I posted once before about music in East Africa (and Nigeria). Here is some more stuff from Nairobi I have been listening to recently. As far as I can tell Kenya’s music scene is a bit more intense than the other countries in the region. Tanzania’s stuff is less abrasive, a genre they call “bongo flava,” while most of the music that comes out of Kenya is more similar to the “crunk” found in the USA. I’m not sure where it fits in, but there’s a new-ish genre in Nairobi called “genge” and it’s pretty popular now. Of course the older people think it’s pure idiocy. Kids these days, hah!
“Chapaa” by Abass Kubaff (Kenya)
Chapaa is money in Sheng (Swahili/English slang found in Nairobi). So he’s saying “me na like chapaa…” which means he likes money. Haha!
“Jana Kuliendaje?” by Mejja (Kenya)
“What happened yesterday?” He goes on to ask questions like “what did I do yesterday?” and “what did I drink yesterday?” and “I forgot to lock the door but nothing was stolen…” Haha!
“Una” by DNA (Kenya)
This guy is funny. Towards the end of the song he says “unafanya exam unapata jembe, unaenda home kama kahawa sembe.” Basically, when you do your exam you get a fork, so you have to go home to till the soil. An “E” is like a fork, and it’s the lowest grade you can get on your high school exit exams; and you can’t get into college with an E, so the farm is your only option. Haha!
By the way, you can see the music I’ve been listening to by checking out my Last.fm profile here. These days I haven’t been listening to very much metal, as I’m pretty sick of all the metal I brought with me. Every once in awhile I’ll get a few new mp3s, but I am really missing the metal scene, especially those cheap local shows!
Thanks for those! I never did get into most of the music blasting from the likes of Kiss FM and the deep bass of mungiki-run matatus. But I am listening to a Bongo Flava shoutcast stream at work these days to transport me back to my time in Kenya.
Banjuka is still my favorite song!
ntresting views.im so kenyan but i barely know much of the local music……….i m learning a few things from u alan n i find this sooo intresting…its sad most of us urban galz listen to Rock,Soul,Neosoul stuff lik tht n barely notice local artistes…..but u must admit their muscic often lack content and they really don sing abt any serious issues,,,just rhymimg fancy words or women or beer or clubbin…except maybe Nameless,Wahu,Jua cali etc