Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Let's celebrate. Kardinal Offishall is finally looking to get a realistic stab at mainstream success at his new home, Akon's Konvict Music. And to celebrate: a Whoo Kid mixtape Canadian Coke is in order to start the streets salivating. It comes complete with a policeman buss 'em tirade (Officer Down), a kenyan Boston Marathon reference (Take the Money) and a patois flavored banger (All the Way). Vybez Kartel steps up with tough gangster posturing (Everybody Gone Gangsta), while Socrates and Choclair re-up for a mean rehash over a Rza backdrop (T-dot Chambers).

Kardinall enjoys cult status in Toronto and it's hard not to see how his hype part b-boy, part rudebwoy persona, and sharp delivery can excite. Looks like T-dot is finally ready to export something fuego.

Tekzilla is spitting a lot more on his new joint, and it's all on point. Recent Aftermath R&B signee Dion is all over this album ( 5 tracks) and doesn't disappoint. Ayak (whatever happened to Jonell) blows marvellously on Can We Go Back. Q-tip and DPG's Kurupt sound like they could be in a group together on Keep it Moving, Ghostface paints a crack queen scenario with the Willie Cottrell Band and Busta Rhymes methodically shuts it down on March. Four New York rappers bring a gritty city anthem to life,
Strong Arm Steady finally gives us a taste of what to expect on their Blacksmith/Warner debut, and Nas paints an absolutely ridiculous true school picture on Music For Life.

Hi-Tek brings his trademark knock, a more high-profile guest list (no Slum Village, Mood or Jinx Da Juvy, but more Talib) that for the most part does its thing and as such, brings forth an easy to listen to head-nodder.

Banks delivers trademark G-Unit thugman gunrap sprinkled with a few Blue Hefner detours of which Help and One Night Stand are stellar examples. Beat selection was on point, but Eminem's beat and Fif collabo Hands Up doesn't deliver. Addicted with Musiq knocks, Gilmore is bouncy and Mobb Deep's Prodigy is actually less sluggish on Get Clapped.

In future hindsight, this album will stand out as being a brash and slick New Yorkcentric piece in a shoulder-lean-walk-it-out arena.

He swerved into our speakers on the back of Kanye Soul, with an album that had as much hiphop sensibility as it had soul. Chapter two features tunes with more pop-rock lean in them. Current pop standard sounding single Save Room starts the collection off, but before you get it twisted, track two, Heaven comes in with that Kanye boom-bap; Again sounds like an Ordinary People except it's a his & her blame game story. Maxine sounds like a piano bar lounge rumba inspired joint as does Where did my baby go.

But overall, the hip-hop soul of his first record is not all over this record. He's still firmly behind his Steinway and although rhythmically he takes it to a different place, he sings with the same earnest soul and each song stands strongly on its own.

Oh how the mighty creep on the low: this chic used to be on diva status, and songs like Angel of Mine and Why I Love You So Much were top-40 favorites on blast to the point I can't bear to hear them again. But a lot of black singers who've tasted middle america adulation opt to return to a more urban flava and appease that constituency especially after an extended hiatus. This joint picks up where the last one left off. With songs like Sideline Ho, Hell Now, and Gotta Move On, she is still making confrontational love songs about love gone bad, which she does well. I don't how how they dont have the advisory sticker on this record.

There are a few missteps (Everytime The Beat Drop is an unnecessary Snap music salute) and she doesn't really harrass her vocal range in this offering, even doing some of her singy-songy rappin, but songs like the Curtis Mayfield sampled A Dozen Roses, Doin Me Right, and Gotta Move On suffice this go-around.

Still going for a grown and sexy appeal on album three. No up-tempo mishaps featuring the vogue blabberer, oops, rapper of the moment. Just love songs - mid-tempo joints and slow jams - for that ass. And a Luther remake for a bonus. Nothing really stands out, he's playing the skillful teddy bear balladeer thing to the tilt.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Nuff respect to Msanii XL for the opportunities and the love he showed me on BNTS Episode 6. I believe I'm one of many who respect and are inspired by your grind.

Thanks to Ciru for dropping this in my inbox. And I share it with you.


Young Kenyans Trail blazing around the World

DJ Stylez
DJ Stylez has now risen to prominence as one of Kenya's renown Premiere DJ. With a list of accomplishments to his name DJ Stylez has been nominated for Best DJ in Africa category for the Best Dj Africa category. Please Vote for DJ Stylez.

Nameless Gets a Nod For European MTV
Kenyan singer David Mathenge ( Nameless) leads other African artists in nominations for best African act during this years Europe MTV Awards (MTV EMAs) to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in November. Nameless is among the 5 nominees representing the African continent including upbeat Nigerian R&B twins P-Square,Tanzanian Bongo flava star Sir Juma Nature among others. Ever evolving global super star Justin Timberlake will host and also perform at the most explosive, star studded music event in the European Calendar. Please Vote for Nameless.

Hip Hop Colony for Truth Awards
The critically acclaimed film has once again been nominated for Best Independent Film at the Truth awards, which takes place in Chicago, Saturday, October 14th 2006. Please Vote for Hip Hop Colony. Hip-hop Colony

Jay Z Rocks Kenyan Wear, damn!
For the African chapter of the global express tour ( Water for Life tour), Jay Z teamed up with the most authentic African label under the planet, Jamhuri Wear whose creater, Kimathi, helms from Kenya. The fashion designer clearly comes out as a trend setter as he threads Hip Hop's biggest star for the African leg of his tour. Visit


Monday, October 09, 2006


Oooh weee, Colombus Day....not that it stopped me from doing my daily weekday hustle as usual. What a weak reason to have a day off though. Dude got lost and "found" a new continent... Fine, if they want to credit some white person and shut down government offices and schools in his honor, at least crown the right jamaa, Lief Ericsson, son of Erik the Red.

Some Colombus Day treats: a few more K.E artist myspace pages to peep while you're searching for that next jumpoff.

Diehard: representing for Da Rugged Undaground Zoo. They are based in Jericho Estate.

Jero: Outering Estate lyricist now based in the A. Recently dropped a mixtape.

Staccato: a member of the Shida Mingi Crew.

Loon found his way to Dar although he may have ran into some trouble shooting a video for a new single that features the current Miss Tz as his love interest. He kept it real though, jumped in the studio with local artists and cooked it up. But slapping your pointman around for not having everything in order is not what it's cut out to be. Especially if it isn't in a Harlem barbershop (In the summer Loon banged on a Dipset affiliate 40-Cal with a shovel inside a barbershop in Harlem).

The Wire anyone? Easily the one of the best reasons to get HBO even though a non-tv watcher like myself will wait for the dvd. For their final season they got a gully sista, Snoop Pearson, who is shown here shopping for some 'tools.' You gotta love a girl with a dangerous streak. Built too hood for some though.

This was inspired by Half Kenya Half Sudan's tirade at Monday. She meant well when she said that there should be an International Kamukunji of sorts where all the relevant nerds meet up and use their expert opinion to abolish Monday.

The sad truth is if they got rid of Monday i.e. they turned Monday into a weekend day, then Tuesday would become the scapegoat of all the evil that Monday has become burdened with. Which will lead to more yodelling about Tuesday Blues, calls for the abolition of Tuesday, etc.

My proposal is to add more Fridays. Work one day then get two off. Nothing beats the feeling of having that 6 pm Furahiday Rush every three days.

All in favor....waonyeshe vidole vya kati.

And to all you lucky bastards that are having a real day off tomorrow, I salute thee. You guys get the Monday Blues twice in the week. Why do we do Moi Day again?