The Events Kahuna Recap – This is How Redsan’s ‘The Baddest’ Album Launch Went Down

Nairobi Underground The Events Kahuna Recap – This is How Redsan's 'The Baddest' Album Launch Went Down

Singer announces 17-track album, released on Songa Music App.

Kenyan King of Dancehall and Sony Music artist, Redsan has released his fifth studio album. Billed as ‘The Baddest’, the dancehaller premiered the album on Saturday night during the official launch party held at The Carnivore Grounds.

Touted as the biggest album launch Kenyans are set to witness in 2018, the concert featured Jamaican Dancehall artist Demarco and special performances by Nigerian pop diva Tiwa Savage and Kenyan hip hop giant Khaligraph Jones.

The night opener was NRG Radio’s deejay showcase with comedian Njugush and media personality Amina Rabar hosting. Backed by ZJ Heno, rapper Khaligraph Jones was the first act on stage. Rocking a black leather jacket, white tee, black jeans and matching black and white rubber shoes, the towering Khali kicked off his performance with Rayvanny collaborated single, ‘Chali Ya Ghetto.’

The pair (Heno and Jones), who have worked together on multiple occasions before, took revelers through Khaligraph Jones hit songs before Timmy Tdat jumped on stage to seal the night with their ‘Kasayole’ collaboration.  Ahead of the launch, Redsan had indicated, “I have worked with Khaligraph before and we happen to share a similar vision. His dream to take Kenyan music to the world is the same as mine from 24 years ago when I started my career.” Unfortunately, when it comes to live rap shows we must admit we need to really find the amazing element of what live rap used to be back in the days.

DJs Shawn and Xclusive picked the crowd up again with an amazing hip hop set, constantly cutting the beats and the audience performing half the lyrics, word for word. Dohty Family’s, Kriss Darlin was tasked with the interlude reggae set before welcoming Demarco on stage. His intoxicating intro of Damian Marley’s ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ sends the crowd into a frenzy.

Nairobi Underground The Events Kahuna Recap – This is How Redsan's 'The Baddest' Album Launch Went Down

The writer, The Events Kahuna aka Vincent Embukane Libosso at The Baddest Album Launch. Photo / Safaricom PLC

Demarco’s deejay blasting some of his cutting-edge tunes, shouting patois and the addition gunfire drumbeats, Demarco bursts right on stage. The crowd transforms the arena into a seriously rude dancing Passa Passa like party in Jamaica. Demarco’s excitement banter with his deejay on whether he can dance or not excites. Proving the deejay wrong, Demarco invokes some serious moves from the infamous Bogle dance. His set pays homage to legends like Chaka Demus and Pliers, as well as Bob Marley.

Demarco has over the years truly found an ear for melody and his incredible lyrical technique makes him a dancehall legend. His attempt to get girls on stage to do the ‘Puppy Tail’ dance gets a shrug from the crowd whose ‘Tiwa Savage’ chants weighs the dancehaller down. He ends his set with his Afro-dancehall collab, ‘No Wahala’ that featured Akon and Runtown. But his redemption would soon come. Ahead of the launch, Redsan hinted, “I am bringing my long term friend Demarco who I have also collaborated with in the album as the event’s main feature.”

Next on stage was the queen of afrobeats, Nigerian Tiwa Svage. Despite her recent tweets after her performance indicating her bills had not been sorted, a confused album launch normally signals a huge flop. But that is a story for another day.

Arguably, the night belonged to Tiwa Savage. The star has unarguably earned a place on the stage of Nigerian acts pushing for international acclaim. Her Nairobi performance at The Baddest Launch picks up from her highly successful first headline concert in the United Kingdom, The Savage Tour. Her road deejay was first on stage captivating the crowd with some Afrobeat tunes before welcoming the queen herself in her Cinderella outfit glam.

Backed by her band and dancers, Savage musical cocktail excites. In between her set, she is joined by her entourage on stage and what a eye-opener to see two tough-looking guys break off and do the ‘Shaku Shaku’ and ‘Gwara Gwara’ dance moves, then in the mix of crowd chants, return to their postions like nothing has happened.

Adding on reigning Nigerian Pop Queen, Redsan notes: “Tiwa Savage was an easy choice for me because she is one of the ladies I really admire in the Afro Beats scene and plans to work with her are already underway.”

On Saturday night, Redsan dedicated the album launch to his fans and paid tribute to the music legends who made an appearance like Jua Cali, Nameless and Sauti Sol. His set was energetic, rekindling his journey from back in the day with hits like ‘Julie’ to the recent ‘Whine Up’; backed by amazing dancers, a live band a surprise reggae performance from the dancehaller who did a cover from the legendary Gregory Isaacs before welcoming Demarco on stage to seal the nigh with their ‘Badder Than Most’ collab, Demarco earning his redemption back. Redsan final crowd selfie and he was out!

Nairobi Underground The Events Kahuna Recap – This is How Redsan's 'The Baddest' Album Launch Went Down

Redsan selfie at The Baddest Launch. Image by Mookh Africa

The Baddest album—Redsan’s fifth then went live on Safaricom’s Songa App right after his performance, packed by 17 tracks including collaborations with Jamaican acts Demarco and Naila (formely of Brick & Lace), Kenyan songstress Yvonne Darc, Tanzanian fast rising artist Ervix and Ugandan heavy weight Jose Chameleone. Redsan speaking about the album noted, “I’ve always felt the need to collaborate with likeminded artists who see beyond one region and go on to establish international brands,” adding, “My album is set to take Kenyans to the world.”

The after-party would see DJ Wesley play till the wee hours of the morning picking up from his earlier mash-up with Kriss Darlin.

The Baddest album launch was supported by Skiza, NTV, NRG, Pulse Live, MoSound, Vivo Energy, Light Photography, Extra Dimensions, Inchcape Kenya and Anyiko PR.

Photos sourced from the #TheBaddest Hashtag on Twitter.