I made a very conscious decision to listen to more projects this year because I wanted to expand my music library and because I also wanted to pay more attention to the music so that I could share with you what’s hot and save you the trouble of listening to what’s not. I’m an angel, right?
For these reasons, I promised myself that I would listen to Xtatic MORE. From everyone that loves Kenyan Hip Hop, at least the ones I’ve talked to, she almost always features in top rappers from around here so of course I wanted to know what the fuss is about her. I’ve listened to a couple records, wasn’t disappointed so I want(ed) to dig deeper.
As I was going through her Twitter page just so I could see what she’s been up to lately, I saw her retweets about how one “Gigi Lamayne is so dope” and her Ground Zero Mixtape being nothing but fireworks. But what caught my eye was the tweet about a Gigi + Xtatic track. Needless to say, that’s the one that caught my attention cuz I thought to myself, there’s no way Gigi is Kenyan (because I’d be very much aware of her) so how did she make the connect? That’s when I decided I had to listen to the tape and why not? It’s FREE! Don’t judge me. Times is hard lol. I downloaded it and spent most of yesterday afternoon and today listening to Gigi Lamayne.
Before we get into the review, first let me say that I’m almost sorry for not having bumped to her before cuz she’s dope! From listening to Gigi, some of her tracks reminded me of Tink and some of Lady Leshurr, in terms of flow and delivery. You know what I mean?
I don’t know much about Gigi except for what the internet has told me so for more info, read about her here. Before yesterday I didn’t know that she’s actually signed to the same label as Khuli Chana, Dream Team SA!
Now let’s talk about the tape 🙂
Of course the first track I listened to was Delete Your MF Number ft. Xtatic for obvious reasons. This one is a “girly” track. You know how we be sometimes, we like to give the fellas a little trouble. Sometimes if we’re not feeling your vibe we can be a little rude. Gotta have your pretty girl rock swag on when you listen to this. Xtatic? Oh, she snapped on this. LOVE it!
Next track I loved, was Shisa. It’s a turn up track and the chorus is quite singable. “Shisa! Shisa! Shisa!” Please don’t ask me what it means… I really don’t know. If you do, drop me a comment and let me know. I could play Shisa a thousand times (or more) and not get tired of it. Only problem I had with this record is I couldn’t hear most of what she was saying but yes, I am turning up to this at the crib. Please believe!
I loved the Intro too. Do I sound like a broken record for saying “love” too many times? A friend told me good music is to be appreciated so I’ll do just that. So yeah, the Intro. I actually thought that she was talking about a love-hate relationship; this guy with an ego so big, who hurt her, abused her and her wanting to leave but when she decided that she was staying with him not many approved of it until I figured out that she’s actually referring to this thing we call Hip Hop, calling this art the “Moses of the promised land”.
She also has a little speech in it about being a woman in this industry.
Don’t expect special treatment because you’re a woman if anything, you have to grind harder… to prove yourself because everyone is already expecting you to fail… Be you… Stand by what you do and be good at what you do and seek no validation from anybody else for what you do… don’t let people bully you into what you’re not.
Daddy Issues. Track number 3. Just the title made me know there’s some deep sh-t on it. It starts with Gigi declaring love for her dad, which I honestly didn’t expect but verse one gets into it straight away…
Daddy Issues is quite a personal track about her father who was somewhat of a deadbeat and who was abusive towards her mom. A man that refused to support them and who was always drinking and a mother that found somebody new to help with duties at home as she also struggled to pay the bills… Suffice to say that her childhood wasn’t all rosy because of this but in the track, she forgives him and prays for the future father of her kids. Whether it’s a true story or not is pretty unclear to me.
Bambo Lwani sounds like a continuation of Daddy Issues but about a guy she used to love but she’s no longer with. She expresses how she really doesn’t wanna face the facts about her situation, her hurt, loneliness and how much she misses him because he’s gone “for good”. I don’t know what Bambo Lwani means but it may have some connection to love because that’s the core message in this record. It’s a track that’s “very African” with the instrumentation, the language and the chanting. Sounds really good!
Up next, Fourth Street, which starts off with a repetitive sort of chant, “I’ve been working all day”. I really can’t hear everything she says so it’s hard for me to say what message she’s tryna convey but the beat is catchy so maybe after a couple of listens I will come back and give you a proper opinion on this record.
Fees Will Fall. First thing that came at me is the strong message she puts across (well, this is the first thing she says). “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are,” she states. “… there can be any large scale revolution and so there is a personal revolution and on an individual level, it’s got to happen inside first.” Heavy track, heavy message.
In Hate Your Love, Gigi starts off with some irony. I hate the way you love me, the way you’re always trying to get to know me, the calls? I hate them! Do you get the point? It’s the classic healing process, I feel. When you’ve been in a bad relationship and somebody tries to treat you right, you are never fully down with it. Unless they’re patient, then you finally heal and accept that dude isn’t going anywhere and he’s cool peoples. Which is what happened here. I relate. Kind of. 😛
Then comes track ten, Murder She Wrote. Verse 2 is really what had me. She spits, in part, “… all these rappers acting brand new, dope beats saving all o’ your crew, no one’s rapping n-gga it’s true, who’s the hell gon speak to the youth? Nine outta ten tracks talking about girls, diamonds and pearls, how liquor gon save the world?… F-ck all of you gimmicks…” and she goes on. Do I really need to say more? Fire Baby!!!
Illuma Nathi comes up right after all the heat that is Murder She Wrote. Illuma Nathi, (pronounced illuma nati) is a trap record where in the chorus, she’s asking for power. I think the general message of the track is she’s relentless, she’s working hard, day and night to make sure that everybody knows who she is, she’s here and on a mission to leave a mark.
Moja follows right after Illuma Nathi as we near the end of the tape. It’s just a trap song, featring WTF (Witness The Funk) a club banger that could have you dabbing when it comes on. I really don’t think Gigi means the moja inSwahili meaning “one”. I could be wrong though.
Final track on the tape is, Ouens which in SA slang means dude. I have no idea what she’s saying in the chorus. Am I too concerned? Not too much. Actually, not at all.
As I was listening to the tape I kept wondering why she wasn’t on Baddest remix especially since they were all females only to go online and see she had the last verse. Not too many names on the remix were familiar, in fact I only knew Moozlie and because of MTV not rap. All I can say is,I’m glad I stumbled upon her as I was roaming the streets of Twitter. Will surely keep an ear out for her music from here moving forward.
Ground Zero Mixtape? Pure flames!! If you’re still reading this review that means I’ve managed to interest you in her project in some way so you should definitely give it a listen.
You won’t regret it. I promise!