HIP THURSDAYS:KUSH TRACEY-‘MBESA’

MBESA

If your family had a radio or your parents were those know-it-alls that bought coloured television sets in the early 90s you must have watched TLC at least once or twice. Every time No Scrub would come on I used to blurt out the lyrics till I realized I was my parents scrub. Then came Sporty Thieves with No Pigeons and I was bumping to that. Sporty Thieves were probably one of hip hop’s most innovative rap duos. They let artists record hit songs and then they’d step in and do their own version. The only artist to pip them at this game was Vanilla Ice who won a Grammy off a song they didn’t do.

When I joined boarding in primary school, (Yes, I went to boarding as a child and my parents loved me so stop saying whatever you want to say) I met Kenya’s own version of Sporty Thieves. His name was Mark Fish, probably one of the coolest guys I met in school. Later on I’d share desks with another fish, Fisher (Not his real name) who would refix any track and make it cool. I tried it but I was only good at composing and my delivery would probably be close to what the Kenyan government is doing.

By the time of writing this, I’d heard so many refixes to the point of forgetting the distinction between the original and the remake. To be honest, some of these tracks suck donkey balls and that’s me being polite. I’m sure you’ve all had a chance to listen to Kristoff’s Dandia and the number of times you threw up in your own mouth is not in contention here. A lady by the name Tracy Kush stepped in and did a refix which surprisingly from a relatively unknown artist received a fair amount of airplay. At one point I wanted Kristoff to do a version with her in it.

So upon my internet searches I stumbled upon “Mbesa”. Mbesa is barely a month old and has received a decent number of views on YouTube. The track is a refix to Fester Skank, one of UK’s biggest tracks this year. Being one of those tracks I’ve been blazing this year, I definitely had very high expectations when I heard the beat.

To be honest, I was disappointed. I like her raw style and how she uses her wordplay but on this track nothing worked in her favour. I tried my best to even listen to the track on low volume but it still didn’t sink in. I’m not going to go so much into the content of the music because even from the title of the song your expectations are limited to a bare minimum.

I tried my best to be positive about the whole video but lyrically she toned down from what she’d done on her previous track. The video production was probably done in too much of a hurry. I’m still grappling with why she chose to include magazine excerpts that had nothing to do with the song all over the video.

Kush Tracey probably has the ability to be the Lady S of the hip hop industry if someone can channel her raw talent in the right direction. She made us listen to Usinidandie but I highly doubt she’ll get enough radio play with this track. This is a classic example of taking your time to review your work once you’re done. It doesn’t stop in school and certainly isn’t being applied by most. I’d like to hear an original track from her and see what she can do when we have no judgments made already.

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