There are just three things I consider myself good at in this world; Tearing through Chapo, Skipping morning classes, and Pointing Out Good Music. See, I listen to a lot of music – local, especially – and there are those that make me smile; and then there are those that make me want to shoot myself in the nuts. I can smell talent a mile away. For instance, 90% of Kenyans only recently came to know of Vicmass Luodollar; after he did the ‘Bank Otuch’ remix with Octopizzo. But I had heard of the guy even before Obama flew down here. Same applies to Jay A; most guys only knew him after ‘Dumbala’. Me? I had listened to his first track – ‘Clap yo hands – even before I stepped out of high school. I remember telling a couple of my classmates the kid would be a star and they would look at me the way Americans now look at supporters of Donald Trump; like I was batshit.
A few weeks ago – on a lazy Thursday afternoon – I walk into an apartment in Juja belonging to a friend of mine. Warm fellow, sharp as a serial killer’s blade. He comes from Coasto; which means he says words like ‘Kakangu’ a helluva lot. The first thing I see as I take my seat on the couch is a tall Sheesha pot, peeping from the kitchen door; which totally makes me want to blow a few smokes, but I hold myself back. You don’t go into someone’s house and just right walk into the kitchen. There is a small keyboard on the table, a couple medium-sized speakers at either ends, a laptop at the centre, and a microphone lying lazily beside it. He has another friend over; an overly tall dark man with the humility of a pregnant bee. They’re logged onto YouTube, sampling a couple tracks of his (my host’s) latest E.P. His name is Rashid Beduni; but he goes by Rash Raww. A music Producer, as well as an Artist.
Rash was in Germany for the better part of the last three months of 2015 on a school project. Says he enjoyed himself. That the activities were fun. And the people were amazing. And the food was kick ass. I want to chime in, “I bet they don’t make better Chapos than ours, aye?” But, instead, what I find myself asking is, “And Racism?” Says he, personally, wasn’t a victim and neither did he witness any traces of it. At least where he was. So we can assume the Germans are cool peoples. I ask him how the German mamis were and he refuses to comment. Says he was too busy. I ask, “Doing what?” And he says, “Making music.”
Apparently, while in Germany, Rash Raww ran into 5 other really cool chaps – including one very beautiful lady – with the same passion and drive in music as his; Christian F⍤rster (Germany), Keyboard P (Germany), Lynn (Germany/Phillipines), Mattan (Mattan), and Chidi (Nigeria/Germany). It may also be of note that Chidi sings in the African Gospel Choir, ‘Voice Of Joy’, whereas Mattan says he’s a Rapper working on solo projects – including an L.P – under the artist name ‘Mein Name ist Nase’. Don’t beat yourself up, I don’t know what that means either.
Anyway, so the six of them hooked up at the studio many a night and, at the end of it all, they had a six track – five, out of which, were produced by Rash Raww here – E.P. to show for it. And because they met in Flensburg, they decided to release the E.P under the collective name, ‘Friends In Flens’. And they named the E.P, ‘ONE’.
So I asked Rash to play me the E.P and he did. And we listened in silence, and the other guy and I offered our criticisms and opinions where we deemed fit. Rash switches between English and Swahili throughout the whole E.P while the rest of the guys rap and sing mostly in German, with a little English here and there. The E.P has a smooth feel with free-flowing easy to comprehend lyrics; save for the German parts. It’s sort of like a Sunday afternoon playlist. It’s a collection of soft tracks that you listen to when your mind is at peace; probably when you’re laid out on the sand, facing the beach, glasses blocking your eyes from the sun, and a bottle of sting Whiskey standing boldly beside you. My personal favorite in the E.P is the track ‘My Name.’ Simply because, in it, the guys ask, “When I’m gone, would you remember my name?”
“So, why the name ‘ONE’ though?” I ask soon as we’re done.
“Well, because the whole point of the E.P is to promote peace and oneness throughout the entire world,” says Rash. “We may have different colors on our skin; we may speak different languages; we may come from different parts of the universe; but what we MUST never forget is that, at the end of the day, we are all ONE people,” he adds.
I mean, look at it this way, blacks are being shot down in the streets of America like stray dogs every minute; innocent law-abiding Muslims are being treated as terror suspects even here in Kenya; Trump has vowed to kick Mexicans out of the States if he comes to power; yet we all just smile and drink and dine and make merry and post Facebook statuses of Game Of Thrones like it doesn’t matter. Like the world isn’t coming to a rot. Some people drive while the rest of us here walk; some like Pizza and others like yours truly here love Chapos; some women want tall, dark and handsome men while others just want chaps with dreams; some guys want women with big tits, others like us just want women who can make kick ass Chapos.
But, beneath all our individual differences, we are all the Same; we are all ONE.
Be so kind as to preview the E.P via this LINK.