No matter location – whether in America, the United Kingdom, or Kenya –artists use hip hop to not only make songs, which satisfy the listeners, but also to make social commentary and hopefully some sort of social change. Hip hop is a tool of various forms of social justice. In Kenya’s uprising in 2008, hip hop was a modem of change; young people united against the corrupt politicians, who were responsible for violence and war. This marked a shift not only in hip hop, but also in the youth’s involvement in a political issue. Also, during this time Kenya did not guarantee freedom of speech, however hip hop changed that. Hip hop is responsible for a turn in both political and social change in Kenya.
Kennedy Ombima, more commonly known as “King Saka,” has taken Kenyan hip hop by storm, by using music as a messenger for awareness of both political and social issues. His style stems from the inner city rhythm of hip hop, using sounds of poetry over a beat. King Saka is accredited with being a songwriter and storyteller, who’s lyrics illustrate the everyday struggle and turmoil of urban youth, no matter where around the world – issues of poverty, inequality, and justice. In his most recent album, Eastland Royalty, King Saka describes his personal journey not only as an artist, but as a Kenyan. The title of his album pays homage to his home area of Eastlands, or “Eastlando,” in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He states that “I do not look at Eastlando with the crime and poverty mentality, but as an opportunity and that’s what I teach others.” Throughout his album. King Saka relates his struggle in Eastlando, to anywhere like Tanzania; this shows his ability to describe a battle felt across the globe.
To find out more about King Kaka, refer to his social media: