HiPipo Music Awards 2016; Best Hip Hop Song Review

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Mohamed Kimbugwe

#HMA2016 HiPipo Music Awards; Vote Win & Drive A Convertible CAR.

TO VOTE | TYPE: HiPipo [Space] Category [Space] Artiste/Song and Send SMS to 6933.

HiPipo Music Awards are proudly sponsored by #MTNHollaLife.

Traditionally, Hip hop is a genre consisting of stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies a rhythmic and rhyming chant. Although many usually confuse Hip Hop with Rap, it is much broader than just rapping.

Internationally, Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx area.

Hip hop's early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum-machines became widely available and affordable. Turntablist techniques developed along with the breaks and the Jamaican toasting vocal style was used. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks along with an instrumental or synthesized beat.

Notable artists at that time include DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Marley Marl, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Whodini, the Fat Boys, and Spoonie Gee. The Sugarhill Gang's 1979 song "Rapper's Delight" is widely regarded to be the first hip hop record to gain widespread popularity in the mainstream.

The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed more complex styles.  Prior to the 1980s, hip hop music was largely confined within the United States. However, during the 1980s, it began its spread and became a part of the music scene in dozens of countries.

From a Ugandan perspective, Hip Hop kicked off when it was not much different from American Hip hop. Klear Kut and Bataka Squad breathed so much influence from American Hip Hop, much as the latter gave it a Ugandan feel, especially given that they also rapped in Luganda.

Much as the genre struggled in its early days given how alien it was perceived to be, such artists as Babaluku, Sylvester & Abramz as well as Navio held onto the Hip Hop grind, even when it looked like they were headed nowhere.

Artists like Rocky Giant, Mulekwa and GNL Zamba were later to popularize the genre, by giving it a typical Ugandan feel and tackling topics that Ugandans could identify with. Much as the likes of Babaluku and Navio “breastfed” Hip hop, the likes of Rocky and GNL gave it the mass market appeal.

Like the adage goes- the rest is history! Fast forward and here we are with Hip hop as a mature genre in the Ugandan music industry. Artists have over the years customized it and given it a local touch.

Some skeptics have often argued that some Ugandan rappers don’t qualify to be called Hip hop artists, but two things need to be understood. Hip hop is a dynamic genre that has taken on influence from other styles over the years. Much as some artists may not do typical Hip hop, when their style technically breathes from Hip hop, then their music must be considered Hip hop for categorization purposes.

Hip hop is not a static genre and has over the years continued to sound different from what it originally was. It is when you appreciate the fact enshrined in that non static state of hip hop, that you start to appreciate it in all its variations.

This category therefore hosts some of the best Hip hop songs in this music year; songs done in Hip hop in all its variations. From veterans to fresh blood, you’ll appreciate that these songs speak lots about the evolution of Hip hop in Uganda.

Let’s look first at Byayanga by Mun G. Just like most of his songs, Byayanga takes on a lighthearted approach to Hip hop, very synonymous with the Baboon forest revolution. This gives Hip hop a simpler approach, with emphasis put on a punch line that the listener can easily pick; and is known to appeal to youthful audiences.

Byayanga has had its fair share of airplay on radio, television and happening places all over the country. It has indeed kept Mun G in the game, at a time when many thought the Baboon generation of Hip hop artists was giving way to more dynamic artists.

Let’s then look at Empisa by Ruyonga Ft St. Nellysade & Nandujja. Just like earlier mentioned, a cocktail of Hip hop with other styles of music, especially folk music, can breed such beautiful music. Nadujja alongside Ruyonga and St. Nellysade is a pleasant cocktail that culminates in Empisa.

Next on the list is a song from a Ugandan Hip hop Legend. Kigozi (Iko Hivi) by Navio is in true keeping with this brother’s faithfulness to “real” Hip hop as opposed to what some may call sensationalism.

Then Omwoto by Gravity Omutujju! This song has stretched airwaves, thanks to Gravity’s energy and style of rap that makes his songs easy to grasp, sing along and obviously very tempting to dance to. It belongs to one of those aforementioned variations of Hip hop that are not so tied to the “original”, yet it is from that very aspect that it derives its strength.

Finally, we look at Sirina Malala by Victor Kamenyo. This comes in from a relatively fresh rapper, who has as much energy as gravity, yet also breathes from the Baboon generation, in terms of lightheartedness and choice of topics for his songs.

In all, this is a category that perfectly spells the word variety. It hosts artists with marked variation in style as well as songs with marked variation in nature.

#HMA2016 HiPipo Music AwardsVote Win & Drive A Convertible CAR.

TO VOTE | TYPE: HiPipo [Space] Category [Space] Artiste/Song and Send SMS to 6933.


HiPipo Music Awards are proudly sponsored by #MTNHollaLife.

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