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New order

By - | January 11th 2013

With Kenyans currently being engaged in all sorts of shenanigans, tossed from one facet of debate to another over an impending election some 53 days away, the showbiz industry also appears shaped for some races of sorts, writes Peter Ndoria

Octopizzo set the tone, with his latest release, featuring Amina. Are the two part of the new faces that will define showbiz in 2013... or do they face competition?

The rap king: Rabbit versus Octopizzo

Both had a very fruitful 2012, with hit after another and massive videos being the cherry on the cake. They have that street-cred factor, although they are as different as light and day; Rabbit has that suave, silent demeanour— almost poetic in his music while Octopizzo is all up in your face, with a mean rhyme and unapologetic braggadocio.

Global rap queen: STL versus X-tatic

Whereas many celebs have, mostly, faceless imagined ‘haters’, STL’s hater came in the face and name of Anders Behring Breivik — that racist killer who murdered 77 people. In his manifesto he mentioned the Kenyan lass as part of the reason things were “wrong” in Norway — such is STL’s success that she had represented her adopted country in the Eurovision. She solely put Kenya on the international radars, musically.

Enter X-tatic, a young girl whose rise to the top has been so fast it’s a wonder how her eardrums never ruptured. From recording with Provoke, here in Kenya, she is now fast emerging as the next generation of Kenya’s face in music regionally... and maybe globally.

The comeback lords: DNA versus Bamboo

Each of them ruled the roost with jams that defined the yore of Kenyan music; whether it is the phrase Banjuka or Compe that you have used in the recent past you perhaps owe it to these two folks for putting it in our street lingua franca.

For different, personal reasons, they both took a break; with one going into reclusive introspection and the other going for further studies. When they both came back, it was to an industry that had fast moved and they had to re-curve their niche. That they did, with each releasing hits that defined their re-entry into the market.

Will 2013 mark the gap between them? Who will fall off the bandwagon?

The toppings: Amina versus Sugar

Despite being around for a while, Sugar definitely came into recognition after her collabo with Bamboo in 25Flow. For Amina, her radio and TV career may have put her in the limelight but after her collabo with Jay A in On Me, her music career seems to be well on the runway, ready for take-off as well. In fact, she may have fired her warning shot in yet another collabo, welcoming 2013 in Swag with Octopizzo.

Yet another fresh face that may spoil this race is Chess. Remember her from that massive collabo with Rabbit, Hauwesmake? Write her off at your own peril.

Two worlds: Jay A versus Kanja

Even after making a major international breakthrough with his three-times appearance in BET’s 106th and Park (together with another Kenyan Naomi Wamboe), Kanja Muchoki’s greatest challenge comes from freshman Jay A. The new rapper has everyone watching barely six months after he released his On Me hit said to have an international recording label reaching out. 

For these ones, at least, the races seem defined. But then again, we could be wrong; it’s a democracy, you can never call anyone a donkey!


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