I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of the phrase, “Music is a universal language.” Well, while on my unprintable internet searches, I stumbled upon what I presume has been a gold mine that has only been unearthed by a few thousand people. The name is Raj. At first I thought to myself, “What would an Indian hip hop artist sound like?” I still don’t know because he’s not Indian.

RAJRaj has this cool Camp Mulla feel around his music that you’ll want to listen to because your head movement was already 20 bobs ahead. To my astonishment, the guy has quite a number of tracks and all of them have music videos. So today I present to you, “Obe Baba” Raj featuring Stella Mwangi. I barely know what they are saying on the track but I listened to it twice so there must be something good about it.

The track starts off with a catchy Gusii hook. Yes, you had me right, a catchy Gusii hook with the infusion of some Swahili. Just before you recover from the ndizi flow (he has a track by the same name), Stella steps in with what has  become her signature style; incorporating her mother tongue- Kikuyu, Swahili and English. The flow is seamless with the beat and she pulls the right stops with the beat.Even I found myself rhyming in Abasuba.

From the little I could pick out, the lyrics aren’t the hard hitting bars traditional hip hop fans are accustomed to. This is more of a party anthem. It has the potential of reaching YG’s “My Nigga” status in Kenya if it falls into the right playlist. The video is very simplistic. It’s simplistic in the sense that it doesn’t distract you from the track itself. I’ve watched videos that I end up liking but remember nothing about the actual music.

The track is also reminiscent of the days Gidigidi Majimaji and Wiki Mosh dominated airwaves with tracks done in their dialects. Raj loses the uptown feel and rips the track apart on the second verse  going toe to toe with one of Kenya’s hottest Mcees.

The production of the track is done very well. I listened to different tracks from the same artist and his producers are sampling beats that compliment his style.  What makes the track different is the chemistry between the two artists. I’m the one supposed to be enjoying the track but the two are on another energy level. Raj’s lyrics also incorporate a bit of raw humour.

I’m hoping he goes back into the booth and ropes in Rabbit, Kaligraph, Wangeci and other top artists onto this track because this has the potential to endear him to fans who don’t know they are fans yet. You may not know of Raj but now you do and you have just been introduced to Kenya’s next star.Check out the video.


Ted Pot

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