With the Kenyan music scene going through something of a renaissance following the emergence of a new sound dubbed Gengetone, we decided to look at the past for the late musical greats that paved the way for the new sound.
Number one on the list is the late great Boomba king Issah Mmari Wangui who lost his life tragically in a road accident. Widely considered as one of the finest rappers in the 254, he took the country by storm by his impressive command of Swahili and poetry. Some of his best tracks include Boomba Train, Moss Moss, Saree, Jo Nimefika among others.
Born in 1979, Carlton Williams Bongo Juma was better known by his stage name K-rupt.The sultry singer ruled the airwaves with hits songs such as Tukawake and Chacha. He was murdered on his way to Nakuru by carjackers who tried to rob a matatu travelling in, when he tried to argue with them. He was shot and his body dumped in a forest. He was signed by Ogopa deejays.
Widely considered one of the greatest female rappers from Kenya, Sharon Wangwe aka Lady S was a Calif angel femcee together with rappers Ratatat and Choku. The iron lady of female rap, she blessed us with bangers like Ukimwona ft Pilipili, Lovely Ladies among others. She died in a road accident along Thika Road days before she was to go for her first international concert.
G Wiji of Mashifta
One of the kings of underground hiphop, Moseti Kamanda popularly known as G Wiji was a star loved by many hardcore hiphop fans. He was in Mashifta together with Kitu Sewer and they both blessed us with hits such as System ya Majambazi, Pesa Pombe Siasa Na Wanawake and Unga. The Dandora-based group was popular with hardcore rap fans for their socially and politically conscious lyrics and were hugely influenced by Kalamashaka. He was killed in a hit and run accident.
The late bad boy of Kenyan rap Prechard Pouka Olang goes into the pantheon as one of the greats due to his unique style of rap that combined his native Luo language and urban rap. His hit song Otonglo Time catapulted him to national fame. He was a bold artist who always fought for the rights of musicians. He died from tuberculosis.