It is with some mixed feelings and certainly no regrets, I have finally come to the decision that I have been putting off for a number of years now. Nubian Underground, the African hip-hop website is changing its focus from African hip-hop music, to issues related to Africa especially in the area of human rights and general humanitarian issues.
There are a number of reasons why I have decided to do this, but before I go into that, I must give you a bit of a background on why I started Nubian Underground in the first place.
I have always been a huge hip-hop music and rap fan starting with the Sugar Hill Gang, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five. Then over the years, as the music became more violent and vulgar, I was at first shocked yet intrigued and I totally loved it. I am talking about groups like 2Live Crew, NWA, Ice-T and later, Mobb Deep, Wu Tang etc. But hip-hop was not really popular in Kenya till the mid to late 80s during the break-dance craze and when the break-dance craze died down, so did the general interest in hip-hop. But I and a few still loved the music hip-hop and continued to collect the tapes. After I came to the US, boosted my collection of hip-hop and even hosted a hip-hop show on a collage radio station… I really loved my hip-hop!
So what changed? Why did I stop listening to hip-hop? A number of different things happened. First, as I matured, I started getting less and less impressed by the language and the message behind the music. At the same time, there was a lot of hip-hop coming out but a lot of it, strictly from a musical point of view, was not that great. Thirdly, I got introduced to electronica, and more specifically Drum and Bass. Then finally, I decided that I needed to take my Christian faith more seriously and I dedicated my life to the Lord Jesus. All these, but especially becoming a believer, really made me not enjoy listening to hip-hop.
But then I started listening to African hip-hop and one thing that really struck me was the comment that was made by one of the member of the Dep-low-matz who talked about trying to make it in the rap business and how tough it was to get decent equipment, record deals, recognition etc. I realized that hip-hop was finally growing in Africa and for many; hip-hop represented a way for them to make an honest living. This is the reason I started Nubian Underground. The hope was that by featuring various artists and giving them publicity, that their talent, skills and drive plus the internet would help give them the publicity they needed and that they would be recognized, African hip-hop could grow and that these struggling artists would be able to earn a living