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Rocky Dawuni's Video Tribute To 'Nairobi'

Ghanaian reggae singer Rocky Dawuni returns with an ode to Kenya's capital city and a general call for peace in the video for "Nairobi."


Ghanaian reggae singer Rocky Dawuni comes through with an ode to Kenya's capital city in his latest visuals for "Nairobi," one of the highlights off his Branches Of The Same Tree LP. The new music video, filmed by GoodMakers Films and co-directed by Ethiopian filmmaker Babbi and Cris Blyth, follows Rocky through the East African city as he runs into Kenyan artists and public figures like JulianiKenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi, the Secretary General of the Kenyan Red Cross Dr. Abbas Gullet, PR maven Gina Din and dub poet-musician Oneko Arika, who also features on the track.

Rocky Dawuni explains that "Nairobi" is a tribute to this "beautiful city in the sun" and a call for peace written as a reaction to the 2007-08 national crisis after the presidential elections. For more from the songwriter, revisit our behind-the-scenes gallery at his "African Thriller" shoot and catch him on his upcoming European tour dates (listed underneath). Branches Of The Same Tree is available now from Cumbancha. Watch the music video for "Nairobi," premiering with us today, below.

Rocky Dawuni 2015 Tour Dates

Aug. 28 Copenhagen, DK Loppen

Aug. 30 Reykjavik, IS Gamla Bíó

Sep. 4 Nuuk, Greenland Katuaq

Sep. 9 Cologne, DE Underground Cologne

Sep. 10 Recklinghausen, DE Haltestelle

Sep. 11 London, UK 229

Sep. 12 Aarhus, DK Club V58

Sep. 19 Pasadena, CA Levitt Pavilion

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Ethic's Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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