So far, Raw Music has been rewarded by the elements, and we've encountered an extremely diverse mix of artists. Here are some videos from the past few days: Kisumu Hip Hop--Nebulazz and Double B perform the club banger "Queue Kwa Bank." The hook, translated to English: "There's a line at the bank/cause it's Friday/We're gonna paaaarty" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woWzfiOODkM
Dance: Godi, a member of Ozzy's Yawa dance group performs an original piece. I wish I could post more of these dances, because they're truly amazing, but the slow internet is making it tough... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y8FKJc6EAA
Soul Afriq--Brio practices with a new band, improvising together at one of their first sessions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PKTF-Ec44k
The Ozzman danceth: Ozzy dancing for Emma at a benga concert by Johny Junior. Watch and learn joonyah.
Double B walks up to me from across the club and yells into my ear "Dave wants to see you, he's in the black van upstairs." Normally this is not a good sign.
We grabbed our cameras and headed up the 4 tight sets of stairs that makes Area 51 a deathtrap of untold proportions. Dave the Produca was sitting in a black Pajero in the buzzing dirt lot in front of the club with the bongo group Yapenzi, drinking an as yet unclassified substance called Richot and talking music. Yapenzi had just come back from a tour out to the coast, and would be performing that night along with our homies Double B and Gillgucci (both whom you met, in separate posts below). The show was to be headlined by Nairobi reggae prince Ousman, but it was about 1 am and no one had played yet.
Bongo basically refers to any music coming from Tanzania, and Kisumu's Yapenzi are probably Kenya's most famous act to rap in the Bongo style (Bongo style is largely defined by the fluent use of proper Swahili, which the Tanzanians speak, as opposed to the mutant composite versions of Swahili in Uganda and Kenya). Dave helped bring the group up to their current status, and the vibe was extra friendly. Double B and the boys in his Walimwengu crew are the next generation, the youngsters hanging around. We gathered them together for some freestyles outside the club. You can do these kinds of things in rough places when you've got a rap crew and a black SUV on your side.
Eventually, everyone paid--averaging two songs a piece, before Ousman took the stage for about 6 tracks.
It was the second show of the day. First we saw Ozzy's Yawa group put on an amazing dance performance in town (where I got the second video posted above). By the time we got home at 3 am, with a pack of crusty fries and a half bottle of water between the three of us (yes, Emma, on day 3 of pregnant malaria, was along for the ride again), we were done. But the "work" never ends. Tonight we're going to see Burundian star Kiddum at Bomas. Kabisa mzeiyaaaa.