By Kuchio Asonga, Myndz Community
Published March 4, 2015
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Nairobi City’s Ebony Lounge in Westlands opposite Museum Hill was graced by the talented Ghanaian-born, New York City-based hiphop performer Blitz the Ambassador. The event was courtesy of the weekly hip hop night dubbed, Hip hop Rapsody that is organised by Spark Africa.
To the African hip hop heads that are really into the culture the name ‘Blitz the Ambassador’ will ring a bell but to the casual listener he is a big mystery.
What was billed to be a listening party for his upcoming EP, “Diasporadical”, morphed into an energised performance with Blitz the Ambassador getting onto the bar and giving the audience a raucous showcase of how an emcee should rock the microphone. He was backed by Blinky Bill of Just a Band of Kenya on the decks.
Like some in the audience, I had personally not given his music a thorough listen and attended the event more out of curiosity as to what his style of hip hop was like than anything else. Blitz’s delivery left the audience calling for encore.
Fresh off the 12th annual Sauti Za Busara music festival stage in Zanzibar (February 12-15, 2015), Blitz who usually performs backed by a live band made an exception for Nairobi and gave a thrilling performance backed solely by a deejay. His dexterous and emotionally evoking delivery on hip hop beats crafted with live instrumentation was powerful to experience.
What’s more, his Afrocentric demeanour and how he managed to own the hip hop persona minus a faux American accent is worth emulating as African emcees try to find their own voice in a culture that is steeped in urban African-American tropes. Blitz’s outfit showcased his African heritage too.
The songs he performed were drawn from his upcoming project and his 2014 LP, “Afropolitan Dreams”. The stand-out song of the night was his rendition of “Dikembe” which had most of the audience on their feet with their hands up in the air waving from side to side.
Also in performance was Muthoni the Drummer Queen, who I must say keeps getting better with every release. As a fan who saw her grow through the singer/poet phase at the British Council into a ferocious emcee and successful event host, I have just one word to say to her; Salute! She gave the audience a peek preview of songs off her latest project, “MDQ Upgraded” which features a slew of top-notch rappers and producers. Her set was backed by DJ FinalKut on the decks.