The King Kaka I fell in love with is back and I am beyond excited! I’m talking about the King Kaka from Swahili Shakespear. He is a lyricist no doubt but the minimalist theme of music where the focus is the on the words rather than the beat is something I was pining for. I am a sucker for spoken word. The wordplay and dance of language between Sheng, English and Kiswahili that is the quintessence of our brand of slam poetry is delivered flawlessly in this track.
The minute you hit play, the saxophone draws you in. For about 30 seconds, that is all you hear, and it’s eerie enough to give you goosebumps. The slow motion visuals of a dancer in a dusty doorway and the lady in a white dress against a grey pallet set the mood of the song. You prepare yourself for the soberness of the song.
He begins with a punch, reminding us that he is king of the Kenyan hip hop scene. The first verse is a commentary on society. He casts his net wide on the social ills he addresses, from con religious leaders to skin bleaching among women. All the while the visuals moving from himself to the dancers in the background. The second verse finds him seated on his throne. Here, he narrates his life journey from his humble beginnings to his success as an artist. He continues to remind us that he is king of the game and his lyrical prowess is unmatched.
The verses that follow are a mix of what motivates him and commentary on society, this time with an inclination towards our country’s politics and its effects on the citizenry.
I love everything about this song. Kaka’s braggadocio, the effortless ryhme and the specks of wisdom in his punchlines.
This is definitely a track I will have on repeat for a while.