The recent backlash following DJ Pinye’s interview on The NRG Breakfast Club took the internet by storm-something he probably never saw coming. The iconic turntablist’s assertion on the prevailing wave of Kenyan music rubbed many the wrong way, with a myriad stakeholders expressing their dissatisfaction with what they considered subjective opinions from who could be considered an integral part of Kenyan pop culture.
On the flip side, given his long tenure in the music industry,Pinye definitely had a point. The Kenyan showbiz was all the rave back when Calif and Ogopa reigned supreme. Here are events that defined pop culture a little more than a decade ago:
Chaguo La Teeniez Awards
An annual event that sought to bring together the then hottest artistes and millenials, ChaT Awards was the epitome of a vibrant and sprouting industry. From Prezzo making a historic grand entrance from Wilson Airport to Carnivore in a chopper, to risque performances and red carpet appearances awash with the early ’00s fashion, ChaT Awards was on a roll.
Calif Records and Ogopa Deejays
What do you expect of two top record labels that housed the biggest names in Genge and Kapuka? Nothing short of a record-shattering reputation. The two rival labels churned relentless hits ,way before foreign music took over and albeit became a hit with the unsuspecting Kenyan audience. There would not be a Nonini, Jua Cali or Amani if Calif and Ogopa were not existent.
Nameless and Amani Carrying the Day at the 2009 MAMAs
They were the biggest artistes of 2009, so sweeping the coveted Best Male and Best Female categories was an absolute full circle moment. Headlined by Akon and Wyclef Jean,and held in the country for the first time that year, the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards was a major highlight, not to mention that Nameless and Amani’s wins came just after Wahu’s maiden win. Another probable highlight, Akon and Wyclef pulling down their pants on stage to the utter shock of the audience?
The Arch Nemeses, Jaguar and Prezzo
What do you make of two rappers who do not see eye to eye and are constantly hurling jabs at each other? That was Prezzo and Jaguar’s relationship back in the day. From subliminals about who was richer than the other, or whose riches could be attributed to inheritance, it was the proverbial gift that kept on giving.
The Longomba Brothers
We will forever have to thank Lovi and Christian for the catchy,timeless hits and high-adrenaline choreography. The Congolese-Kenyan duo gave us Vuta Pumz among other bangers that still give us nostalgia to date. They are indisputably one of the best acts that Ogopa ever produced whose music was a mega hit with the ladies!