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How different ages consume hip-hop

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 Hip-hop musician [istockphoto]

Hip-hop has achieved great milestones over the past 50 years. The genre’s journey in Kenya stands out as a testament to its global influence.

Drake, Burna Boy, 21 Savage and Metro Boomin are the top streamed artistes of the genre in Kenya, according to data from Spotify, with Kenya’s own Wakadinali occupying the fifth spot.

Artistes like Wakadinali, Octopizzo, Khaligraph Jones, Nyashinski, Buruklyn Boyz, Maandy and Boutross bring something unique to the music, making the mix of styles and sounds interesting.

Wakadinali’s lyrics talk about city life in a real way, while Nyashinski has a strong and interesting presence when he raps, mixing thoughtful ideas with charm.

Maandy has been making waves in the East African hip-hop landscape, captivating audiences with her unique sound and authentic storytelling. Buruklyn Boyz’ words flow smoothly and mix old and new ideas, and Boutross tells stories with his words, talking about things that matter in society.

All of them together make up Kenya’s hip-hop story, showing its change and growth over time.

Youthful Connection

Examining the data, the demographic most engaged with these top hip-hop artistes is predominantly between 18 and 24 years, comprising 55 per cent of their listenership.

A secondary age group of 25 to 29 years constitutes 19 per cent of listeners, suggesting that the appeal of hip hop spans the early adult years. The dominance of the 18-24 age demographic emphasises hip hop’s strong connection with Kenyan youth culture.

The genre’s themes, lyrics, and rhythms appear to resonate deeply with the younger demographic’s experiences and aspirations.

Listener Preferences

Delving deeper, the male listenership holds a significant majority, accounting for 75 per cent of the highest engagement with the artistes in focus on Spotify. Female listeners constitute 24 per cent of the highest listenership, indicating a notable gender gap in the genre’s appeal.

Despite the gender disparity, the 24 per cent female listenership suggests that Hip Hop’s themes of empowerment, self-expression, and advocacy resonate with Kenyan women as well.

In Kenya, hip hop’s influence on youth culture and gender dynamics underscores its broader cultural significance.

The genre not only serves as a form of entertainment, but also as a medium for social commentary, identity exploration, and empowerment.

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