This was inevitable; me reviewing a song from Ethic Entertainment. It was unfortunate that I was unable to review Pandana in good time but I did mention my displeasure in the Top 40 chart review. They are back with a new song, Figa, and there is a lot to take away from it. Ethic Entertainment has been buzzing for almost a year now and Figa shows how they are willing to repeat the same formula that brought them to success in the first place. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Figa is the sixth song released by Ethic Entertainment. The Eastlands crew has been putting out club hits which has seen them gain a million plus views on YouTube; not to mention massive radio play time. 1 million views in Kenya is a big deal and that is a lot of money if you understand how the platform works.
The group consisting of Seska, Swat, Rekles and Zilladropa perform their songs using sheng, a local dialect of the Swahili language. I’m bringing this up because I get to learn new vocabulary with every song they release but then again my Swahili teacher comes to mind when he kept reminding us “Kiswahili kitukuzwe”. But I digress.
Let me just say that the beats are quite dope. Their music might not be my cup of tea but they did a good job with this one. I was supposed to praise them for it until someone pointed out they heavily sampled another song’s beats (Cono is the name) and seem not to give credit where it is due. Uhm, okay.
What about their style of performance? It hasn’t changed from the time they struck gold with Lamba Lolo. Here’s how to know you’re listening to a song by Ethic; it has to do something with women, Rekles is the one who always does the chorus and the others do their verses with some clever lines. They at least randomize the order in which they begin the verses but it’s more or less the same thing.
This is your typical case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While I do agree that trying out new things might not be in their best interest, they shouldn’t be too comfortable with one style of performance. Their current saving grace is the fact that people love them. It has been only a few days since the video came out and it is almost hitting half a million views.
Public opinion, however, doesn’t mean that it is good. Ethic Entertainment make average music if compared to other Kenyan acts who don’t get that kind of recognition these guys do.
Ethic Entertainment make club hits and that is fine. Their songs are well suited for a club during the weekend. That isn’t the same case when it comes to listening to it for personal preferences. For example, there is no way that I will add it to my regular playlist and be fine it. Of course, people are different but this will be relatable to a majority of you guys.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t like it on a personal level. It does absolutely nothing for me. It is catchy but I feel like I’m listening to Lamba Lolo version 6.0. Again, there are better local acts that I prefer to them (Karun, Kagwe Mungai and Nikita Kering come to mind). As a critic, it’s so hard for me to find reasons to like it. That’s the problem when you hear all sorts of music on a regular basis.
What about guys who like this kind of music? Should they also be exposed to other artists? Not really, everyone is entitled to their preference.
Figa is another song that seems to solidify Ethic Entertainment as a big act in the Kenyan music industry. I, personally, don’t like this song but my opinion will obviously be overshadowed by their fan support. 6/10