Kenyan Gengetone, drill artists Wakadinali, a group made up of rappers Scar, Domani and Sewer Sydaa are the fifth most streamed hip-hop artists in Kenya beating out famous names such as Octopizzo, Khaligraph Jones and Nyashinski.

Drake, Burna Boy, 21 Savage,and Metro Boomin are the top streamed artists of the genre in Kenya, according to Spotify data.

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As Hip hop celebrates its 50th anniversary, the genre’s journey in Kenya stands out as a testament to its global influence. The Hip hop music scene in Kenya is vibrant and full of creativity from top artists Wakadinali, Octopizzo, Jones, Nyashinski and newcomers Buruklyn Boyz, Maandy and Boutross bringing something unique to the music.

The Wakadinali sauce

Nicknamed the Rongo Rende, Wakadinali are to this generation what Kalamashaka and Ukoo Flani are to people born in the 90s. Their music, which resonates with the average Kenyan youth, with its dark, witty and honest lyrics has become an anthem for an entire generation.

According to data provided by Spotify, the biggest Kenyan hip-hop listeners are predominantly between 18 and 24 years, comprising 55% of their listenership with a secondary age group of 25 to 29 years constituting 19% of listeners, suggesting that the appeal of Hip hop spans the early adult years.

Gender dynamics and hip-hop

The genre largest listeners by gender shows that male listenership holds a significant majority, accounting for 75% of the highest engagement with the artists while female listeners constitute 24% of the highest listenership, indicating a notable gender gap in the genre’s appeal.

However, top female rappers like Maandy and Ssaru do their part in bridging the gap showing that the female listenership resonates with the genre’s themes of empowerment, self-expression, and advocacy.

“Hip hop has always appealed to the younger generation, with its freestyles and rhythms even in the pre-streaming era. It feels like a full circle moment that 50 years later when so much has changed about the music industry, the influence and allure of Hip hop with the younger generation has not changed,” says Spotify’s East Africa Editor.

Wakadinali boasts over 100,000 monthly listeners (a huge number for Kenya) on Spotify with two of their songs “Mc MCA” and “Geri Inegi” boasting over 1M streams.

Data from Spotify
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