The rapper hits a powerful stride on his debut performance in Nairobi.
Nairobi Kenya – A few minutes past midnight, after a maddening traffic gridlock on Langata Road from Reggae In The Sun event held at the Go Down Arts centre, we decide to alight our Uber ride and walk to Carnivore grounds.
The venue is muddy. But not even the showers are enough to stop the throngs of masses pulling in to the venue.
The setup is amazing. Food and drinks vendors encircle the mains stage where host Mwalimu Rachel is about to make the announcement on who the four NRG MVPs are.
“NRG Radio is more than a radio experience. It’s a radio, digital and social experience designed to engage today’s outgoing, digitally connected audiences’ Says Denis Ndavi of NRG Media. “The NRG Wave is just one of our platforms that we are rolling out to bring those connections to life.”
DJ Xclusive set warms even as the screens now unveil the new radio shows programme line-up featuring international stars like DJ Fully Focus and London based Silverstar Sound deejays. Up next on stage is Khaligraph Jones. Frequently accompanied by memorable stage theatrics, Khaligraph Jones makes an entry backed by his hype man, Lamaz Span. His mixed audiences of both male and female, young and old who have his lyrics memorized word perfect chant him on.
And so once again, the crowd rises and Jones reading the crowd, call on stage rising star, Tunji.
Then came the moment everyone had been waiting for. Charged with the honour of welcoming on stage the man he baptized Tajiri (Swahili for ‘Rich Man’), Mwalimu Rachel presents Rick Ross to the crowd.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that, his best days behind him, chubby, and rocking a Belaire black t-shirt, matching black ripped jeans and white sneakers, when he eventually appears, Instagram perfect emerging from his throne seat, his mic off, ad-libing, Rozay sounds like the rap boss he’s always claimed to be.
At one point, the sound of his fans shouting “Rozay” and lifting his mural almost drowns him. Ferociously articulate, he outshines with every song he sings.
Always more philosophical than his image suggests, his music pick for the night sorts out the beautiful Kenyan ladies he lamented about and the hard-working hustlers, who he charges to never give up.
In between his set, right before exiting the stage, he goes ahead to take off his t-shirt and throw it to the charged crowd. More dollars earned definitely. An after-party at B-Club and DJ Kace taking over the decks to rock the crowd till morning, NRG Wave delivers.
The night saw other performances from Camp Mulla, Otile Brown and Timmy T Dat, Fena and Nyashinski.
While the concert was amazing, we felt the breaks in between performances were quite delayed, the VIP set-up was off in terms of enjoying the experience and at some point, the sound was off. Matters the organisers need to pick up and evaluate.
See you on the next #NRGWave.
Photo credits: Evans Ogeto. Check his blog here.