Wakadinali, a hip-hop duo consisting Scar and Domani, is shaking the Kenyan music industry with its ‘new age’ high-energy rap. They talk with Alfayo Onyango on their rising traction
You are touted as Kenya’s most promising hip-hop group. How do you respond to the claims?
We live up to the claims. We let our work speak for us.
What inspires you to delve so deep into real life narratives and not the braggadocio rap new era of hip-hop artistes are known for?
We are a product of our environment. We can only talk or rap about what we see and live through every day. For instance, our new jam, Mtoto Wa Mama, is a real life story that happened in the hood. Rest In Peace Shamir, another case of police brutality that was ignored.
Your videos and song titles are somehow the most graphic. Do you ever get warnings to tone them down?
Yes. Almost all the time. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we are not easily played on the mainstream media. Funny thing is that such language is common in Eastlando, where we come from. We get surprised when someone says we are too vulgar. To us, we do it for the East.
Coming from the East, does Khaligraph Jones influence you in any way?
We specifically come from Umoja and not Kayole as confused by many. We prefer to say we represent Eastlando as a whole, since we’ve lived in almost every part of Eastlands.
So, we have mastered the culture of each and every part of that part of town and that’s why we relate to its cultures. Khaligraph’s importance is not just seen in the hood, but generally in hip-hop and we’re grateful for that. He has really changed the game and we appreciate him for it.
Who are some of the artistes that inspire your craft?
First of all, our main inspiration is drawn from our daily lives. In music, we are our first inspiration (laughs), then Abbas Kubaff, Johnny Vigeti and the late E-Sir.
How would you rate your growth in this hip-hop game?
As far as rap is concerned, we are definitely the best pick in the game right now and everybody knows that. It has been a long tiresome journey to be where we are at this particular moment in time, but still we aren’t there yet. We are still figuring it out and we are doing that by believing in ourselves.
What are your ambitions for the 254 music industry?
More money in the game is what we are looking forward to, although we don’t do this entirely for the money.
Without bias, which acts would you love to collaborate with?
Honestly speaking, even judging from all our releases, we rarely collaborate. But this question may be answered in 2019 or beyond. Right now, collaborations are not our priority.
How have the legends embraced you compared to the new acts in the game?
Both sides are showing love, especially Abbas Kubaff and Kayvo Kforce. But as a matter of fact, we are drawing much of the love from new acts; they give us shows, interviews and what nots. And the love is mutual.
If you had power to change the music industry in Kenya, what would you do?
We just need some new fresh air in the game, by removing all ‘old heads’.