It’s crazy to think that P Unit was at the top of their game almost 10 years ago when they released their breakout song, Kare. Everyone praised them for being the future of local music, got nominated for several awards (including MTV) and even made Diamond Platnumz sing the song’s chorus. Yeah, Diamond was a nobody back then.
Fast forward today and Diamond is the gold standard of East African music and P Unit is releasing one of the most annoying songs I’ve heard in a while. To be fair, I wasn’t aware that the song was released up until my friend Amanda did a short rant about it.
So let’s dive in to the song.
Nice Club Song But Covid…
What is pretty evident from the start is that it is a contemporary urban song meant to spice up the non-existent club scene. I’m aware that there are people who hold house parties during this pandemic so this song might act as some added entertainment. That’s just my educated guess because one can dance to anything once the alcohol kicks in.
That is one way of looking at it but it doesn’t give the full picture of this song. Let’s say you are an OG fan of P Unit and you’re excited to listen to their new music. Is Hop Step what you were expecting from them? Absolutely not. The only saving grace about this song is the beats produced by kashkeed. Everything else feels like a good dose of nostalgia.
Once the music video starts, you are immediately greeted with a skit from Teacher Wanjiku who makes some dry jokes about masks. You know, COVID-19 and stuff? It’s really bad and shouldn’t have been included given that the skit doesn’t have any connection to whatever happens in the song.
The song then starts with the auto-tuned chorus from Gabu which gives you an idea of what to expect from the song. While their verses are just okay, it is clear that they are trying to give off the nostalgic vibe of the good old days.
“Remember us? Sisi ndio tulikuwa tunarun hizi mitaa back in the day? So tumetoa hii ngoma ndio tuwakumbushe nani ndio kusema”
I wish I was making things up but the nostalgia is everywhere. Heck, Frasha even references Kare in the song which is followed by Prezzo’s classic “Naitwa Jackson na bado naleta action” line from the 2000s. How about the “a good one” reference? Jeez.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with some nostalgia. My issue with this song is what P Unit wrote in the video description is that this song is the best collabo in 2020. Uhm…no. You are mistaken P Unit. The best collabo of 2020 is Otile Brown and Kidum. So you’re lying to us.
Also, they say this is a “new wave with big artist on it”. Are they trying to recreate that Kare moment once more? They need all the luck they can get. Want to know why? Because the core audience that made P-Unit famous then has now matured. Most of them are in their late 20s and early thirties. Most of them probably have their own families right now.
This song, however, feels like they are targeting the young and impressionable audience like me. Here’s the issue with the youth right now; we don’t know what we want. All we do is follow whatever is popular at the moment and copy it to exhaustion. Look at what happened with the Gengetone hype. P Unit in this new era is not that relevant.
I even told my mom about this song and her first response was “P-Unit still exists?”. She’s over 50 btw. What do you think the youth will have to say about this song? Nothing much. I have seen some praising it for having 0 nudity and 0 references about sex but that is not something to be happy about. Gengetone only became a thing just because of this silly “support local artists” nonsense that has barely done us any good.
I am happy that P Unit is still making music but the fact that they want to bring a new wave to this current audience is an uphill battle. Hop Step is so nostalgic that it brings nothing new to the table. The end result is that it is just fine.
This, however, is one song. Perhaps they have more up their sleeves. I don’t know. We’ll see.