Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Dear Kenyan Hiphop Artistes Wake The EFF UP! Jemedari Pens Strongly Worded Letter To The Industry

Dear Kenyan Hiphop Artist,

(Notice I called you an artist, not a rapper)
Now, more than ever, Hiphop needs you. Not because you are dope, not because you have bars, not because you write great punchlines... Kenya's Hiphop needs you because for the last few years, it has been reduced from the most powerful genre of social expression and entertainment to what it is now - a stunted fringe activity that society lets its high school graduates indulge in as they find their path through life. Dear Kenyan Hiphop artist, when did you give up? When did you decide that WaPi was it for you? When did you stop pushing the boundaries? When did you lose sight of the big picture and settle for selling two mixtapes a day? When did your hunger die? When did you choose to quench your thirst with substandard third grade liquor instead of knowledge?
Corporate Kenya sees you as an "add on". After the over hyped international acts, then the mediocre yet overplayed "local guy", you'll be on stage for 30 minutes as they wait for the venue to fill up or as they wait for the main act to arrive. Your punchlines will be drowned as the sound guy is still checking his levels and you'll be pushed off stage as soon as a cute chic asks why "Dj Nanii" has not started playing.
Hiphop needs new music, new faces, a new personality and new spaces. Hiphop needs to evolve and grow. Hiphop needs to sit in boardrooms in agencies and say how good it can push value for brands.
Hiphop needs to go to Koroga festival and show how versatile in can be standing next to Koffi Olomide and Awilo Longomba on stage. Hiphop needs to sit in radio studios and hold conversations during prime time.
Hiphop needs its own voice in TV and radio. Hiphop needs to be at more shows and have more photos online. Hiphop needs to learn how to document it's movements better.
Hiphop needs to be in Alliance Francaise, in a movie soundtrack in Hollywood or at least Riverwood. Hiphop needs to be in schools drama festivals, food festivals, sitting next to Ngugi Wa Thio'ngo at literary events or at the KIE discussing inclusion of Kalamashaka lyrics in Fasihi
Hiphop, especially Kenyan Hiphop, needs you!
This battle is bigger than your beef, bigger than your 200 pax show, bigger than your T-shirt brand, bigger than your NGO endorsement, bigger than your little weed franchise.
Step up or step away!
No movement without moves