Rapping In A Native Language

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Raj (Okemwa Rajiv) is a Kenyan Rapper that raps in his native language Kisii. The Gusii language (also known as Kisii or Ekegusii) is a Bantu language spoken in the Kisii district in western Kenya, whose headquarters is Kisii town, (between the Kavirondo Gulf of Lake Victoria and the border with Tanzania).  His unique style of rap is a mixture of Kisii, a blend of English, and Swahili which is his Kisii flow. Historically, Kenyan hip hop was initially in Swahili and English. But Raj feels that it would be great if everyone was rapping in their own native language. Raj raps about relatable issues and want to be an inspiration to youth going through the struggles they face everyday. He said in an interview that “We need to embrace our African culture including the language.” https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/5-questions-kenyan-rapper-raj. In February 2015, he was signed to Kaka Empire Management which he eventually left. Now he owns a studio called Music Bank where he produces his own songs. He has been inspired by artists, including Kenya’s Nyashinski and Sauti Sol, Nigerian Wizkid and South Africa’s AKA. Continue reading “Rapping In A Native Language”

Deeply Indebted

The well known rapper SHAD is another Kenyan artist who has defied the odds. SHAD was born in Kenya in 1982 but was raised in London, Ontario. His parents moved their family to Canada when he was just a year old. His parents were Rwandan so he grew up knowing a lot about his culture. The stories that his parents told him about their life and hardships in Rwanda always stuck with him. In an interview SHAD said “My mother continuously instilled in me a sense that my life, my presence, and my personal integrity were all rooted in a history—a history of Rwandan people who were (and are) full of goodness, complexity, dignity and fortitude.” Continue reading “Deeply Indebted”

Married To The Game

Background/Information

Noti Flow - KamatiaNatalie Florence, better known as “Noti Flow”, is a Kenyan musician-rapper and actress. She is known to be a “controversial” artists for different aspects such as; her raunchy photos, sexuality, skin color, sex talk, bluntness, and being on a controversial show. But the view of the public eye has not held her back if anything it has given her more attention and a better opportunity of getting herself and career out there. It wasn’t until her last year of primary school that Noti Flow realized she could play with words. Later on in her life she also realized she could act. Then landed herself a spot on the Nairobi Diaries which is a controversial tv show. Even though she is looked at as controversial, she does not see herself that way and doesn’t care what other people think. Which sends a great message to young girls today. Be who you are and don’t worry about what other people may have to say. Rising to fame and being in the spotlight there are going to be a lot of opinions on artists failing to realize that they are just like anybody else, human. I in fact like Noti Flow because of her controversy. That’s what makes her stand out. Continue reading “Married To The Game”

From the Slums to Fame and Inspiration

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Background

Henry Ohanga is a youth activist and hip hop artist. You may not know him under this name but by the end of this blog you will know who he is not only by his born name but also his more known stage name, Octopizzo. Octopizzo was born in Kibera. Kibera is is a division of Nairobi Area, Kenya, and neighborhood of the city of Nariobi. Kiberia is the largest slum not only in Nairobi but in Africa period. But this talented artist has come very far. Octopizzo is a not a man of just one talent he is a rapper, activist, and also an actor. He founded the C.B.O, youth group Y.G.B (Young, Gifted, and Black) of Artist for Refugees with UNHRC, and also the Octopizzo Foundation. The Octopizzo Foundation is a not-for-profit. Another accomplishment he has gained is being the ambassador/representer for awareness on violence against women and girls. Continue reading “From the Slums to Fame and Inspiration”

Straight Outta Kenya

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Brain Robert Ouko aka Papa Jones aka Khaligraph Jones was born on June 12, 1990 in Nairobi, Kenya. To be more specific he was raised in Kayole Estate in Nairobi. Khaligraph Jones is now a popular Kenyan hip hop artist. But he wasn’t always known. He started music at a very young age, influenced by his elder brother. He’s first recognized from his first track at the age of 13. Six years later at age 19 Khaligraph won the Kenyan Edition of the Channel O Emcee Africa competitions in 2009. Continue reading “Straight Outta Kenya”