I need you to watch “Watajua Hawajui” by Khaligraph and Msupa S before you dive into this article.
So after he dropped the record, Khaligraph tweeted this…
I gotta say when I first saw that he was releasing a record with Msupa S, I was greatly surprised. She is a comedian who has gained clout for making fun of Hip Hop Culture by claiming to be the “Queen of Kalenjin Hip Hop”. Khaligraph on the other hand, is a top tier KE Hip Hop artist whom we look up to to be an ambassador of Kenyan Hip Hop to the rest of Africa and the world. I mean this is one of the guys we all expect to see on Sway in the Morning and/or The Breakfast Club soon enough so for him to pull this stunt is disappointing to say the least.
Having been in the game for over 5 years, Khaligraph has tasted what it is like to be an underground artist with little to no media play and no particular sense of direction, still trying to learn ropes solo with, as most upcoming artists complain, no support from the vets. He understands the struggle majority of our Hip Hop artists are still facing because he did too… He now also knows what it’s like to be heavily played across shows and media stations at any time and to be one of the most sought after KE artists; let’s even step out the Hip Hop box. That’s one of the things that makes him aspirational; he made it to the top doing this Hip Hop thing. In fact when he called himself the OG we fought it but came to accept it because let’s face it, he’s worked hard, he’s on top of the food chain and there’s an entire generation of young rappers looking to make the moves he has and hopefully surpass them.
For him to come out and say “Msupa S can outrap 80% of the rappers that I’ve been meeting since 2009″, is disrespectful and uncalled for. Since 2009, Khaligraph had met a bunch of artists (some of whom he was on Cyphers with). From Oksyde, Kayvo Kforce, Ace Tha Don, Yung Haze, Shukid, Kevin Grands to name but a few… and has made plenty music with Xtatic and Ace Tha Don. A more successful Khali put on some new rappers on the Khaligraph Jones Presents Cypher which featured the rap duo Wakadinali, his frequent collaborator Ares 66 and The Big Beats Crew and The Khali Cartel which featured Don Jowlz, Petra, KOB and Sagini. Khaligraph brought Petra back! He has also spoken of wanting to collaborate with more upcoming artists, naming TnT. These are just some of the names of the rappers Khali has met since 2009. Is Msupa S better than any of them? Or are these the only artists in the 20%? While KE Hip Hop may still be a genre considered underground, I certainly believe that the percentage of good rappers, rappers who, with the right support and push can represent Kenya on an international stage, is higher than 20. This statement, though for hype and to get us talking (which we are), is a poor and dishonest reflection of the entire Kenyan Hip Hop community and his social circles, to be honest.
The sad thing about Watajua Hawajui is, we were already talking about Khaligraph. We’re still not over Now You Know which is one helluva record! Most of us can’t stop talking about his debut album “Testimony 1990” which is set to drop on June 12th (next month). An album which I’m hoping will have some sort of direction because at first he told me The Khali Cartel was the lead single but he’s labelled Now You Know on You Tube as the lead… *sigh*. If he really wanted to keep us talking, what’s the harm in releasing ANOTHER banger to follow up on Now You Know? Chasing and wanting to have the current number one hit record is hindering the making of classic songs. How about that record with TnT that he talked about? That would introduce his massive fan base to other rappers who are just as incredibly talented as he is. It’s opening doors for rising Hip Hop artists and expanding the game, having someone else that we can look to as ‘next up’. That encourages the circulation of money in the industry. If more people get access to cash, better videos and audios will be put out, the fashion industry will be elevated too and in turn the press has more stories to tell from different angles, elevating an entire industry to a point where we can be known for something else besides athletics and the safari. Isn’t that what we all want?
While some may argue that he’s not responsible for this, I disagree. In every kingdom, it’s the king’s responsibility to groom the heir. That’s how great monarchies are maintained. Nasty C is thriving in the SA Hip Hop industry and gaining international recognition after Cassper Nyovest supported and paved way for him. The reason Jay Z is idolized as a global Hip Hop icon is because he fostered an entire generation of Hip Hop that will live on long after he’s gone. That’s his legacy. After he got signed to Def Jam, he bought himself out of the deal and set up Roc Nation which signed J. Cole who set up Dreamville Records. See what I’m talking about? Other examples of Hip Hop excellence fathering generations? Eminem. Diddy. Fifty. Rick Ross. Even J. Cole and Kendrick are on that path. People we love and look up to but refuse to emulate.
These stunts are tired for someone as talented as Khaligraph. All he has to do is post a sick freestyle in the studio and the streets will buzz.
I end this with a quote I think should be on every studio wall, “Only good music is gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.”