Back in May 2018, the now established Ethic entertainment crew produced a song which has gone a long way in introducing Kenya’s most sought after music by the youth. The single dubbed lamba lolo shook the entertainment airwaves to the extent that Nigerian musical sensation Mr Eazy adopted the term in his song hitsong, Ogede.
17 months later and the country is rich with a number of energetic entertainers, all driven by a desire to relentlessly produce music for the YOLO believers. However, there have been discussions between the youth and the so considered civilised members of the society with one question drawing different opinions, how long will gengetone music last? Many people are wondering whether in 10 years time the hype around this genre will still be felt and judging by a number of facts, the probability seems low.
Gengetone itself is a sheng expansion of the earlier Genge music style which relaxed Kenyan souls back in the early 2000s and still is. Pioneer names such as Nameless, Kleptomaniax, Jua Cali, Nonini, E-sir, Nazizi, Jmwat just to mention a few, used a more conservative approach in their writing of songs with nudity a no go zone, something am sure Ezekiel Mutual would nod to.
The Gengetone approach however faces a lot of scrutiny from the moral communication agencies with the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) making it their main priority to regulate content produced by our young guns. Songs have been banned following a meltdown of uncivilized content and this battle seems to be a long-term threat to Gengetone. Mind you Mutua now understands what wamlambez really means!
The coming together of genge legends and the new acts for collabos has added some hope in the future but truth be told, a modern day Mejja performing Shugri wabe shugri wabe tenten seems a bit off. It is a great gesture of showing support to the upcoming talents considering how unemployment affects our country but some people have termed this move as a way of reviving careers for the older stars.
Judging by a cry that has been made by established artists including Khaligraph Jones and Willy Paul, relying on money from Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) does no good to the Gengetone artists, who are actually getting higher downloads and views on youtube. The OG lamented of receiving KSH 2,000 from the music board while Willy Paul made an outburst cry famously titled ‘nyambeni huko’.
I might be wrong on my stand with the future of the gengetone music as it is an evolving world but sometimes what you see is what you get.