Prezzo is Kenyan. However, he has so much love for Tanzania in such a way that in a number of times he is confused [by music fans] to be the kid from Jakaya’s home. It works well for him. An artist shouldn’t have boundaries.
It’s no surprise; therefore, he is launching his latest single on a Tanzanian based digital music selling platform, Mkito. To him, Tanzania is home. He once almost found love in the land of peace and harmony before the dramatic scandals fueled by misuses of social media.
Enough stories. Here is his latest single Bila Mundai [I have no clue what Mundai means]. Listen,download and tell your friend to get it as well.
For a little while, Diamond Platinumz is what we’ll be talking about. Over the weekend, in Johannesburg-South Africa he broke the record for becoming the first East African artists to win 3 Channel O Music Awards in one night. He deserves it. He is presently running the show with hit songs and the kind of music that makes people feel good. They are the kind of songs that helps him enjoy the maximum shares of the African music market at the moment.
But as much as we talk about Diamond, we shouldn’t forget the folks that help him learn and appreciate the art of learning how to survive and succeed. I am talking about his management; as seen in the photo above. I have been lucky enough to deal with all of them while coordinating one of his international tours. Diamond is managed by multiple personalities. He has closed doors advisers that I am aware of but wouldn’t want to name them here.
It therefore didn’t surprise to hear him thanking his management over and over again during his award receiving speeches and even in his social media accounts. These fellas work hard behind him. They sometimes pushes the buttons too hard but as long as they get the work done, they deserve acknowledgement and praises. There is no way Diamond would have done what he has managed to do so far without having a team behind.
From left it is Salam, Babu Tale and Mkubwa Fella who announced recently that he is joining political party politics under CCM wing. Therefore, as you congratulate Diamond, don’t forget these fellas who works just as hard to push forward not only Diamond’s music but rather generation X’s music to the global stage.
If you have never jammed to Mr.Blue’s Pesa, I am sorry to inform you that you missed the fun of hip-hop and you are encouraged to do it asap. It’s one of dopest songs from Mr.Blue an artist who adopted the name Blue after his hit single Blue in which he proclaimed his love for color “blue”.
I remember about a year and half ago when “Pesa” became one of the testing songs at MwanaLizombe Records [Professor Jay’s studio]. As speakers, microphones were put to the test, Pesa [and couple classics from Motown to Death Row] came handy. I loved and still love the song. Producer Dunga [who assisted a lot in putting things together at MwanaLizombe] also enjoyed the heavy beat of Pesa.
I am therefore happy to see that I can finally watch the video for this song that without a doubt brought Mr.Blue back to the hip hop level he deserves to be seating on. Watch
Queen B is about to “break the internet” for real. Well…kinda off. This is how; her latest song titled Ring Off is said to have leaked online and thousands of fans are already jamming to it. According to multiple sources including Hollywood Life, the song became available in couple of platforms before SME worked hard into pulling it off.
Have you heard it? Goodluck with Google and you may be able to..
In 1992, the historical UDASA Hall at The University Of Dar-es-salaam, witnessed the beginning of the revolution. A young and skinny man approached the microphones with a quiet air of authority, and yet of rare warmth. He introduced himself as Nigga Jay. It was his first live performance on stage before a “live” audience.
Fortunately or unfortunately for him, his first live audience comprised of scholars. While they could be tolerant as Jesus, given a reason, hell could easily break loose. I bet you “Mr.Punch” was in attendance. It could easily turn to be a date with King Kong!
Even though scholars are known to be in the “know” for almost everything, that evening was different. Only Nigga Jay and his friend Killa B knew that hidden piece of the puzzle. Nigga Jay was making a debut. In the eyes of a curious and “let’s wait and see” audience, he carried himself with confidence of a healthy young man who has never been hurt. He had the confidence level of a lion although deep inside, he was nervous like a pre-teen fella who just woke up in the morning to find his bed sheets wet!
He was an upcoming artist with unbelievable talent. He was an underground artist with a vividly inventive mind. On that stage at UDASA, when the microphones were turned on, he proved to be the new wizard of “tongue twist” the style he had adopted from US based Rap/Hip Hop groups such as Run DMC and Public Enemy.
Few seconds after he started, there was no movement, not even the whisper of a sound. It was amazing. At such a young age, he was like a teacher you don’t often get to see. When you see him, it’s going down. When the show ended, scholars with curious minds, satisfied and overly excited approached him. He was their new “subject”. How in the world do you manage to do that? He was climbing the ladder directing to big-players club.
If everything started at the “Hill”, where academic achievements can earn you additional letters before your name [Dr.Prof etc], its no big surprise that years later he earned himself the stage name; Professor Jay. His title, however, came didn’t come from the “hill”. His came from his fans after seeing his vividly inventive mind and natural given talent as a lyrical genius.
Before he adapted “Professorship” title, he was, as I mentioned earlier, Nigga Jay. Then his fans [and himself] gave him “street baptism” with names such as Jay Wa Mitulinga, Mti Mkavu, Heavy Weight MC, Daddy, Mchawi Wa Rhymes, MC Shupavu, Mr.President, Jiizeh, Mr.Red Carpet, Tough Wallet, Jay Tunakuzimia, Sauti ya Hela…the list goes on and on.
All those names followed the name his parents [Mzee Leonard Steven Haule and Late Mama Rose Majanjara] gave him when he was born on 29th December 1975. They called him Joseph Leonard Haule. He was to be educated at Ukonga Primary School, Kigurunyembe Secondary School [Morogoro] and Lutengano High School [Mbeya].
At all levels of school, Professor Jay was a friend everyone wanted to have in their circles. He had [and still has] a striking exotic quality people were attracted to. He would make people laugh and smile. In fact, a lot of people thought he was going to be a stand-up comedian. He gives credits to his schooling years as places where he honed his writing and rapping skills. According to him, school gave him sheer organizational muscles especially on power of words. A typical success type.
After school, Professor Jay [still Nigga Jay] knew he wanted to be an artist [a musician]. Back to the city, utterly likable and utterly competent, he thought of starting the “movement” with a winning team. Drums sounds better in pairs.
Between late 1994 and early1995, with his easy style and collegial, he joined Hard Blasterz Crew [HBC] the hip-hop group based in East Upanga [a well to do neighborhood then]. It occurred that Professor joined HBC at the right time. Three of original members of HBC [Frank Korassa,Ngida and Tough Jam] had left the group for US for further studies [and life]. HBC was left with Big Willy and Terry [Fanani]. They needed someone to energize the group that was already known to be one of the best in East Africa. Nigga Jay was the right choice.
Even before joining HBC, Professor had written a lot of songs. HBC wanted to make an album. So his written materials came handy. But do they start writing new stuff or tap into what Professor Jay had it on paper? The logical answer was almost obvious. They could use some of his materials.
The idea of using Professor’s written materials, however, wasn’t easily accepted. The argument was, how could a newcomer become almost the “king” of verses? The strangeness was, therefore, somehow threatening. You have to know by that time, HBC was regarded as the best Hip-Hop group in Tanzania and beyond. That title and emblem stayed on for years and got even better when Professor came aboard.
They settled to include some of the songs he had written. These were likes of Mamsap, Eeh Mola, Kubwa Kuliko and Chemsha Bongo. The album was given the title, Funga Kazi. A young producer, Prof. Ludigo, who had just come back home from Philadelphia, was to take charge of their first album. He played a big role in convincing Big Willy and Fanani to use or include some verses that Professor Jay had written. Ludigo saw something unique in Nigga Jay. We know now, he was right
In the process, they managed to take out some of his original written verses in most other songs. However, they couldn’t alter Chemsha Bongo because it was one man’s tale of his rise and fall. It was, therefore, decided that Chemsha Bongo would make it in the album and Professor will get to do it almost as a solo career.
That decision to let allow Nigga Jay to record Chemsha Bongo was a game changer. The revolution started from there. It brought fame and money to HBC but also acted as a breakthrough bridge between the older generation that had regarded Rap/Hip-Hop songs and artists as part of hooliganism and gangsters of new generation.
Within few days after Chemsha Bongo went on air through radio stations, the perception of new generation music changed. Finally, there was a song from younger generation that could make sense. Families could listen together without anyone’s heart racing faster waiting for “bleep” moment or letting an elephant in the room. The times when parents and their kids looked at each warily like condemned criminals were coming to an end.
Professor Jay doesn’t remember very well when he started writing Chemsha Bongo. It could be 1997. However, he remembers very well where he was when writing the third verse. After daily hustles in the city, Prof was en-route home direction Kimara in a DalaDala. For him hard work and thinking was a 24/7 business. His thoughts were like gliding clouds, fading in and out of the heavens. When the announcement was made they had arrived in Kimara [the outskirts of Dar-es-salaam where his family lived at that time], Chemsha Bongo was now complete.
Jokingly he teases that at that time if he was to be robed, robbers would find no cash but lots of pieces of papers. If anything, they would have found tons of verses. They could turn from being robbers to become performing artists…. May be. During our chitchat for this review and re-release, Professor reminded me [and you] that those paper clips is what brought the revolution that today’s generation is enjoying [and sometimes taking it for granted]
Back to Funga Kazi album project, there was a problem. Even though Prof.Ludigo had come home with lots of beats, he didn’t have a recording studio. Lucky for them and him, Master J welcomed them at MJ Records without a slight or watchful hesitation or misty doubt.
The album Funga Kazi was officially introduced at Summer Jam Festival at Slipway in summer of 1998. The place was parked. There was no way the place could host all the fans who wanted to see HBC. When police tried to turn them away, they revolted. Police and security didn’t stand a chance. Fans pushed the fence in. Hell almost broke loose. Chaos. The love for Hard Blasterz Crew had sturdy genuiness.
As the new millennium was approaching, Chemsha Bongo had revolutionized the “new generation music” industry. Parents started allowing their kids with fewer rules to pursue their dreams of becoming performing artists. Other artists also saw the importance of writing lyrics/songs that made sense across generations. In 1995/1996 HBC won awards including The Best Hip-Hop Group in Tanzania.
With success of Chemsha Bongo and Funga Kazi, Nigga Jay decided to pursue a solo career which started in 2001 with his first solo career album, Machozi, Jasho na Damu. Today, he is regarded as a pioneering Hip-Hop artist who changed the game. Here is the song that started it all like a breeze from a new direction; Chemsha Bongo
Listen And Download Chemsha Bongo here.
Professor Jay will be launching two videos for his latest songs Kipi Sijasikia And Tatu Chafu this weekend. Below are the details. You can follow Professor Jay on Twitter @ProfessorJayTz And Instagram @professorjaytz. You can also visit his official website at www.profesajay.com
As you can imagine, sometimes I receive too many songs for review and publication. While some weeks can go almost “dry”,some weeks are busier than all blue Mondays combined. Every artist wants to release their new materials. In the music business [it applies in many other industries too] timing is crucial. You want to release your stuff when you are almost guaranteed to grab people’s attention. That goes along with a silent prayer like the one you give or should give the moment you take a seat at church. In your silent prayer you should ask for calmness into the world. No calamity or no one famous than you passes away or create anything more sensational than your new music. Therefore, I understand [and not complaining] why some weeks are heavier than others.
One of the new releases I received last week and I couldn’t post [You know I have a 9-5 equation] came from Anna Peter [stage name Anapita], a radio presenter who has tapped stage performance and doing some excellent work. In her new song, Garasa, Anna Peter decided to work with Barnaba one of the best vocalists in the country. Barnaba is also a good song writer and arranger.
The song Garasa is another love themed song. Its different though…Take A Listen
His known “dark” side is being violent. However, you can hardly deny the fact that he has a unique flow and mastery to the art of Hip-Hop. I am talking about Chid Benz [Mtoto wa Ilala]. From the days when he shot to fame with Dar Stand Up, Chid has remained one of the artists who rarely make a turn into wrong hood.
Here is his new track titled Mpaka Kuchee featuring Diamond Platinumz and AY who I recently chatted with him and released one of the songs from his early days. Listen Up…
Bushoke is one of the most naturally gifted vocalist of this generation [in Tanzania and East Africa-good to be specific]. Even with such a gifted voice and coming from a family of artists [his Dad is Max Bushoke-one of the earlier generation great vocalists] he can’t claim to have been very lucky. His career so far has had twists and turns. There was success that came from his hit song Barua. Then he fell off…drifted like a bus meandering through mountains in deep Chile. Substance Abuse became part of his ordeal.
I am therefore glad to see him bouncing back. His voice is definitely one thing of which music fans across the nation have missed. The new song is titled Bwagamoyo. For some of you not familiar with Tanzania, Bagamoyo is a small town about 75 Kilometres from Dar-es-salaam on the coast of Indian Ocean. It is said, Bagamoyo is a place where you can go relax and put your mind to rest. The song connects the place and image of love where Bushoke announces to rest his mind[love] on someone. Listen
The last time these two collaborated in a hit song [ to the best of my knowledge] is when they remixed Mzee Wa Busara. That work followed long time rumors that these two didn’t see eye to eye. They had a “beef” for a while. It became almost a street war for these two popular artists hailing from Temeke in Dar-es-salaam, the neighborhood that is known to be “tough land”. Mzee Wa Busara collaboration settled whatever “beef” they had. They proved to be grown ups who wouldn’t depend or live with grudges forever.
Years later, these two are back in studio-together. They are actually rumored to be making a collaborative album. I can’t confirm that. However, if those rumors have truth element in it, the proof could be from this single. It is titled Mungu Ndio Anapanga produced by Duppy at Uprise Music.
Listen Up and share. There is a good feeling in sharing. If you feel down[hey we all have fading days]…send someone this song. It’s a good song and a good message. Enjoy
Last week we made a promise that we have to honor. Dayna Nyange was dropping a video for her latest single, I Do. The video features Tanzania’s rep in the Big Brother Africa. Call him Nando. Here is the video