Police Officer Wows Kenyans With Gengetone Hit [VIDEO]

  • A screengrab of the police officer whose 'Patia' gengetone freestyle got Kenyans talking
    A screengrab of the police officer whose 'Patia' gengetone freestyle got Kenyans talking
  • An Administration Police (AP) officer on Sunday, May 24 went viral with a freestyle over the the hit Gengetone single Patia which features Gwash, K4 Kanali, VDJ Jones, Kappy and Iano Ranking.

    The impressive freestyle was widely shared across social media platforms with Kenyans quick to praise the officer for his flow, switching up between Swahili, Sheng' and English bars.

    The officer is an unlikely addition to the ranks of Gengetone artists taking over Kenyans' playlists in a wave that truly exploded after the release of Lamba Lolo by Ethic Entertainment in 2018.  It offered a new crop of artists, bubbling under the mainstream, an opportunity to cater to a new audience craving the uniquely Kenyan sound.

    Kenyans.co.ke spoke to K4 Kanali who shared his thoughts on the original song's creation and the officer's take on it, as well as Gengetone and criticisms the genre has faced over its racy videos and subject matter.

    The officer smoothly freestyled over an instrumental created by producers Kuru and Mavo on the Beat which, notably, starts with a sample from one of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga's past speeches.

    In the soundbite heard throughout the song, Raila is heard telling a crowd: "Ni kama Wakamba. Wanawake ni waaminifu. Wakisema watakupatia, watakupatia. (It's like the Kamba community. Like the women, when they say they will give it to you, they will give it to you)," with an excited crowd responding.

    Patia then serves as the building block for the instrumental as Gengetone stars Kappy, Kanali, Gwash and Iano Ranking deliver their verses.

    Kanali revealed that it was producer Kuru who worked on the original instrumental and included the sample, before Mavo on the Beat later added a few things. VDJ Jones brought the artists on the song together, a video was shot and released on February 24, racking up hundreds of thousands of views.

    Reacting to the officer's viral freestyle, Kanali stated that it was evidence that Gengetone was on the right track as it was being welcomed by people from all backgrounds.

    "I think it shows me the impact that Gengetone has. It shows me Gengetone is being accepted by everyone, from the old to the young and people from different walks of life.

    "It shows me that Gengetone has a future because of all this talent, and the future is actually in their hands," he stated.

    Kanali stated that for the genre to prosper, however, major improvements needed to be witnessed in the structures around Kenyan entertainment including collection and distribution of royalties.

    He asserted, however, that the genre would continue providing employment for various artists, predicting that a boom would be witnessed in entertainment in Kenya and East Africa at large. 

    "The systems are a problem that should be fixed, but we cannot just always sit and complain. There's going to be a boom in the East African entertainment industry, not just Gengetone and a lot of artists will benefit from it.

    "The creative industry will benefit greatly particularly from the shift towards local manufacturing being witnessed. These brands as they grow need to engage artists to move to the next level and even when going global, the music and the culture is exported too.

    "But as for the music, the future involves strengthening the sector. We need effective structures on publishing, regulations, royalties, distribution and several other aspects of the music industry and this is what we need to work on," he asserted.

    Kanali further dismissed criticism towards Gengetone artists over the subject matter, noting that it was a genre that was still evolving.

    He claimed that some actions by government agencies were doing more to kill creativity than strengthen the industry, stating that more refined music would emerge as more attention was paid to artist development.

    File image of gengetone artist K4 Kanali
    File image of gengetone artist K4 Kanali