© June 2007 by Buddha Blaze for Africanhiphop.com / Spark
These young bucks are by far the most impressive hip-hop cats in Nairobi at the moment. Coming out of the expansive Dandora based family, Ukoo Flani Mau Mau, they stepped on the scene with ‘Dandora L.O.V.E.’ a few years back and even then it was not hard to see that they had more than just plain street talent. Their lyrics are well thought out and not just meant to fit on the beat for hip-hop’s sake. You can hear this on the melodic ‘Imagine’ where Zaka spits "Imagine tukiishi kwa mkate na maji/ Wenyeji tunahave kuweka vichwa juu ya maji/ mta have kututafuta kwa ma mixtapes soulsearching." (Imagine living on bread and water/ Wenyeji with their heads on water/ the only place you can find us is on mix tapes soul searching). Gaza voice takes you away into the depth of what the songs needs to relay.
On their first single ‘Mizani’, Swaleh and Gaza talk about how their music is for the slums and clubs too. They take a reggae beat on ‘Soldier’ a collabo with the Ukoo Flani’s reggae crooner Steve on this track chanting "Hey soldier/ itakubidi uwe so so sober/ so songa ndani ya hizi songs njomba uko kwenye sodoma/ ndani ya concrete jungle tume take over/ Ukoo for ever yeah yeah yeah." This is a Nairobi bad boy anthem for real. On ‘MAU Double’ they take on bling bling MCs for selling their souls. "Wakati muna trade songs zenyu juu ya doe/ tuna parade crowd yetu juu ya wisdom." – "While you trading your songs for cash/ we parading our crowd with wisdom."
They move to the books with ‘Elimisha’ a track that teaches you a little a bit about the duo’s street. "Tuna combat ukamwe na akina Robert Mugabe, omba usibambwe, Omba U Zimbabwe." What more can I say? On ‘Real Life Experience’ they attack politicians who enjoy the fruits of the country while the residents suffer. ‘Moyo Wangu’ is a ghetto love track showing that just because you deal with real issues doesn’t mean that you can’t receive love and give love. Wenyeji also pour their heart out on ‘Heartbreak’ with old school beats. ‘Jirushe’, ‘Fanya Muziki’ are for the Ukoo Flani fans. They add a track by kids from MYSA (Mathare Youth Sports Assosiation, ed.) who they have been mentoring for the last few years. Support this album.