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Kalamashaka (aka K-Shaka) is a hip hop group based in Dandora, a ghetto estate in Nairobi, Kenya. It comprises three members: Oteraw, Kama and Johny. The group was formed in the mid 90's. They became popular with Tafsiri Hii hit in 1997. The group curtain raised for several international rap stars among them Coolio and Lost Boyz and have gone ahead to collabo with Dead Prez and other international artists. They have performed in several countries like Nigeria, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Africa, Norway among others. Kalamashaka crucially paved the way for Swahili hip hop to become mainstream in Kenya. The group is popular with hardcore rap fans for their socially and politically conscious lyrics. Their first album Ni Wakati released in 2001 was a hit with South Africa's Channel O playing one of the videos "Fanya Mambo" from the album. The album addressed street crime, tribalism, politics and Africa's conflicts. Their popularity started to wane with the rise of Kapuka and Genge which were dancable and raunchy which a huge percentage of the youth prefer to the to listen to other than philosophical music. FM radio stations are reluctant to play socially conscious music typical of Kalamashaka leading to their fall from fame. However, the group has remained active and refuses to change with times and do commercial music. The group influenced others like Mashifta, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji, K-South, G.rongi, Necessary Noize and a horde of other artists.

The group has helped other Dandora youths to start their rap careers. They are credited with forming the group Ukoo Flani Mau Mau which is a collection of about 24 rappers from Nairobi and Mombasa with a few Tanzanians. Ukoo Flani Mau Mau released Kilio Cha Haki album in 2004 and followed it up with Dandora Burning released in 2006. Their huge contribution and influence to the album is very notable.They do not receive as much radio play as genge or kapuka musicians but still have a large following.

Kama (real name Kamau Ngigi) released his first solo album Kamaa in 2009. The album was produced by Ambrose Akwabi of Mandugu Digital. In the meantime, Kalamashaka is working on thein album Hakuna Case. The album will be produced by the Sweden-basd Kenyan musician Ken Ring, who previously features on Klamashaka's song "Fanya Mambo" [1]

Ukoo Flani Mau Mau discography[edit]

  • Ni Wakati'''' (1998)
  • Kilio Cha Haki (2004)
  • Dandora Burning (2006)
    1. Intro
    2. Chunguzia
    3. Mazishi
    4. Tikakunyaku
    5. Feel free
    6. Jesusnosis
    7. Tafsiri yale
    8. Piga bao
    9. Street hopping
    10. Mau double
    11. Vile si Huanga
    12. Constantly
    13. Stay strong
    14. Mara mia
    15. Mamau warfare
    16. Jah jah
    17. Umati
    18. Dandora burning


  1. ^ Daily Nation, Lifestyle Magazine, November 21, 2009: Swedish producer returns to fire up Kalamashaka

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