My make-up application ritual always involves trap music.
Ladies, I’m sure you agree with me that, similar to the shower, the face-beat operation usually offers a unique out-of-body experience! It is during this brief period of beautification at the start of the day that we pick our brains and undertake world issues. 😀 It was in the process of filling in my right eyebrow a
nd assessing immigration reform while jamming to ‘Chali ya Ghetto’ that I committed to the opinion that KHALIGRAPH JONES IS REALLY DOPE! The last time I shared my two-cents on the industry, somebody called me “Tinkerbell with an opinion.” Regardless, I’m going to pick up where I left off, drop my usual bomb, and watch from inside my porch as you hurt yourselves wreck havoc upon each other. 😛
1) He Reminds Everyone of Someone.
I’m listening to ‘Yego’ right now as I write, switching tabs at intervals to catch glimpses of the video and thinking “Khaligraph is a beast”. We each struggle to remember whom, but Khaligraph bears the complete image of that one Luo guy we all went to high school with. He reminds everybody of someone they knew in 2006, and there’s something fraudulent about him that we absolutely hate that we love. There’s a defiance about the way he still wears pants that are slightly over-sized and Major League Baseball fitted caps. He’s the much older cousin that we each aspired to be as kids – the one who was slightly overweight as a kid; obese even and never sounded like he was from around here. He grew taller every two months, and remained a little bottom heavy. He went to get his ears pierced early on and then discovered something he was great at. Women began to flock to him.
2) His grasp of the accent!!!
This is the reason you can’t keep him out of your mouth as a Kenyan. He’s a fraud, and he’s stubborn with it. Our favourite boy from Kayole has mastered the New York City accent that I’ve been struggling to learn since the summer of 2015, and speaks in it entirely. Kenyans are obsessed with accents. We love to dissect them, and on either end of the ‘twenging’ or ‘shrubbing’ spectrum, you’re equally damned if you do as if you don’t. As a linguistics major who promises never to get technical here, allow me to gush about his mastery of this dialect: his commitment to its linguistic features, producing them consistently and (semi)expertly despite having never grown up nor lived in its speech community? I whined about Nairobi artists lacking authenticity in the #nunairobi post. The authenticity points that he loses in his ‘Compton-ese’ he gains and surpasses in his Sheng finesse. He thus remains relevant to majority Kenyan Hip hop culture and ingeniously weaves oodles and oodles of Nairobi ghetto goodness into the global reach of Hip hop.
3) His accent tweak is not new to the world of Music (He’s just like other International musicians).
There’s something that skews many rappers around the world towards the linguistic province of African American vernacular. It’s been discussed by many serious ladies in funny glasses around the world who care too much about the way people speak.
Me and my friends Panels have created binary lists of British rap artists; of those who incorporate UK grime slang versus those who converge to American slang, and demystified the cultural and phonetic reasons for the variation. We They have broken down all the branches of linguistics to speculate on the reasons why Iggy Azalea doesn’t sound Australian when she raps and Adele British when she sings and why UB40, a group consisting of white middle-aged British men could pass for Jamaican over the radio. My point is that musicians everywhere manipulate their delivery and deviate from their local pronunciations as one tool among others to construct the multifaceted, multicultural medium that is music.
Of course in Nairobi, accents only ever become an issue with the people of the Internet when the Kenyan is sounding American. Nobody’s flinches when Redsan operates in Caribbean Patois.
4) He bleached and then rapped about it.
Ronjey, a kindred spirit of mine (I wonder if he knows it) uttered what was on my mind in an update recently that stated, in reference to Khaligraph Jones’ bleaching “scandal” : “what if i bleached and [it] raised my self esteem, why aren’t you happy for me.” This concretized my opinion that where another’s esteem is involved, it doesn’t hurt to put your politics and terminologies aside to allow a subjugated person to self define. And the fact that he’s so unapologetic…
We pay lip service against body modification, yet we show up with contoured noses and synthetic pieces in our hair and lashes that proclaim our arrival when they bat, even before we are visible.
5) His musical prowess!!!
I was about to hurt myself with an amateur technical breakdown of his music but I know it in my heart that I might ruin it for you. If you haven’t heard his stuff, like, where have you been? Start with ‘Micasa Sucasa’ because that’s where I did, and then move backward. I used to wonder… Does his allure lie in his embodiment of the classic hip-hop liturgy – of the ghetto kid who hustled hard and became a superstar – or is he just better than everyone else? But now I know the answer.
P.S. If you’re looking for a music review or an advertising proposal, please contact me through my email, rather than in the comments.