Jameson Connects Kenya totally sold out, headlined by TY Dolla $ign and Nasty C this past weekend connected consumers through various experiences from music, games, fun, food and fashion. What’s Good Networks was there to bring you the full scoop!
5pm on Saturday and we pull into Uhuru Gardens staright from reggae crooner, Shamir’s studios in Ayany where he was voicing a dubplate for the #LazeReggae radio show; Kenya’s largest Memorial Park, ready for the Jameson Connects Kenya experience. There is a sense of excitement everywhere we turn to. Those who know of this event speak highly of it. And why not? Stunning international acts, the best local talent, food and drinks from premium vendors, airy hangout spots, body art pop-ups and interactive gaming spaces.
— Tintseh (@Tintseh_) December 3, 2017
“You’ve not experienced Jameson quite like this before!” A deejay on the line-up tells us.
At the Thrift Social stage, DJ Butchnorman standing before the monument where the first Kenyan flag was first raised and thus marking the very first year of independence on the 12th December 1963, is pumping up the music. But our first stop this evening as gourmands is the Mama Rocks food truck for some greasy burgers and fries.
The set up is amazing. Food, drinks and fashion vendors encircle the Thrift Social stage right at the monument. The main arena dome lies on the edge of the well thought off layout.
Over the years, many brands have always been experimenting with events that they feel will end the year in style. Well, we think Jameson may have found the formula. Not just in the music selection but also in the whole experience.
As we leave the sports lounge, Manchester United, able to extract a stirring, ruthlessly executed 3-1 away win to Arsenal, we make our way to the main arena.
At the main arena, DJ Jack Rooster is getting ready to hit the stage. His performance is marked by awesome house music mixes before paving the way for DJ Mellow, the only female deejay on the lineup.
Reading the crowd, she opts to play a hip hop set from start to end. And so, the crowd again rises to its feet when, around some few minutes past ten pm, MC DNG takes the stage to welcome the first act, Kagwe Mungai alongside DJ Burn.
Kagwe Mungai manages to stay afloat with a hugely ladies hit set. Her voice both racked and silky, Fena Gitu is up next. Rocking an ankara dungaree, the enigmatic singer manages to perform her hit songs before dropping a new tune and calling Kagwe Mungai back on stage for their collaboration on “Party Nation.”
You have to feel The Kansoul. Their performance was nothing new in what they have not done on stage the year. From their dancers so sultry moves, to their crowd pumping songs, The Kansoul once again prove they are a duet to watch! Kidkora would exit the stage flanking the Libyan flag, “end slavery!”
Dressed in baggy pants, a crown, matching red and black socks with a checked shirt, Octopizzo is up next. Dressed the part, he sends out a clear message, he is the King of Hip-hop in Kenya.
His musical backdrop has John Kabeseke on the guitar and Richie Rich on the drum bass. But the night would be incomplete without his Tergat Gang and with only half of the gang in attendance, Barak Jacuzzi and Octopizzo once again leave a defining moment on stage.
Frequently accompanied by memorable stage theatrics, Khaligraph Jones makes an entry inside a coffin carried by his entourage.
“I know we have international artists, but they come after me!” The OG, Jones tells the crowd, before enlisting them for a singalong of his songs. Closing his performance, he shoves Kshs 1000 notes at the ecstatic crowd.
Rocking a black t-shirt with a tribal headwrap, Nasty C is next. His mixed audiences of both male and female, young and old who have his lyrics memorized word perfect: at one point, the sound of them shouting along to his lines on “Particula” threatens to drown him out entirely. He pauses and almost in tears, just sucks the energy from the crowd.
“I love you guys!” Nasty C, hurls. His word to young people, “there is nothing impossible if you set your mind to achieve it!” His delivery is dramatic and gripping. His debut performance in Kenya, and yet here he is, filling singing his heart out.
Then came the moment everyone had been waiting for. First his deejay, Dre Sinatra would take to the stage playing TY Dolla $ign songs.
“Kenya, I don’t think y’all are ready for TY Dolla $ign!”
The LA singer-rapper-producer, when he eventually appears, looks Instagram perfect in his shades and turban tied round his head. His vocal heavy! DJ Dre Sinatra is all ready to extinguishes hip-hop’s illusory glamour. The hooksmith, real name Tyrone William Griffin Jr, Ty, has scored a tertiary co-writing credit with Rihana, Kanye West and many more.
With a totally sold out concert debut in Nairobi, his young fans will leave feeling not short-changed, after bouncing with their idol to his heavy hits plus collaborations.
Ever the charmer, Ty at one point he calls TC Da Loc aka Teecee4800 for a collaboration before exiting the stage and asking TC to perform before the charged crowd.
In between his set backed by Mike Moore on the Keys and drums, he entreats everyone to wave their phones, almost crowd surfs, before stripping down to his sculpted and tattooed torso.
Moments later, he’s back on stage posing for a stage-managed selfie, before Mike Moore slips and falls. TY and Dre Sinatra would then shout, “Worldstar!”
His exit from the stage is a thank you note to Jameson for bringing him to Kenya and a plea, “you need to bring my boy YG and Wiz Khalifa!”
More dollars earned definitely.
The afterparty pits DJ Bash and Amina Rabar who charge the crowd till the wee hour of morning.
See you next year for Jameson Connects Kenya 2018.
Ty Dollar Sign in Kenya cover image by Light Art Photography