5 THINGS ‘2016 UG HIP HOP’ NEEDS

Honest Producers / studio owners

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Most rap careers in Uganda are killed before they even start. Producers take rappers money and either never give them their music or give them shitty quality music. How do I know this? I was a victim, my friends have been victims and we all know a number of such producers. Therefore, for the sake of the industry in 2016, we need producers and studio owners to stop being thugs. I know a producer whose studio was fast growing till the thuggery began and rappers abandoned ship – you don’t want to be this guy.

Cross-Genre Collaborations

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Navio & Yung Mulo (Scene from “Omu Ko Mu” Video)

Let’s face the harsh truth for a minute; Hip Hop in Uganda is growing, but only in some parts of Kampala. Why? We have dance-hall and our very own Kidandali dominating and the artists in these genres keep it exciting with the so much music they put out there.

Some of Navio’s most locally successful songs have had some of these artists, remember “Omu ko mu” with Yung Mulo? – How sick was that! I understand Hip Hop is for the cool cats but if we must grow, we need to ride on their local dominance till we can safely detach and land on both feet. Let this be a mission for 2016.

Dedicated Fans & Support Groups

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Fans. The fans are probably the biggest disappointment in Ugandan Hip Hop. It’s mad love for Drake and J Cole even AKA but none for the lyricists we have here. Do not get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with preferring to download a Drake jam than a Ruyonga song. But the problem comes when you have so much Lil Wayne and so little Enygma, and you wish to have your opinion respected in a UG Hip Hop argument! I’ve seen such and we all know such half-wits.

Stop comparing US rappers to UG Rappers – different cultures breed different styles. And also stop calling rappers “wanna-bes” for Christ’s sake. Everyone draws inspiration from somewhere, everyone has a role model. The same kid calling you a “wanna-be” is the same kid whose Facebook username is “Breezy Senyonga Bieber,” the irony in what they are and what they call you is thicker than sibling’s blood.

We need to learn to consume our own music as much as we consume Drake’s. And if you are not a dedicated consumer, keep your opinion on the low, in fact you better not even think it. Have an informed opinion before you comment.

Support Groups, here I mean writers, bloggers, photographers, press, radio personalities, TV show hosts and you the artists yourselves.

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So Severe

If we can all, in our different capacities and niches contribute to give the Hip Hop scene more exposure and better support, 2016 will see this industry turn around. I am a writer, I read other writer’s blogs and novels, I tweet their works and share their links, why can’t you artists do the same. Where is the love?

We have had beef in the US start because someone didn’t tweet someone’s album or single, well, let’s be better, let’s tweet and share links, let’s buy albums, let’s turn up for launches and concerts – if Atlas can have the most anticipated music events of the year, why not you the underground rapper walking to So Severe about to hand him your single for airplay.

RnB Crooner

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It is fabled that every hip hop hook that has Chris Brown or Trey Songz or Usher or Jeremih is spelled to stick in your head for Months after you first hear it. Well, it definitely cannot be just the US that has such talented male vocalists, we ought to have an undiscovered one around here. 2016 is the time for this dude or these dudes to come up and play their role in nurturing the industry.

I am not mentioning the female vocalists because the industry is gifted with so many brilliant female vocalists and it’s a bit frustrating that they don’t involve them as much. Am talking Ivory Namara, Essie, Sonny Soweez, and Martha Smallz etc…

Award Show

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If you are competing for nothing, there will be no pressure to do better. Let’s throw in an annual award show where we celebrate the artists that have dominated, the artists that have masterminded great music, the producers, video directors, writers, radio and TV personalities that have supported the industry.

I perfectly understand that we are not yet there, but if Tucker HD is named rapper of the year I don’t see how the big boys won’t step up to the challenge and claim that crown the next year. I don’t see how a new artist won’t put in the work to ensure that he gets it next year.

However, this means that you rappers need to work to death this year, create music, give us albums, give us mix tapes, give us videos and give us something to look forward to.

Finally, we all need to understand that the only way this industry can grow, the only way the artists can make money from their careers and sign endorsements, sell out shows and perform for bigger worldwide stages; is if we learn to appreciate what they work hard to deliver. Again, don’t get me wrong here; you are allowed to criticize, you are allowed to give negative feedback, but don’t be an a**, be insightful as you comment on their music.

Let’s see get to work.

  1. Shouts out to “THE HIP HOP FAMILY” probably one of the (if not the) biggest UG Hip Hop groups on social media uniting the artists and the fans. We need more of these focus groups that keep discussions going.

  2. There are new artists that need help from the already established ones. It’s one family, let’s work together.

  3. Beef is good, but not all is good. Choose your steak carefully.

  4. New artists need a little bit more discipline. Respect those that did it first and learn from them.

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