KENYAN CREATIVES FAIL THEIR OWN
In one week, Black Coffee’s remix to Alicia Keys’ “In Common” will have hit 200K listens against Kenya’s DJ Xpect remix of the same which has steadily risen to just above 41K. It’s more painful to say that Coffee was actually the last to upload.
I believe Coffee’s remix would be the best even to non-critical ears but as a Kenyan, I’d have loved to see our own thrash that. But chances aren’t as likely.
The only joke in this scenario is that a people bound by such strong values as ethnicity, Kenyans never seem to know when to pull their affirmative action card-unless you’ve somehow-already managed to make it out there on your own. Then you’re their Lupita and Obama.
Buddha Blaze would agree that we need to like Xpect’s remix just for Kenya’s representation on a global platform. But no, at least two Nairobi DJs not only liked but also shared and heavily complimented Black Coffee’s remix for their predominantly Kenyan audience to see. Not even a #DjXpect #hashtag.
I get it but I also don’t because you could be a Black Coffee fan but here is an opportunity to put your country on the map by liking a fakin video. But some dark vibes won’t let you love your country. So you swap your artistic hat for a faceless position of a cultural identity refugee among South Africans and Black Coffee’s worldwide fan base.
It sucks that the DJs that shared Coffee’s remix both have brands that they’d expect to be supported by Dj Xpect as a Kenyan DJ in New York. But no, they decide to be a crack on a wall instead of rooting for #DjXpect for #Nairobi for #Kenya.
I mean, the comment section is South Africans going crazy in Xhosa about their own-I bet they don’t even care who else is in the competition. Then on the other side, a Kenyan DJ trying to get recognition in Nairobi is ignoring a homeboy who strategically needs his hand holding in New York.
Shit like that is why you hear things like how can we create a Kenyan sound? While some have submitted to the idea that Kenya cannot have a musical identity of its own, one is left wondering what happened to Harambee? Do we even care about togetherness anymore?
Your mandate as a creative is to change the status quo. When you don’t encourage a homie in cultural need, how do expect the same from them? Creating is not duplicating. So when you abandon your homeboy to support South Africa, you are a poor soul needing adoption. But you can’t be adopted because you don’t have an original story to tell.
So Black Coffee wins, SA gets more traction on the global music scene, Xpect is disappointed and you still push a Mixcloud account and beg for free gigs in Nairobi. Who has benefitted? Not Kenya and not you…evidently.