RAP GAME: There was a time when Jocelyn Tracy, known to many as Keko, was the baddest female rapper in Uganda. But then drugs and scandals kicked in and eventually she went with the wind to Canada. Since then, it has been hard to have a female rapper replace Keko, but 2018 introduced a new kid on the block – Recho Rey. A kid in the real sense of it, Rey came to the limelight during the Who is Who challenge and now she is doing collabos with the genius Mun *G. Lawrence Ogwal caught up with her.
1. You came through during the Who is Who Challenge, where were you all this time?
I have been in school. I am currently in my Senior Six vacation, although I have been rapping behind the curtains. I used to write songs ever since my Senior Two while at Namboole High School but I never released any of these songs. The first time I ever stepped into studio was when I went to do Who is Who.
At school I was in a group of five rappers called the Alliance and I was the sixth and only female rapper. We would perform at school events. I was inspired to rap by NTV Follow The Beat show where presenters rapped the news. I would mimmick songs from international rappers Missy Elliot and Nas.
2. How did you jump onto the Who is Who challenge?
When various rappers came out for the challenge, I was hanging with a group of friends. I had never been to studio but one of them offered to take me to a studio for a free session. They wanted to disprove my ability to rap, saying I could not challenge rappers such as Feffe Busi, Jim Nola and Rocky Giant. I went to studio and did something which we posted online and in a few just minutes, it was trending.
3. How long did it take for the song to get done?
We went to Drama Boy Studio in Kyaliwajjala at around 2pm and downloaded the instrumental. I wrote the lyrics in 30 minutes. At 5pm, we had recorded the audio and the art work to promote the audio was done for sharing — I called it the Who is She because I was the only girl in the challenge. I could not believe how fast the song was moving on different airwaves and social media. The next day I was called on the After 5 show for an interview. The next day we were doing a video premiere at Club Amnesia. Everything happened so fast.
4. Who is Who challenge faded, how have you stayed relevant?
After the challenge excitement faded, I was now familiar with the music industry and I planned on how to hit studio again. I went back to studio and did a song titled Abawala Tukuba. The song was endorsed by Sheebah Karungi, who liked the word Abawala Tukuba, saying it was catchy. My main aim of the song was to show that girls can also do what men think they cannot do. It was also meant to be a good song although it did not do so well.
Then criticism started flowing in, with people saying I was riding on the Who is Who challenge and I was not good enough to come up with another production. But I have always believed in myself and to silence the haters, I went back to studio and recorded Guma Bakunyige, which has become a problem in the music industry.
5. Where did the idea of Guma Bakunyige come from?
I was at Laftaz Lounge in Centenary Park during the premiere of Abawala Tukuba. After the premiere, we stayed around for some time to have fun with my friends. Throughout the night, a random guy who seemed drank looked at a couple that seemed to be fighting because the guy wanted to dance with the woman but she was not interested.
The drunkard then shouted in Luganda, ‘Walidde sente zomusajja kati nawe guma bakunyige’ loosely translated as ‘You ate the guy’s money so stay calm and let him dance with you’. So when I was in studio I thought of a song that would fuse Hip Hop and dancehall and I used the statement to get a storyline. Along the way, Mun*G approached me to do the remix of the song and that is the reason it is even bigger than my original version.
Do you wish Keko was here?
Keko was there and vanished, whether she comes back to the music scene or not, I do not care because this time is not for Keko, it is time for Racheal Rey. Keko was there and left now let me shine.
Who is She?
I am Racheal Mirembe, I was born 18 years ago and I grew up in Bweyogerere. I attended Pioneer Day and Boarding Primary School, Namboole High School and Standard College, Nsangi for my A-Level. I hope to join Makerere University for a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.