Khaligraph Jones has definitely made his mark on Kenyan Hip Hop. Hailing from Kayole 1960 which he constantly praises in his music, he probably shot to fame after there was a scuffle between himself and Octopizzo. There were tracks and freestyles flying back and forth between the 2 just to show how much they “hated” each other. When Khaligraph dropped “I Run 254” where he took shots at Octopizzo’s lady, that’s when sh*t hit the fan. Octopizzo said that that was the last straw and he no longer liked Khaligraph simply because he mentioned his family who had nothing to with their personal differences.
Beef aside, Khaligraph has proven himself as far as Kenyan Hip Hop is concerned. He was featured on Ilegal Music 3 last year, the last of the Illegal Music series by M.I. Their track “Black Bill Gates” caused quite a frenzy off and online, with plenty West African Hip Hop fans asking who this Kenyan rapper is. That’s one of my favorite songs on the tape.
As is the norm though, everything has a good and bad side to it, right? In this case, Khaligraph has become known for “jacking” (and I use this term loosely) beats. There are several records he released with pre-existing beats. Before he became as popular as he is now, in 2013, Khaligraph released a track called “FU©# OFF”, a song that used The Game’s “Jesus Piece” instrumental. He showed off his lyrical skill while still calling out the weak rappers in the game. This was a very bold statement coming from Khaligraph and could have been the track that had him being talked about in several social circles.
Fast forward to 2015, Wizkid did a track called “Ojuelegba”. It spread around Africa like wild fire and even Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie did the remix to the track. Who wasn’t left out? Khaligraph Jones and that’s OK. In June 2015, he put out a video for “Open Doors (Ojuelegba Refix).” However, Motiff, who is one of Khaligraph’s producers, said that he had remade the beat meaning it was totally different from Wizkid’s but can you tell?
One month after this, he released the music video of “I Am King (RIP Competition)” a collaborative effort between himself and DJ Crème. It was an impressive record and according to the credits, the audio was done by Motiff but if you listen to “Adrenaline Rush” by Twista, you will hear the similarities in the 2 beats with only a few slight modifications. Even Khaligraph’s flow and that of Twista sound a lot alike!
In May 2015, Young Thug released “Power” produced by London On Da Track, a single off the mixtape “Slime Season, released in September of the same year. In September 2015,Khaligraph released “Yego”, a congratulatory track to Julius Yego, in a way, after he won Kenya’s first ever javelin gold. The original beat by London on Da Track. From conversation with Khaligraph, he did say that “The beat was originally a sample from Young Thug’s Power but it was produced by Motiff.” I guess he meant “re-made” but upon putting Yego and Power together with the help of a producer, the beats sounded exactly alike.
Last year in November, Khaligraph introduced the rest of Kenya to Miss Cashy, his boo who also happens to be a rapper. The record they did was “Mi Casa Su Casa” where they addressed a number of issues and called for unity amongst artists and support from the DJs. He did say that the beat belonged to Hip Hop group Mobb Deep and they had used it on a track called “Hell on Earth” which was released in 1999.
Fast forward to January 2017 and the video to Naked drops. Very nice video and Khali had switched up from dropping hard core bars to doing something sensual for the ladies. The track’s audio, officially released in January 2016 was produced by Dennis Beatz. Khaligraph says that he linked up with him online, and that’s how they got to work together.
Khaligraph says that Dennis Beatz will also be producing two other songs on his album, which is probably going to be released some time this year. However, there was a situation when someone came across a song called “She Just Wanna” by Go Yayo, an American rapper. Little is known about this rapper, though I did see a picture of him and Soulja Boy in one of his Instagram posts so I just assumed he was probably one of his (Soulja’s) goons.
Khaligraph denied knowing Go Yayo and said, “Whoever he is doesn’t have the right of ownership.” He remained evasive on whether he was going to take legal action against Go Yayo.
“She Just Wanna” was what opened Pandora’s Box. After this discovery, a couple other songs with the same “Naked” beat came up. There’s “A Song for Jennifer” by Pryde and “Differences” by C. Metro, with all giving credit to Dennis Beatz.
When I asked Khaligraph about why he likes remixing tracks, he said that he doesn’t “remix” records , every once in a while he just hops on a dope pre-existing Hip Hop beat and there’s nothing wrong with that since plenty rappers do it anyway, the only reason we notice him doing that is because he is “out here” more.
I later let him know that it looked like Dennis Beatz had sold the record to other artists, to which he replied, “That isn’t my debate. As long as I know I own exclusive rights, I know my guap coming through. Whatever else doesn’t concern me,” adding, “Pushing KE Hip Hop is my agenda which I’m dedicated 100% to push.”
Khaligraph isn’t the only artist who has been caught red handed though, his arch nemesis Octopizzo has been to. Starting from Could Be Us which he had initially claimed featured August Alsina’s vocals, forcing August’s team to clarify that he wasn’t involved in the song in any way. Later on, I found a track called “This Could Be Us” by BKR All Stars which not only has the exact same beat but the hook is similar as well. In 2014, he released “Blackstar” featuring his daughter Tracy. I was impressed with his daughter’s singing but I was a little doubtful of whether she did the hook herself. Imagine my shock after listening to Eminem’s and T.I’s “Blackstar”. Not only did he use the same name, the hook is also from Eminem’s track!
In August last year, Octopizzo released “Utanisho” a diss track that many speculated was aimed at Khaligraph for a few shots he had aimed at Octopizzo on the “Khaligraph Jones Presents Cypher”. The beat and the video were really impressive but when Jacob Latimore released the audio to his track, “The Real” a couple months later, in November, guess what beat it was? Uh huh! The same one Octopizo used on “Utanisho”! I asked Octopizzo what this meant since he also hosts his music on iTunes. Did he buy it? Lease it? He promised to give an official statement once the news blew up but he said that he was well aware that another song with the beat he used was going to come out.
When asked about BKR All Stars and why they had a similar song to his, Octopizzo claimed not to have any idea who they are.