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Mr. Rumbi: groovy rap and lots of spirit

More optimistic, more electronic, the creative flow continues for this kenyan artist with a new single entitled “Wasemaje,” (featuring Ocean Waves & Yon3lx) from his upcoming EP Not All that.  

Wasemaje means “What do you say” in Swahili and Mr. Rumbi makes sure you hear it loud and clear. With his high-speed phrasing, complex puns and infectious energy, there’s no doubt about his message having impact. In this track, the rapper and producer discusses his journey in the form of a humorous, self-deprecating question-and-answer, another of his talents: “It’s probably influenced by my love of stand-up comedy, that’s how I learnt to be funny, which made my louder and helped me form friendships and other connections. I just carried that over to my writing.” In talking about what he does, Rumbi talks about his inner conflicts and the doubt he may feel as an artist. Slightly asocial, he has always had trouble working in groups. This is what led him to the idea of live looping, which have become real performances. Despite this personal handicap, Mr. Rumbi does not hesitate to collaborate with some of the most impressive up-and-coming talents in the Free State of South Africa where he currently resides. Yon3lx and Ocean Waves bring all his greatness to the track “Wasemaje”.

This jazz, soul and RnB-influenced hip-hop with positive energy is reminiscent of crooner Anderson Paak, although his influences revolve around The Roots, FKJ, Tom Misch and Uyama Hiroto. After his first album released in August SI ME. SEE MEE, the multi-instrumentalist, rapper, singer and producer maintains his music with consistency and takes his talent to the next level. Also known as “the Hippie in your City” because he wore akala – sandals made from old tires – and hated to cut his hair, he has been asserting his strong character since his high school days. Also nicknamed the “Serengeti Samurai” M. Rumbi continues to pay tribute to his two passions in his music: “Karate and other Asian martial arts were a massive part of hiphop back in the day (…) “Serengeti” that’s just where I’m at, East African boy, son of the land.

His EP Not All That will be released on November 6.

Listen to M. Rumbi in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.