip hop and ethnic fusion artist from the Turkana District in Northwestern Kenya.

[Turkana District is a drought-afflicted region in Kenya that hosts the Kakuma refugee camp. The Turkana people have been systematically underdeveloped and discriminated against by the Kenyan government. International aid organizations operating in the region have failed to allow the host community and refugees to integrate successfully into a working community. Basic infrastructure is lacking or insufficient. On top of that, there is the IDP situation (displaced persons fleeing ethnic violence). You can read more about the Kakuma refugee camp in Ekuru Aukot’s chapter, “It is better to be a refugee than a Turkana in Kakuma.”]

Ekori’s music can be found on Youtube, Soundcloud, and Reverbnation. His name means “giraffe.”

Interview and translation by Jaymo Kusini, questions by Kevlexicon.


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

I was born in Turkana
south katilu, I was brought up in a harsh life… our area is semi
arid. war and violence between turkana, pokot, and merrille from
Ethiopia made us move from one place to another, and sometimes moving
to get pastures for animals. am an orphan too having lost parents at a
tender age, my father died during a war with pokots, it was survival to
get food and basic things. most of my age mates died, and when finally
mother died life became so hard. uncle and relatives made it even
difficult. we did not know our future


Describe a memorable day in Katilu.

I remember one Saturday in katilu I met a person, and I was so hungry
and the stranger bought me bread.

What kind of hustles/kazi were people involved in?

There are no jobs in katilu and money came from selling mbuzi in
Lodwar, hustle in turkana is cow goats and camel

Who do you see helping out with the problems in Turkana (food crisis)
or anything else?

Since rainfall is small in turkana. Lake Turkana could be used for
irrigation, and also the government to promote drought resistant crops
and try discourage dependence on livestock. sometimes a drought
comes and all cow and goats die.

What do you see being mismanaged or abused?

Food donated by donors is sold by business people. Children attend
classes under trees, and they have to walk very far. schools are few.
Hospitals are few, bad roads . If the roads were made well business
would be good. CDF money is mismanaged. Turkana problems [are] used by
NGOS to make money

What can you tell us about the some of the conflicts between ethnic groups?

What I can say what’s makes us fight with pokots is because of
starvation, we fight for food, mostly if you look at pokot. They come
to raid our animals. Our only way of survival. …and a former MP lotodo
incited [these] wars. he died but what he started has continued to haunt
us, and revenges is order of the day. what I can say is this war can
only be stopped if young people preach peace

Who are your musical influences? For those who don’t speak Turkana,
please tell us what kind of issues your songs talk about?

What made me start singing was the things I have seen growing, the
problems, the good things, wars, cow, mbuzi. My music is inspired by
Turkana, and it is about peace and reconciliation between Pokot
Turkana and Merrille. Our music encourages us to stay as brothers and
also [talk about] other issues affecting us. [Encourage] children to go to school and leave guns. And to stay with love.

How did the move to Nairobi effect you?

I did not know Nairobi, when I came to Nairobi I realized people were
busy. i learned Swahili and my music talent got exposed, and after I
would go home and tell my people life is not to wear shukas. and wars. i
started mixing turkana and Swahili. Nairobi has inspired me and I
found people here were struggling and had problems.


What does hip hop mean to you, What motivated you to become involved in Hip Hop?

Hip music is music about truth .hip hop is true. you pass message to
people. hip hop is love and peace use hip hop to spread peace to my
people.


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

In turkana many youth have no jobs, and in turkana not many are
educated, and also in towns there is drugs and unemployment. People
have talent and skill. and sometimes turn to crimes. if there were
enough jobs there would be [presumably less] problems

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

CHINA has been making roads and bringing affordable things. I hope they
will also put roads in turkana. Kibaki has made some good changes, and
music is big and some people are getting jobs, artist are getting
platform and turkana now has oil and gold.

What is your hope for Kenya?

Youth, the young people


Asante sana,

Kevlexicon

Wanajua – Man Njoro, Ekori Turkana, Checkmate Mido, & Fundi Frank

UNGA UNGA video with Audio Kusini.

Tumechoka video with Audio Kusini.

ekori w goat2