Opinion: Kenyan Music and Classicism
Rapper and singer Maandy Kabaya posted a very touching review on her Twitter that got people talking. She posted on Thursday, February 23, that the Kenyan music industry was favoring some artists more than others.
She used sheng in rap as an example of how classicism has been taking over the game. She claimed that using sheng in her raps made her seem ghetto. But when Kilimani rappers and others from those well to do areas of Nairobi did the same thing it was considered culture.
To put this into perspective,Maandy was calling out something that felt like cultural appropriation. She asked why other artists were thought as being more hood than others while they expressed themselves in similar ways.
This brought a whole discussion that ended up roping Gengetone in. The genre is the most hated by Kenyan fans but once Kuna Kuna came out last year people forgot that it was actually a Gengetone track.
Some of these posh artists are repacking the same stuff ghetto artists get called out for and making huge sums of money. They are taking advantage of it.
From my comments section on the same day Maandy spoke out, I got artists with the experience. You are denied shows because you come out of the ghetto.
It took Wakadinali way longer to blow compared to Buruklyn Boyz. Ask yourself why?
Examples are all over the place and the gatekeepers encourage it. Once they make it out of the hood they never want to see another do the same. They’d rather hangout with their now posh friends.
It’s a sad situation but it’s factual. That’s how the Kenyan music industry does things.