Boomkat Product Review:
Sickest Kenyan drill/genge/rap crud from DJ Iche, racking up her first international release with Nyege Nyege Tapes’s rogue sibling, Hakuna Kulala
Unflinchingly upfront and echoing the viral US/UK sound, but mostly rapped in Bantu Swahili, ’Nai Yetu’ is an unmissable introduction, where needed, to the world of Kenyan urban music. It stars a stellar roll call of Mombassa’s hottest drill rappers; Natty, Buruklyn Boyz, Dyana Cods, Jovie Jovv, Da Vaji, Tulia, Wakandinali, Mbogi Genje - as well as select cuts of the more dancefloor-primed Gengetone sound from the likes of Mbogi Genje / SWAT/ Kenya Sihami/ Oksyde, and contemporary Kenyan “urban”, such as Nah Eeto / Monski/ Oksyde ft. Ares66 - BAZUU/ Mastar VK, for 74 minutes of properly crucial listening.
At the helm is DJ Iche, a central player in Mombassa, whose production and singing is heard across her mix, bridging the related but distinctive styles, and toggling the pressure in a way that mirrors the road-level heat and molten flows that links southside Chicago to London’s north/south sounds and Brooklyn right now. Like the Ghanaian drill styles showcased by the likes of Shannen SP in the UK, DJ Iche’s take on the genre portrays the young Kenyan sound at its most rugged, replete with icy minor key motifs and transfixing glyding basses, but also leaning into killlller bits juggling jungle and drill and its Gengetone parallels unique to Kenya.
Trust it’s 100% flames.