Khaligraph Jones latest project has him teaming up with the greats of yesterday.
“To those who don’t know, these are the real OGs who made it possible for me to be here today,” he wrote on Instagram.
Papa Wemba is a seven-minute track that allows us to enjoy some of the most animated, talented and iconic emcees who colour Kenya’s music culture. The cast is dressed in their sharpest black fits, replete with tinted out sunglasses.
Khaligraph’s platform is arguably one of the biggest at the moment, a fitting space for the largest personalities from our history.
Omollo has a gift for picking the best of the past and future – and finding just the right way to situate it in the present.
His previous project, Khali Cartel 4, brought out future ones to watch for. With Papa Wemba, he speeds the past into the current. It is an impressive trick from Khaligraph, acting as a time traveller for the listener.
In Papa Wemba, Khaligraph has moved through decades, skimming confidently through the foundational talents.
The OG is our avatar of infinite possibilities, our concierge to the remade world, where Kenyan artists share the lunch and add more seats to the table, where creativity and sustainability are possible.
For the collaborators, they rise to the monumental task of showing us why they dominated in their respective reigns. Each verse, in its competitive nature, has shown ability in skill and metrics lyrically and musically.
Chiwawa returns with his iconic flow, reminding the Hip Hop world of why he was once regarded as one of the top prospects in rap. UB shows determination, grit and a cocksure aura.
Zakah creates a cultural watershed moment, bringing back gritty gangster rap. The chemistry between Visita and Kenrazy remains unmatched, and watching them weave between each other’s verses is magical.
Mchizi Gaza shines with Party Next Door vibes, doing something for the ladies.
For Agano, the writing is on the wall that he will present a virtuoso performance. The bevvy of cultural street hits from this team amasses on this collaboration. When such artistic enterprises happen, it is the culture that wins.
Papa Wemba is about Kenyan creative culture, a contribution to the country’s rap history and homage to all of the great music and personalities that have come from it.
For all his outlier and artistic qualities, Khaligraph Jones embodies the zeitgeist of his liminal age.
The age of collaboration, the democratization of creative spaces and the slow-death of the unethical gatekeepers. In other words: Get in loser, we’re going into a new age of Kenyan creative culture.