|Kenya Hip Hop MC Kah Speaks with Davey D|
|Written by Davey D ID3281|
|Thursday, 01 February 2007 22:50|
Compromise is Not an Option-Enter Kenya's MC Kah by Davey D
No Bullshit! No Compromise! are two phrases that accurately describe MC Kah who is one of the primary rappers in the 24 man supercrew called Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. The Kenyan born hip hop emcee hails from Dandora aka Hip Hop City which is a section in Kenya which has given birth to some of the country’s dopest artists.
Sharp on his politics as he is on the mic, Kah gives an insightful breakdown as to how Kenyan artists strive to keep a strong connection to the spirit and legacy of their Mau Mau freedom fighter grandfathers and grandmothers who went into the forest 50 years ago to organize and overthrow British colonizers.
History shows that the Mau Mau paid a heavy price as this unarmed resistance force were killed, imprisoned and wounded in high numbers, however their unwavering commitment to ‘die on your feet than live on your knees’ is a mindset that has been transferred into the lifestyle of people like MC Kah and his crew.
In our interview he talks about how the current Kenyan government has been corrupted and has made bold moves to silence cultural expressions. Politicized Hip Hop that talks about those in power has become especially troubling hence the members of the Ukoo Flani Mau Mau have found themselves being constantly arrested on trumped up charges and harassed by the police.
He explains the current campaign put forth by the government to silence their highly politicized music where tactics like flooding the airwaves with exported American jiggy raps i.e. P-Diddy and G-Unit along with raunchy genge music as a way to try to lull the population asleep. He notes that the government uses modern technology to turn the people into wannabes.
Kah and his people have countered the crackdown by insisting that Kenyan artists rap in Swahili and encouraged people to avoid mimicking the destructive behavior of western ‘oppressors’. Hence you won’t see the Flani Mau Mau cats sporting bling or kicking mindless lyrics. If one does Kah and his crew are quick to call them out and label them as wannabes who are down with the oppressor. As Kah explains Hip Hop is about doing for the community and uplifting the people. It’s a communication tool that can and should encourage people into action. You will find the interview inspiring.
Below is a brief rundown on the history of the Ukoo Flani Mau Mau which can be best described as Wu-Tang Meets Public Enemy and X-Clan. Following that is a brief run down of MC Kah. http://www.ukooflanimaumau.com/site/en/history.html
There’s a new awakening, people everywhere are beginning to remember who they are form the whispers of wisdom being spread by the winds of Kaya (temple) Hip Hop. The bustle and fighting for the small hustle has lessened and the focus seems to be gaining astounding clarity that out of ‘Andaki’ is emerging a light, flames in flight, at first sight you realize that ‘Dandoras burning’ with desire to heal the universe with Ukooflani Maumau. The silent revolution is well in progress the take over close. Overstand.
Often mistaken as a cult, an army, rebels, political aggravators or just troublesome youth….attempts have been made by many to define this group of youth from the lower class urban estates of Nairobi’s and Mombasa. The 24 member clan, come from different ethnic backdrops and religious beliefs. They have defied the name tags from various frame minds people have tried to place on them. They prefer to be just known as ‘ukooflani maumau’ whose loose translation from kiswahili translates to ‘a certain clan of maumau’ who were’s guerilla movement for freedom during its struggle for independence in the 1950’s. This group of artists relate to the struggle of their forefathers who fought for equal opportunities for all. The name UKOOFLANI is an acronym that reads Upendo Kote Olewenu Ombeni Funzo La Aliyetuumba Njia Iwepo, i.e. love everywhere all who seek teachings of the creator; there is a way.
The objectives of the group are quality enhancement to enable hiphop to be the language to pass the real/true message to society. Through enlightening people on the economic prospects of hiphop they’d like to prove its viability as a business and a way to sustain an income for fellow youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. UFMM believe hiphop is a tested and proven way out of the ghetto because it has been their rehabilitation. Each member has a story to tell about how hip hop changed their lives into artistic superiority. Coming from an environment where its an achievement to see the age of 25, and where an average person earns less than $1 a day; UFMM happily prove that with wit, clever poetry, leadership, wisdom and love, one can control their destiny.
MC Kah Brief Bio…
UKOOFLANI MAU MAU – Upendo kwa wote. Unification.
THE BIG BREAK – ‘Dandora Love’ to me was my breakthrough, people fell in love with the Groove. Others were feeling ‘Paka saa ngapi’ feat Brio, – Kenyan compilation cd. It was a break trough because we were the youngest underground mc’s and we came out hardcore and surprisingly landed straight in the compilation cd, ‘Kenyan The First Chapter’.
LEADERSHIP – My leadership would be based on ‘Upendo’, Basic amenities available for all.
WHY LISTEN TO KAH? – The emphasis in my music is a social message of empowerment.
SKILL – My gift is in song writing and composing.
DREAMS – Movie script and directing is my love.
IN 10YRS – I see a big family and lots of projects. A house with an all-purpose gym in the highlands and another by the sea, also a helicopter to commute between them.
ROLE MODELS -Bob Marley. He was a voice for the masses. Kalamashaka. I admire their pioneerism. Chiz ‘n’Brain – Musically inspires me. A true master indeed.
ALBUMS – I feature in ‘Kenyan the Second Chapter’ compilation Cds of Kenyan artists, ‘Kilio cha haki’ – Nairobi Youth Initiative, project.
HOT NEWS – FANYA KWELI’ a Pan African hip hop festival August 2005. MC KAH’s debut album based on ‘Mtaaizm’
WORD – UKOOFLANI (Upendo Kote Olewenu Ombeni Funzo La Aliyotuumba Njia Ilipo)
Listen to Interview w/ MC Kah Below:
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