Chris Kantai was announced dead yesterday (27.2.2019), however his music lives on.
The Kenyan rapper who began to horn his craft as a teen in the 1990s blew up on the Kenyan Hip Hop scene in the new millennium raising to fame in the early 200os. Raised in the United States of America, Kantai’s music has a gritty sound with which effortlessly delivered a sick flow. With a good number of releases to his name, he pulled his own as a solo artist when the industry mainly had musical collectives such as Ukoo Flani, Mandugu Digital and Kleptomaniax. Here is a list of Kantai’s best tracks:
As one of Hip Hop’s most prominent names, Kantai obtained legendary status after the success of the track “Kantadda.” With a memorable intro and clear yet clever lyrics, his track soared through the charts and remains a crowd favorite till today. Dubbing himself “Hip Hop’s Finest” is easily to see why this man with so much swag had such great impact.
A reflective, well-thought out track, “Issues” saw Kantai open himself to his audience, revealing some intimate details about himself. He rapped, “I seem to be a plant that was dropped in the ocean, dropped in the desert, no soil in my land” he goes on to add, ” am still in the gutter, maybe not in the ghetto, but not doing better than the next man…” Alluding to his personal struggles, Kantai lead more rappers to be vulnerable with their audience and speak their truth. The lyric, “I got issues that can’t be absorbed by a tissue” continues to earn high praise from fans and peers alike.
Bar for bar, Kantai dropped subtle gems and offered up a diss track with ease. The track’s upbeat tempo was reminiscent of a battle cry; and Kantai may have brought a knife to a gunfight, annihilating the opposition with his clever lines and quick rhymes.
4. Ting Badi Malo
His most recent release, this feature on Khaligraph Jones release “Ting Badi Malo” was a straight banger. Re-introducing himself to a new generation Kantai held his own despite being out of the music industry for almost decade. Meshing their flow, Jones and Kantai made magic in this track bridging new and ol’skool Kenyan hip hop.
Fusing sheng’ and new age hip hop, Kantai’s collabo with Pavelee is a fan favorite. Filled with entertaining ad-libs reminiscent with the styles of the type, Chris was on-trend yet classic; delivering something for the cool kids.
Though his music was released more than a decade ago, Kantai’s work still remains relevant today. Download his best hits here.
Rest in Peace, Kantai.