If you were born in the 90’s you are part of the quarter life crisis ,probably have two jobs and a side hustle. Depending on which side of the tracks you were born ; you either had cereal for breakfast and went to a private school or you carried a container with a sling to go spill on the class floor because because the dust was too much. Either way the 90’s rocked.
Here are the 5 male artists who made it worth our while.
NAMELESS : DAVID MATHENGE
We at the BAR call him ‘The Urban Legend ‘. It is impossible to have a discussion about Kenyan music and not mention this man. He is rugged , smart and talented. He rocked bandanas , I saw a young girl rocking one the other day , are they back? He wore baggy jeans the 08 and he made them look very cool. The Strathmore Alumni became a music sensation after being discovered at a Talent Star Search. The architect went ahead to create timeless music like ‘Megarider’ , ‘Ninanoki’ and ‘Boomba Train’ with another star , ESIR. One thing that is admirable is that those songs still make you break into a dance. He transitioned into the 2000’s making with ‘Sinzia’ and he recently did a song with the Kansoul. Talk about being legendary. With numerous awards under his belt Nameless is not going anywhere.
E-SIR : ISSAH MMARI
If memory serves me right , E-sir ‘s album had wordings in red , blue and yellow colours on a white background. This included the title ‘Best of E-SIR’ and the list of the 13 songs. It was gifted to me for doing well in school. See normally kids ask for toys , sweets , or dolls for presents. My people always bought music CDs. They are definitely making it to my will. I digress. Issah Mmari ,his birth name, hailed from South C . His lyrical prowess catapulted him to the top of the charts and the music industry as a whole. E-Sir whose signature was the use of Swahili was and still is considered to be one of the best rappers in the country. His song ‘Jo’ introduced him to us and his collaboration with the Urban Legend gave the promise of the unstoppable duo. As fate would have it , we lost him to an accident and year after year we will continue to stand tall on the 16th of March and sing along to ‘Hamnitishi’ as is every other day of the year.
JUACALI : PAUL JULIUS NUNDA
‘Juacali nipe asali’ that’s the hook in the song ‘Nipe Asali‘ sang by one Sylvia. Girl where are you? Did you know that in the video the director had people staring into the scorching sun? In his defense the name Juacali does mean hot sun. Juacali is the only guy who can talk for 3 minutes and we end up calling it a song. He is also a co-founder of Calif Records that has since gained prominence in East Africa and therefore birthing some of the best artists this country has ever heard. The reason why this guy stood out is that he never tried too hard. He has since gained commercial success as a result of various endorsements ; Motorola , Orange mobile and Pamoja Mtaani. His music continues to stand out and he recently featured on Coke Studio. There is no better way of staying relevant.
NONINI : HURBERT NAKITARE
‘Jina langu ni nani ? No-ne-ne’ . Say those words with a little attitude and you will sound like Nonini himself. His name is synonymous to rachetry. He has no qualms singing about the female genitalia , going in to details of sexual arousal. He was the guy every mum warned you about. Following the birth of his son he moved to more decent music sighting fatherhood as a wake up call. Well he seems to be going right back to it given his latest song with DJ Pierra and Chege. Nakitare spearheaded P-UNIT’S career who have gone ahead to make a name for themselves. He is also a philanthropist who is very passionate about Albinism and he has gone ahead to change lives for people living with Albinism. To whom much is given , much is expected.
MR. LENNY: LENSON NJUKI
Allow me to introduce the King of Collabos. This can be attributed to his works with Mr Googz and Vinny Banton in the famous song, Wasee wa Githurai, which was so successful that it earned the artists a nomination to the 7th edition of the prestigious Kora Awards .(Wikipedia) Who can forget his song with Nameless dubbed ‘Juju’. That’s when everyone wailed in anguish saying ‘That’s it we have lost them to Illuminati’. He has some singles namely ‘Cash Money’ and his recent one ‘Randa Randa’. As at the beginning of 2014 he was supposed to give us more music . We hope that he does not go into another 7 year hiatus.
Folks that is just but a short list list of who built the foundation for the kind of music we have today. Who do you think ought to have been part of this list?