Msanii ni kio cha jamii (artists are a reflection of society), a Swahili saying goes. Many who belong to this school of thought hence argue that while many Gengetone musicians have been accused of spewing lewd lyrics and encouraging immorality among the youth, it’s mirroring what’s happening in Kenya.
Once in a blue moon, secular artists release thought-provoking works which encourage introspection on the issues ailing our society. In 2020, the case was no different as musicians shined the light on cyberbullying, corruption, among other issues.
- Hao- Khaligraph Jones and Masauti
When these two get together it’s bound to be a banger. Released in April 22 Hao is their second collaboration as the Blue Inc CEO previously featured in the widely-played remix of Masauti's Kiboko. While their first collabo was an upbeat, danceable song about a beautiful girl, Hao is starkly different. Featuring a laid back instrumental which ensures each bar is clearly delivered, Hao delves into the dark side of fame in Kenya. In the song, Khaligraph addresses rampant bullying of celebrities on the internet including Bahati, Jimmy Gait, Stivo Simple Boy, Mulamwah among others. “Bahati akianza alikuwa mtoto wa mama, saa hizi Twitter amegeuziwa yeye ni mtoto wa Diana...Si nyinyi hu troll Simple Boy kama kila siku, but (Eliud) Kipchoge akivaa nguo the same mnamsifu,” belts out the award-winning rapper.
Khaligraph also decried the trolling of gospel singer Jimmy Gait, saying the perpetrators didn’t consider he could have fallen into depression. He further addressed the irony of many people mourning Papa Dennis despite knowing the challenges he faced when alive.
- Dear Mr President- Willie Oeba
Nakuru-based spoken word artist Willie Oeba released the hard-hitting track decrying the state of the nation. Oeba questioned the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic after initially declining calls to halt flights into the country. Alluding to the handling of Kenyan-born lawyer Miguna Miguna to stop him from entering the country, Oeba opined that the government might be more scared of him than the deadly pandemic which has infected millions of people worldwide.
“Tunaogopa Miguna kushinda corona, tumeshindwa ata kuchoose our fears,” part of the release goes.
Oeba also addressed the high unemployment rate among graduates, accusing the Uhuru-Ruto government of failing to deliver on their jobs delivery manifesto.
- Wajinga Nyinyi
Even though King Kaka release Wajinga Nyinyi in December 2019, it deserves a mention on this list. The Kaka Empire boss took the country by storm after calling out Kenyans for their hypocrisy. While laying bare rampant corruption in the country, King Kaka provoked political and religious leaders some of whom responded fiercely through social media platforms.
“2022 already si mnajua nani ni prezzi, si mnajua Nyinyi voters ndio washenzi,” raps King Kaka.
The artist also alluded to mega corruption cases involving ousted Kiambu and Nairobi governors Ferdinand Waititu and Mike Sonko. He further ridiculed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration for ignoring the youth and hiring old retirees. In education, King Kaka sang of how leaders have disregarded the system while sending their children to study overseas.