The Popularity of Gengetone Music.

This is a new genre of music , that gained popularity in kenya in early 2016.

Gengetone  is a sub-genre of genge music which had it roots in Nairobi in the late 90s and early 2000s. It is majorly rap with a fusion of dancehall, reggaeton and genge.

The fresh artists who are the original ambassadors of gengetone have come to prove that there is no more need of mainstream media acting as gate keepers in the music industry to determine who gets to see the limelight. As long as the music is good, the fans will recognize it and consume the last bit of it.

The most advantageous factor in this genre is that it is consumed by the audience who use internet more often since the mainstream media keeps on criticizing the raw content of the music.

The successful disruption of Kenyan music industry was majorly supported by the internet where platforms for expression can be set up.

The producers behind this music are also recognized and they grow with their artists. They do a great job in crafting beats that would make you dance even if you didn’t mean to.

The major producers are Magix Enga, Motif Di Don and Mavo on the beat.

They do a good job in crafting beats that turn up the parties all over Kenya.

The rise of gengetone.

You cant get past two blocks in the street without running into small groups of kids or youths who are either talking about or dancing to the gengetone tunes bursting their little Bluetooth speakers while dressed in what is clearly a display of modern street wear.

A bunch of ten year olds chanting lyrics to the popular gengetone songs and conversing in street slang popularly known as sheng’.

This shows clearly that gengetone has a bright future ahead and the only thing that could happen to it is evolution and not termination.

All urban radio stations broadcasting in both English and Swahili in kenya include this genre of music in their playlists.

Contrary to the earlier popular belief that gengetone is the new devil that has come to spoil the society; this genre is subtly winning the hearts of many Kenyans who are thirsty for the Kenyan music.


Earlier on during the inception of this new sound, several artists were being censored due to the raw messaging in their lyrics and this led to some great bitterness of the fans from the streets because they were afraid that their artists might not get paid.

Even the big artists and stake holders in the game were already criticizing Gengetone terming it as ‘musical pornography’ but the fans were behind gengetone just because it represented who they are.

By now, it is clear that fans are in for this type of music.

It represents what everybody’s feeling in the streets and some villages where they have been continualy fed the music from either west Africa or Tanzania or anyother non Kenyan music.

The popular #playkemusic movement was actually brought to fruition by gengetone tune that took over the airwaves with several musical groups like Sailors, Ethic entertainment, ochungulo Family, Boondocks Gang, independent artists like Zero Sufuri and Gwaash flooding the genre with good music that boosted the movement and made it real.

This genre is actually a platform for the streets to express themselves politically or in terms of lifestyle and fashion.

Why gengetone will never die.

I totally agree that it will evolve into something else just like the way Genge music evolved but to say it will die or its just a flu, that might be just words in the wind.

This is because the stakeholders in Gengetone will not allow such a big platform to go away when the streets need it to use it as a voice for them to be heard and air their ideas on how to build a better society in Kenya.

This is all thanks to the musical trio The Kansoul which consist of Mejja, Madraxx and Kid Kora, who supported the artists earlier on and changed the ugly narrative behind Gengetone music.

It’s a way of life.

You cant really expect people to abandon their culture just because it doesn’t please you.

Gengetone represents the way of life in the streets and slums and most people in that setting live by it. So different generations will come and go as the music evolve to fit that particular group but they will probably have the same feeling and taste.

Its profitable.

Whenever something has value such that its services can be traded for money, it really is profitable. Lets face it, everybody in the streets dream of one day getting out of it and go live somewhere else descent and with less noise, little to no crime  and breathe fresh air.

So given such platform that guarantees you some sweet money, you will do whatever it takes to not let it die because whatever you might think you will fall back to is actually being done by somebody else who is better than you.

Therefore these kids doing good in Gengetone actually do it because it’s the only option that might work for them and the make sure they build it for others to make it too.

It represents true freedom of expression.

Living in a place where traditional conservative African values plus the invasion of Christianity is literally the definition of limited freedom of expression.

For the longest time, streets have been living within themselves kind of like marginalized or some shit.

Other cultural and religious settings in Kenya did not recognize the street lifestyle and it has been labelled demonic or disrespectful way of life.

Since gengetone lifestyle emphasizes on letting go of limiting beliefs n values, a lot of youth flock into it. In a country where only older people are allowed to have a say and not the younger ones, such platforms helps them fight back by proving that they can actually make things happen with what they have.

It can thrive without the mainstream media.

in this time and age, no one can actually try to burn stuff on tv especially things that attracts the youth.

Internet has leveled the playing field thus making the media houses run for their money.

Whenever they try to burn gengetone music from getting an airplay again, because they did before, the audience will just move on to the internet and consume the content.

Its just plain and simple. The audience is the youth and they are the ones using the internet, therefore Gengetone music still has a chance to breathe.