Uganda must have some of the most slept on music talents in Africa. We are a nation that is musically endowed especially in hip hop. Am not saying this because I am a Ugandan, or because I am affiliated with a couple of hip hop artists here or because I have participated in the industry? No. I am saying this because I take time and listen to music from all over the world but there is so much potential in our hip hop musicians here.
Today we talk about a young rapper called Maq Arnold. I have known Maq Arnold for a while, I’ve listened to him rap and I have listened to a couple of his songs. A few days ago a friend of mine another Hip Hop fanatic gave me Maq Arnold’s 2014 mixtape titled “Wadyz.” Knowing his potential, I did not wait and as soon as I got to my place I played it. And played it again. And played it again after that.
Now everyone that has heard of Maq Arnold and not taken time to listen to him, you owe the industry an apology. You are one of those people holding back our hip-Hop industry here in Uganda. We do not want to get “high on our own supplies” so we prefer music from outside the country. But am devoted to change that.
This guy Maq Arnold is gifted. The dude makes good urban music. I stress the ‘urban’ point in most of my music reviews because this is the music that is commercial enough to earn international recognition. The Nigerians and South African’s have gotten this and that’s why their music is dominating the continent. Maq Arnold has that feel of “with the proper management and promotion, he would be one of those artists that would break through and represent Uganda on a bigger stage.” We are still a developing nation and it would be unfair to start comparing our music to first world countries like the United States. While listening to this mix tape I kept my expectations at home, I compared him to other rappers from here. And to not much surprise, Maq Arnold seemed to stand out on a couple of areas that matter a great deal.
From his Wadyz mixtape I’d like to point out a particular song titled “My Lover.” I had this song on my computer way before the mixtape. It was an earlier released single off the mixtape. Talk of a hip hop musician that speaks to the ladies and I will present Maq Arnold on credit of this song. This song was beautifully written, produced and sang. It goes to show you that we not only have talented musicians, but we have producers that have the amazing gift of crafting unique styles. It being a mix tape am not sure if this is an original beat, but since I heard it on this track first, I’ll go on with this article hoping it is an original beat.
This song is so laid back it puts you in a relaxed listening mode where you are compelled by the flow and the lyrics. Maq Arnold is another one of those exceptions like Drake, “rappers who can sing.” I always picture a concert where ladies are in a trance because of this song. And they are losing their minds at how breathtakingly this song appeals to them. Maq Arnold got this one right in every aspect of the song. The concept is maintained throughout the lyrics and the points that need to be stressed are effortlessly stressed. On this song, well done Maq. It is a shame we live in a nation where real talent is hardly recognized. Listening to “My Lover” shows you that Maq is one of those musicians that are not trying to do what everyone is doing on our hip hop scene. He is creating his own style and on another song called Love No more, you feel this styling am talking about.
As a whole “My Lover” is an exceptional Ugandan song. Our style and creativity has not yet reached where Maq Arnold took us with this song. But we must appreciate the fact that this is an eye opener at the potential our industry has. It shows us that we are just looking for talent in all the wrong places. We just need to get the word out there, we need to support the industry. I recommend you get this mix tape and listen to exactly what I mean when I say this guy is talented. To the entire team that worked on this song, kudos. Maq Arnold keep doing your thing. It is a tough industry to break into but let your music define you and let it represent the unique art you are creating. “My Lover” is a pace setter, and from Maq we do not want to listen to anything that is not as good or better – No pressure.