Welcome back to Top 40 Songs Kenya, the segment that reviews the top most popular songs in Kenya right now.
This is my first proper look at the charts this year. With the new year comes new rules. The Top 40 Songs will be adapted from Boomplay music. You know, the app I reviewed some time back. The change in platform is due to the fact that Boomplay is more accessible to Kenyans than Apple Music giving a better reflection of the trending songs.
My only complaint about this chart is the presence of DJ mixes. Never did I think I’ll be ranking a DJ’s mixtape as the best in Kenya right now. Lol. We’ll, however, skip over them and focus on singles.
The rules are still the same as last time. I review the top 40 songs in Kenya and give my score. If I reviewed the song in a previous article, I just give the score; you will have to go back to the older posts to see what I thought about the song. Let’s do this.
Bahati featuring Ethic Entertainment – Bambika
Bahati’s recent run of releasing singles with secular artists has been pretty disappointing. Let alone unnecessary. There is no denying that Gospel music in the country has lost its magic and the tide is now in favor of secular music. For people like Bahati, it is adapt or die.
His efforts to try to collaborate with Ethic Entertainment is simply a flop. They don’t have good chemistry, the beats sound like they fused the worst of both secular and gospel, and Bahati sounds horrible. It’s one thing that he tries to sell this song to us as gospel but another story entirely to sing in the worst way possible.
To be fair, I get what Bahati is trying to do. This has all to do with revamping his record label and that’s fine. All I’m saying is that the execution is all wrong.
Lava Lava ft Rayvanny – Tekenya
Let me be honest with you people. I tried listening to this song without trying to link it to a similar song but failed within the first 15 seconds. It is so evident that Tekenya borrows heavily from Tetema. Let’s compare the two songs: Same producers? Check. Same flow? Check. Same Rayvanny? Yup. The only difference is that Lava Lava is the lead singer.
Even if we try not to establish Tekenya’s relation to Tetema, it’s not a good song. I definitely would not look forward to listening to it again. This is the kind of stuff that gets lots of plays in clubs. Too bad that all the clubs are closed now huh? 5/10
Nadia Mukami feat Arrow Bwoy – Radio Love
The fact that this song is still high up in the Boomplay charts tells you a lot about the quality of the song. Nadia did a good job getting herself a song with good replay value. Her music is making her good money. Good for her. 8/10
Rayvanny – Chuchuma
Tetema, Tekenya, Kanyaga, Chuchuma. They all sound the same to me. Next. 6/10
Susumila ft Mbosso – Sosona
Let the record show that I’m not a huge fan of Bongo music that is generated from the WCB factory. All their songs, except Diamond Platnumz’s songs, sound the same. We’ll get to why this is so later but let me say that I’m not impressed by this constant sense of “I’ve heard this kind of song before”. Yes, trying out tested formulas will always have a guaranteed form of success but there is no risk. There is nothing new about the final product except Susumila and Mbosso’s lyrics. 6/10
Tekno – Kata
See everything I talked about Sosona? I share the same sentiments with Nigerian music. Next 6/10
Mbosso – Haijakaa Sawa
WCB signee giving us a song that has been recycled by the producers. I bet these guys don’t even spend a day creating those beats. They just copy-paste and tweak the synths and frequencies. 6/10
Khaligraph Jones – Roll with You
This fairly new song sees him use his processed voice to brag about how he can spoil his girl. This is what I call filler music at best. It’s not bad but it doesn’t have great replay value. This is a problem because this shouldn’t be case for the best rapper in Kenya and Nigeria. When you are at a certain level like his, I certainly do not want filler music to be touted as his next big hit.
Thank goodness it isn’t because there hasn’t been much hype about the song since it was released. 6/10
Diamond Platnumz feat Tanasha Donna – Gere
It was only a matter of time I spoke about Tanasha and Mr Platnumz. Relationship drama aside, this is a good song. The production is the highlight of the song with Lizer Classic making some really infectious beats. Why can’t he do that for the other WCB signees? I get Diamond is the boss but come on, don’t let all the good stuff be served to him first. Anyway, it’s a nice song. Too bad that song doesn’t live up to their current state of affairs. 8/10
Joeboy – Baby
Sailors – Dunda
I have two problems with this song. Why does the chorus sound like a nursery rhyme? And why is this song released at a time when we are being advised to practice social distancing? This is made worse by the facts that I couldn’t listening to the song in one sitting. Have you ever heard that urge to just skip to the next song? That was me five times. I tried listening to the song five times and there was no one time I got to the end.
I know Gengetone might be here to stay but can we just stop making mediocre music? 5/10
Tanasha Donna – Lav View ft Mbosso
Rayvanny – Ex Boyfriend
The song from his rather mediocre album Flowers is actually good. That is, if you ignore the overprocessed chorus. Why did he have to do that? Why ruin the nice piano ballad? I certainly don’t understand Bongo artists. 8/10
Bahati feat Boondocks Gang – Taniua
One word. Trash. 4/10
Khaligraph Jones feat Bien – Yes Bana
Remember how everyone was singing this song in the first week of its release? It certainly hasn’t aged well given that it is barely two months old. I initially found it cheesy despite Papa Jones having some good verses. My opinion hasn’t changed when I revisited the song at the time of drafting this article.
Sailors ft Nadia Mukami – Ni Tekenye
Kurugushu karagasha kuruku kung kung. What more do you need me to say? Thank goodness such songs don’t stay relevant for long.
Nadia Mukami – Maombi
Justin Bieber – Intentions
Rayvanny – Corona
This act by artists to release songs about the coronavirus is getting stale. We get it. Is it not enough that I get messages every other day from the government? If there is a song that I love about the coronavirus, it is the Cardi B version. That was great. 5/10
Diamond Platnumz – Jeje
Some people noted that its sound was similar to that of Burna Boy. While that may be true at the beginning, it slowly becomes a typical Diamond song over time. It’s not bad at all but I’ll bring about the special treatment WCB producers give Diamond as compared to his other acts.
Mbosso – Tamba
Typical Bongo song. 6/10
Rayvanny – Naogopa
Ethic Entertainment – Daktari
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Ethic still uses their tried and tested formula with Rekles still doing the chorus while the others try to throw some clever lines. Same old style, different song. However, there is one thing that makes me like it. That hook, “Bazu, big man bazu”. I keep saying it everywhere. Add that with the dark beats in the background and I found myself enjoying it a little too much.
Perhaps this is what I always wanted to hear from them. A memorable song. 7/10
Nadia Mukami – Jipe
Alikiba – Dodo
I don’t like this new song. This has nothing to do with Bongo music in general. It’s just okay and I don’t like my music okay. I like music amazing.
Sauti Sol – Suzanna
Nyashinski – Glory
I’m convinced that he is the Kenyan Drake. Glory is one of the songs from his recent album Lucky You. I am yet to listen to it but my hopes aren’t that high after listening to this song. This is an urban contemporary song aka one which will be irrelevant in the next couple of weeks.
The trap-inspired song just feels okay and Nyashinki’s rap is decent. Let me hope this is not going to be the case in his full album. 7/10
Rayvanny – I love you
Zuchu – Wana
Another WCB artist with a familiar sounding song. Too familiar actually. 6/10
Bahati ft Akothee – Nakupa Moyo
Another Bahati flop that I genuinely do not want to talk about. I get how they’re praising God for the far they have come but its full context is not that great given how controversial Akothee is. 6/10
Rayvanny feat Messias Maricoa – Teamo
Drake – Tootsie Slide
Darassa ft Sho Madjozi – I like it
I like it. Nobody asked for this collaboration but we got it and it’s a good song. It reminds me of Major Lazer’s Particula. Trust me, there is no sampling being borrowed here but it’s just the vibe of the song. Good vibes. Who doesn’t love good vibes. While Darassa does his part in his calm and commanding manner, Sho sounds like she’s shouting orders at you. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying it though. 7.5/10
Femi One – Utawezana
Everyone knows that were it not for Azziad’s Tik Tok video, this song would’ve never been as huge as it is right now. That is the power of social media.
The premise of the song is simply Femi asking if Mejja is up to the task when she gives him the green light. Of course, Mejja says he is up to the task and that he has had a crush on her for sometime. It’s such a simple song with a mediocre beat.
I’m happy that the song got the attention it got but it’s not a great song. At least Azziad did the marketing right. 5/10.
This has been an okay chart list. The songs are passable at but hey, this is the best Kenya has to offer. See you next month.