By Harold Kapindu
One evening, I was watching South African VuzuTV’s V-Entertainment showbiz program where they were interviewing young up and coming artists, Emtee and Nasty C.
In the interview, Emtee said AKA is a “Full Package” Rapper in South Africa. Upon hearing the sentiments, something hit me and I started thinking, “Who is a full package rapper in Malawi?”
The immediate names that came in my mind were, Award winning Young Kay and Gwamba and Third Eye; this is when it all started getting deeper and darker.
At first, I didn’t want to write this piece for two reasons. Firstly, fear of creating unnecessary drama and giving idle Malawians something to do on twitter and secondly, fear of a backlash from rappers since most of them are good friends of mine.
But then I said, “Screw it”, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I have a right to express myself plus I have been there before. When my “How local Hip Hop made it on radio, where we stand in 2015” article was published, it attracted mixed reactions which to me was the whole idea because it was an opinion. Opinions are there to stir debates.
However, on a sad note, I noted that many people took it as a hard story or a feature. Some readers reached a point of saying my work was incomplete because it had no quotes. Now am not so sure if it’s me or someone else needs some education on the difference between a hard story and an opinion.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Am not going to dwell on all the mentioned rappers, rather this article will focus on Young Kay.
Now, why is Young Kay really a full package rapper in Malawi? I will try as much as possible lay brief facts on the other two rappers I have mentioned and go straight to Young Kay.
Gwamba is arguably the best rapper in this generation. He comes up with creative music concepts and he has smart business ideas. However, he has been criticized for not rapping in English, having a constant flow and not jumping on underground/raw beats. Although he has achieved a lot in his career, I personally don’t think he deserves the “Full Package” accolade.
On the other hand, I feel Third Eye is way too creative and futuristic that Malawians have never been ready for him. He is mostly misunderstood which means his line of thought is on another lane, an advanced lane. On this note, let me point out that if you listen to rappers like GZA, Rakim, Timbo King, Ras Kass, or Skyzoo then you can understand Third Eye music but if you listen to Drake, Tyga, Meek Mill or Nick Ninaj then please stay away from Third Eye music. It’s not for you.
I have been following Young Kay since 2004 when he dropped “Ride with me” under Pempho Kafoteka and Kenneth Gondwe’s Rush Records. This was way back before “Anankabango” was released. I have seen him recording in the studio and performing on stage and I doubt if there is anybody who can doubt his energy in performances. Young Kay is a skilful and diverse rapper with a sex appeal to the ladies.
Young Kay can rap on a raw beat; bubble gum beat and kills all types of Hip Hop from Underground to Commercial. Here is a rapper who gave you “Anankabango” and “So gone”, two dope tracks but different altogether.
Since, we are talking about having a full package, I understand he now owns a graphics company as well which is a good move in this modern industry where a song is released with an artwork for online promotion.
Tactically, unlike most rappers, Young Kay can switch styles depending on the beat. Listen to “Photo Book” and “Get it straight” and hear the difference in the raps. Secondly, he fuses English and vernacular and delivers a coherent verse. He is good at freestyles too. Freestyle rappers are the most respected rappers in Hip Hop music.
Let’s face it, the guy has one of the best albums in the country, “First Impression”, a Best Hip Hop artist Award, a critically acclaimed best mixtape with Cyclone “Pauchidolo”, performed at Big Brother show and his longevity cannot be argued.
How about Dare Devils? I know some might be asking. Well, this article is about a “Full package” rapper and not a group. In this regard, they don’t qualify.
On a lighter note, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Classicks for winning the MTVBase “Malawi’s Hottest MC 2015” Twitter polls.