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January 23, 2019

Trendsetter: Raj and the arrival of Kisii rap

In an era where rappers can mumble and make brave fashion statements emulating rock-tinged aesthetics, expect anything. Rising rapper Raj is not a new name in the Kenyan music scene. He has been a musically inclined kid for a while now. In the few short years he has been around, he can now brag about being mentioned alongside other big names in the Kenyan rap scene.


One thing that has been evident about Raj is his endless vision for his style of music. In the past, we've seen artists try to rap in vernacular, but somehow it just has never worked out right for most them. Well, it's taken the man born Okemwa Rajiv time and a number of records to get him where he is today. His addictive vocal tic and endless appreciation of the female anatomy suggest he is quite the entertainer.


Unlike anyone else, his ability to effortlessly glide through his verses by fusing various languages is truly impressive. He maintains his contemporary composure delivering lyricism in Swahili, English and Kisii. What's even more awe-inspiring is his deliberate will to ensure his verses live up to the standards of his target audience.


Collaborations with Stella Mwangi and Khaligraph Jones have helped boost Raj's profile. His latest release Suka, featuring female rappers Wangechi and Fena Gitu is an amplified version of his traits and an obvious attempt at the mainstream scene. He's followed the foray into the front lines of the music industry and he just might be around for a long time.


One thing that Raj is not likely to let go of is his Kisii lyricism. For what it's worth, he understands that his style is his unique selling point and he ought to strengthen it. In other words, it’s exactly what he needs in the wake of his now-proven commercial viability.  

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