Tonicah is an upcoming Kenyan-born hip-hop artist that has garnered recent fame with her single “Dream Chasers”. It is not unknown to anyone that the number of women in the hip hop industry, especially in Kenya, is not as high as the number of men in the industry. In hip hop videos we often see women as nothing more than props where their bodies are sexually objectified accessories. Tonicah not only sets herself apart with her casual style (as opposed to provocative clothing we see in men’s hip hop music videos), but with her socially conscious music influenced by poetry and jazz music. Continue reading “Tonicah – “Dream Chasers””
Fena Gitu is a well known controversial rapper and singer from Kenya. Growing up in musical household she grew to have a love for music. At 23 years old she has managed to make an impact on her society. She is a free spirit who clearly doesn’t care about how society says women should act.
Society says that women should dress and act a certain way. Fena Gitu has unique sense of style. You can see through they way that she dresses that she is defying gender norms. Gitu can be seen wearing vests, button ups, and a ties. Women wearing skirts and dresses is what is accepted in Kenyan society. Continue reading “Fena-menal”
Natalie 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”
Kayvo Ambalwa also known as Kayvo K-Force is a famous Kenyan rapper who has used his music to make a change. He was born on May 29th, 1989 in Nairobi, Kenya. Kayvo has been making rap music for years that people want to hear. In 2012 he took a different route and created a songs that people NEED to hear. His songs speak on the poverty and injustices in Kenya. Continue reading ““You’ll find me in the Ghetto””
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”
Hip Hop in Africa has often been used to criticize the injustices and corruption that happens in their country. More often than not, songs will talk about the patronage system and everyday bribes they have to go through. Kenyan gene rapper Jimwat makes social and politically consciousness songs that talk about life in Kenya. Simama and Sitoi Kitu Kidogo for example address issues of corruption and bribery in Kenya.
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”
Stella Nyambura, better known as STL, is one of the best Kenyan female rappers out right now. Continue reading “The Queen of Kenya”
Hip hop has always been a voice of the disenfranchised and a medium where artists could channel their frustrations about the world around them through music. In Kenya, challenges with unemployment, crime, and poverty has influenced several hip hop artists to talk about their life struggles in their music. Kenyan hip hop artist Kevin Ambalwa also known as Kayvo Kforce, has not only gained recognition for his diss track ‘Kill A King’, but also for the songs that address the social and political realities he has faced. Coming from the largest slum in the African continent, Kibera, Nairobi, Kayvo often references what life was like in the slum in videos like “I Do It” and “Ghetto”. Continue reading “Kenyan Hip Hop and Kayvo Kforce”
The Street Is My Pulpit: Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya by Mwenda Ntarangwi
Published by University of Illinois Press
The bass meets the beatified in Kenya’s dynamic youth culture