Camp Mulla’s Rise and Fall

Camp Mulla has been credited with shaping the Kenyan hip hop scene, since their rise to recognition in the late 2000s.  Their self-proclaimed roots are in hip hop, but they have harnessed an audience from using “house,” “electronic,” and R&B genres of music.  They call their style of music “254Low” or “2-5-Flow,” an homage to Kenya’s calling code of +254.  Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Camp Mulla is composed of 5 members, varying from producer to song writer to performer to manager.  In 2009, “Mykie Tooni,” “Shappa Man,” and “Taio Tripper” co-founded the group.  

Michael Mutooni, also known as “Mykie Toni” or “Tuchi,” is the brains behind Camp Mulla.  He is recognized as the group’s CEO, manager, and official “hype man.”  Responsible for the social media and business side of the operation, Mutooni is not necessarily seen on stage, but it an important part of the group.  “Shappa Man,” who’s real name is Benoit Kanema, was the group’s first rapper.  Shappa Man distinguishes himself in hip hop because of his unique, raspy voice.  He also is famous for his catchy punch lines and confidence on stage.  Known by “Taio Tripper,” Matthew Wakhungu is another co-founder and rapper of Camp Mulla. “Taio,” for short, is known as the group’s main songwriter and rapper.  Later, Marcus Kibuksoya, more commonly known as his stage name “K’ Cous,” joined the group as a song writer and the head producer.  Lastly, the only female of the group and youngest member, Karun Mungai, or “Miss Karun” rounds out the group, as she is the lead vocalist and also a song writer for Camp Mulla.  All five artists of Camp Mulla bring something different, yet fundamental to the group’s success in the music realm.

In 2010, Camp Mulla released their first single as a collective group called “Party Don’t Stop” from their album Funky Town, also notably their only album as a group.  This record quickly amassed much success and was nominated for a variety of awards.  While much of the attention was positive, with that success came critique as well.  Because of their distinctive sound, which used a lot of “electronic” genre techniques, many regarded “Party Don’t Stop” as a very American hit.  The record also was only in English, something not many Kenyan artists had done before.  However, others are quick to respond that because their sound was foreign, Camp Mulla was revolutionary in shaping the hip hop scene in Kenya.

Despite their success, Camp Mula announced their split in mid 2013, citing various differences. Today, many of the artists, have solo careers, however in 2017, the group reunited for a concert in Nairobi. 

Some speculate that the group is working on a second album, but it has not been released.

Follow their social media accounts to keep updated:

MoJuice’s Barak Jacuzzi Has the Juice

Barak Jacuzzi is taking not only the Kenyan hip hop scene by storm, but also dominating in America.  Getting his start as the “hype man” for Kenyan hip hop artist Octopizzo, Barak Jacuzzi has made a name for himself.  He first attracted attention with his cypher in “Nokia Don’t Break the Beat” in 2012.   After stepping out of Octopizzo’s spotlight, Barak spent some time in America understanding hip hop on a different scale, but soon realized he needed to be in Kenya to join its revolutionary hip hop industry.  When he decided to go to Kenya, where his parents immigrated from, Barak started as a radio host, slowly perfecting his hip hop craft.  Barak Jacuzzi has been regarded as not only an artist, but also as a personality and an entertainer who can dance, rap, sing, host, and DJ, just to name a few.  His much awaited debut mixtape, The Juice Bar, was released in 2017 and a seven track project, which is heavily influenced by his American roots. Barak’s style is definitely influenced by his roots to both America and Kenya. Most of his songs are in English, however some of the slang and the nature of his lyrics are true to Kenyan hip hop style. His most popular solo song is called “Coco Ma$ta,” with over 50,000 views on YouTube.

Barak also collaborated with his mentor, Octopizza, and another Kenyan hip hop lyrist, Boutross, in one of the biggest “trap” hits of 2017 called “Tergat Gang,” which has drawn over 400,000 views.

Despite his American roots, being born in Columbia, South Carolina, Barak decided to Kenya to pursue music because the Kenyan hip hop market is much harder to tap into.  Another component of this idea is that much of the American hip hop battle rap style has been diluted in the new wave of hip hop. However in Kenya, battle rapping has been a keystone and the foundation for many hip hop careers; it is always a new challenge and forces artists to keep on their feet.  Although Barak Jacuzzi is from America, his style of hip hop is an American/ Kenyan fusion, but importantly, he considers himself a Kenyan artist and continues to prove he has the “juice.” 

Learn more about Barak Jacuzzi: