It’s only human to express how you feel. But this is not always the case, especially for those people that are so close, like family; Those individuals, so pivotal in one’s life, and yet so subtle. Men and women who will not make you fight for their attention or charge you for their help. Those to whom you don’t need to prove anything, or pretend in anyway. You will stay a part for ages but when you meet again, it’s like the both of you never left. The Song “Brother’s Keeper” is a toast to such special individuals.
According to the executive producer, it was created to celebrate “brotherhood” and friendships. “This is the only track we created to celebrate just one specific individual” Martin revealed. Produced by KonNEffekt, the song features Lyrical G (the Godfather), MalX, Krac and Akongo Wero.
In the song, Krac, from the group Black Reign, pays tribute to his departed young brother and sends a message of solidarity to all of hip hop. “At the end of the day, without all of us, we are nothing. We are all we have got. We have to be there for each other…We are brothers in arms and…i am my brothers keeper.” He said. On his part, Lyrical G wrote his lines to a brother he has not seen in 17 years. Akongo then breathes her soul into the hook. Piecing these touching tributes together with a memoir to her own younger brother. “The title brother’s keeper made me think of my brother.” she said. Singing in Japadhola, she says;
“I will kill a fly for you(flies ain’t easy targets)
I can eat a bile for you(you know it’s some bitter shit)
We do look alike. And the love I got for you, is yours and only yours”
Lyrical G (the Godfather) described it as a song about showing that you care for your brother or someone you care for, telling them that you will always be there for them. To Krac, “this song comes from a long time. Me losing my little brother and having to deal with it, going past it and overcoming it.” Malx crafted his verse from the memory of a friend that he couldn’t help at their time of need.
“This is in fact a true story of a friend I lost touch with while at campus. He got too deep into partying, drugs and girls. School became secondary. This verse is me coming to terms with the fact that I too was not the best of friends at the time. This is a conversation I didn’t but should have had with him. It is interesting that I chose to interpret the vision that I was given for the track in this way. I guess at the time it was something that I needed to get off my chest.” he told us.
Like many other songs on the album, this project was different from the usual. It featured so many other artists and producers, both new and old, many of whom had never worked together before. Each artist recorded their verses separately, leaving the final mixing and mastering to the numerous production houses involved in creating AFGF. The outcome therefore is a work of art that the listener has never put together before.
The whole process too was borne out of luck. Akongo “was recommended to Martin by Nase since he (Martin) was looking for something different that sounded really out of the ordinary.” She had finished recording on the track outcast, when Martin asked her to do something in an indigenous language. And Having worked with a lot of rappers in the past (including the late Mulekwa, Big Sam, Ajo, Shemmy B), this classically trained musician, coming from a long break away from music, did not disappoint. Her silky vocals mend well with the jazzy beat, her soul Afro soul style bringing a laid back touch feel to the song. LG was not in the country when the idea and process of recording were underway. It was a lucky coincidence that when asked to feature on the album, “luckily I was in the process of returning home for vacation having been away for 2 years.”
Hip Hop In Uganda has come a long way, with such collaborative spaces fancied as the new way forward. This being about celebrating special bonds, the veteran rapper sent his appreciation to the Femcees in the business, for stepping up to the plate and repping for the culture. “This game is not easy but they continue to do their thing when called upon. For that, I gotta give them their props and say salute.” He also called on the other players in the game to “come up and encourage all Mcs to come together for the cause,” if UG Hip hop is to grow to the next level. When we spoke to Krac about unity in the genre, he said,
“It is a very good thing that hip-hop can work together like this and put out something that is going to help us. At the end of the day, It’s all about growth and this is going to help the industry to grow.”
Lyrical G released “Geezy” back in 2019. He is currently in the studio working on a duo album project. Akongo Wero is also in Studio, putting final touches to her debut album. Her single Heart Nin, produced by Nase Avatar of Port bell drive was released in May 2020. Krac, has a new 18 track album “Ego” set for release in July, 2020. His other album “Business as Usual” was released in 2017. All will be /are available on all online platforms.