Local Old School

Old School Logo1A quick Wikipedia search for Old School describes this genre of music as the earliest commercially recorded hip hop music, with a period dated from around 1979 to 1984. Although, the same article does continue to state that most music stations dubbed ‘Old School radio’ play music up to the mid-90s.

Can I then define Local Old School as some of our earliest commercially recorded music – taking a cue from Wikipedia’s definition of the term? Hope so.


Any how, why am I going on about Old School? Well, it is my motivational music for today, and boy am I having a blast! I mean, there are some Kenyan classics that just rock. I mean, some like Githurai by Mr. Googs and Vinnie Banton (also mentioned in the newer Get Down by Maddtraxx) take me back to primo, and some (Jo by E-Sir) remind me of the days when Muthoni Bwika was still at Kiss 100!

Without hating on new music, mainly because there is some new Kenyan music that also rocks (still looking for an online resource where I can legitimately purchase Hali Duni by Mejja) , I think there was a rhyme quality then that is simply lacking nowadays. I mean, try saying this in two breaths…

kila mtu anashuku vile mtiririko huu wa huyu ndugu umeingia Nairobi na kusambaa kwa miji kama Nakuru napodhuru ubongo si uwongo kupendwa na kila mtu kama lebo ya FUBU nafikiri
[Breathe for < 1s]
labda ni vile nabwaga zawafanya mnataka kunihanda kuniweka nyuma ya Canter kunivukisha mpaka Tanzania na isipowezekana Somalia ama Uganda
lakini hai

Just in case you are wondering which song the above lyrics are from, it is ‘Lyrical Tongue Twister’ by the late E-Sir. You can find the full lyrics to the song here and more lyrics to local music here.

For a full listing of the music I was enjoying, feel free to subscribe to my scrobbles on Last.fm. In the mean time, I leave you with this track that was a big hit, and I know you will appreciate!

Kenyan Boy, Kenyan Girl–Necessary Noise


  1. Boss, good work. But you didn’t go back enough. I have favourites from as far back as circa ’97. Kalamashaka’s Wee Tafsiri, n Songa Hapa, the then Necessary Noise’s La la la and Hardstone’s Uhiki, to later years’ Bad Man Camp’s Anthem, Habib n Manga’s Fever et al. Great music from that era.

  2. why didnt you include nonini,jua cali(baba yao).these are some of the artists who made up the old skul.nazizi rocked!!!!

  3. You are right! I did not go back enough. Now, I need to make a playlist of that stuff…It would be nice to relive the times of…kwenda huko, kuja hapa, hebu keti chini kama umesimama (Mr Policeman, K-South)

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