Since the birth of Kenya’s new age music genre ‘Gengetone’ a lot of people have had a negative say regarding the kind of message it portrays.
The fast-beat music has been bashed by a section of Kenyans who have termed it as very immoral. Truth be told, almost all gengtone songs are about women’s dearies, sex and drugs something that has seen many call for it’s total ban in the country.
Last year, Gengetone group Ethic suffered a major blow after moral cop Ezekiel Mutua ordered a ban on their song ‘Tarimbo’ which basically glorified nonconsensual sex.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane. shall we?
Remember the days of Deux Vultures? (If you don’t then you’re probably too young to be reading this) Deux Vulture was a Kenyan band made up of Colonel Mustafa and Nasty Thomas.
The group had hits like Monalisa , Kinyaunyau and Adhiambo C. So what does Deux Vulture have to do with gengetone?
Well, their songs also worshiped a woman’s package with a bit more artistry and caution than what is witnessed today.
Nonini too, brought us ‘Manzi wa Nairobi” and ‘Mtoto mzuri’ back in the day and never once was there an uproar as there is right now. In fact, most of the Calif records artistes had some very controversial songs back in the day but never once had their tongues gagged, could it be because one Ezekiel Mutua wasn’t around then?
Do the new kids on the block need to learn from the godfathers of the industry to use art to mask their dirty language or have Kenyans finally woken up to clean the industry?
In a recent interview with Colonel Mustafa, he had a rather different take to the gengetone debate.
According to Mustafa, Gengetone is just a new age Kapuka (a genre that Deux Vultures was associated with).
Mustafa argued that even back in the day, artistes faced backlash but it was low key because social media was not a huge deal then.
“There was a time deejays would not play Kapuka because they argued that it had no meaning but these are the things being sung now. We started this kind of music. Gengetone is just the same with Kapuka, Genge and Boomba the only difference is the sheng language which has changed.” He said
Mustafa says he is ready to work with gengetone artistes and has even released a song dubbed ‘Maloko’ that is along the lines of the new genre.
So are Kenyans really tired of this new genre, or the kind of lyrics? Can we compare the Kenyan ol’skul music to Gengetone?
All in it seems that Gengetone artistes are trying to revamp the game a little. Recently Sailors gang released a new song featuring Nadia Mukami and many people were impressed at the level of musical artistry. In fact, the song has faced zero backlash from netizens. Maybe they should mentor their peers.