Return of the hustle

Lyrical NutritionFirst of all I wanna thank my connect/ The most important person, With all due respect/ Thanks to the duffle bag/ The Brown paper bag/ The Nike shoe box, For holding all this cash/ Boys in blue who put greed Before the badge/  The 1st pusher, whoever made the stash – Jay Z

This is the first time that I have ever had to look up lyrics that I wanted to quote. It is also the first time I have stolen, no, borrowed a title. The title is the headline of the November issue of XXL Magazine that has Jay Z on the cover. The American Gangster album drops on November 6th and it has the internet going nuts with speculations on the track listing, production and overall appeal of the record. All in all it has been a great year for hip hop. We received some of the best hip hop albums to come out in years, most notably from Talib, Kanye, Common, UGK, Devin, Sean Price and Little Brother.

Back home here in Kenya, the Hip Hop Movement has also been in full effect with a lot of brand new MC’s who show their skills at WAPI that has become quite popular with more and more performances everytime they happen. Most notable however is the duo of Wenyeji. The group is part of the Wu-like collection of Ukoo Flani Mau Mau and consists of Mwenyeji and Zaka. They dropped a gem that I believe is classic with their album Siku Njema. The disc is 15 tracks + 1 hidden track of real life experience.

On the first listen, the track, Fanya Muziki, felt a bit weak to me. Save for the opening scratches of the scream that I must say would have made Preemo proud; I felt the lyrical content wasn’t that nutritious…So I thought. Fast forward to last week when I peeped the video and I was blown away. The vid opens with a B-Boy doing a back spin (if I got it wrong, spare me, I haven’t break danced since ’93!)and as the DJ scratches the scream, the image of the B-boy moves back and forth like vinyl in the DJ’s hand! The location is a basement that gives that grimy effect, like a secret gathering of heads to pay homage to hip hop.

The scenes then keep shifting from the basement to the streets. In the basement we have the Emcees spitting as the B-Boys keep breaking while the other heads egg them on. In the streets we have the Emcees, Wenyeji, doing what they are best at doing on the streets, hustling product. To quote Dandora Burning, “Streetlife warfare, Wenyeji wakatokea”. But not just any product, not the product Jay Z is talking about in Roc Boys, but the most beautiful product that they produce… Music. They cook it up make sure it’s pure while still keeping it’s rawness, kind of like Jay’s product when he says, “Heron got less steps than Britney/ that means it ain’t stepped on, dig me?”. Someone on another blog schooled me on this, stepped on coke is watered down coke that’s far from pure and Jay assures that the way Britney missed her steps during the VMA, his product isn’t stepped on. That’s the same way Wenyeji seem to treat their music.

If we keep getting quality hip hop like we have received this year up until now, hip hop is on the right path. Like Common said on ‘Get em high’, “They say hip hop is dead/ I’m here to resurrect me”. Go out and buy the Wenyeji CD if you do not already have it. This post is dedicated to all hip hop heads who read this blog. To end it, I wish to make a toast to hip hop, alas I quote Jay again, “Mazel Tov, it’s a celebration bitches/ I wish you a 100 years of success”.

To other questionable rappers;

Saa zile mna trade soul zenu juu ya dough/ Tuna parade crowd zetu juu ya wisdom – Wenyeji.

Pamoja!!!

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One Response to “Return of the hustle”

  1. Never been a true hiphop head bup I’ve loved Hova since Blueprint.I listened to every one of his albums after that.And the brotha has got flow.

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