Mezmah has risen out of the danger and violence of Nairobi much like Kendrick Lamar rose out of Compton and made his way to the top. ‘Nairobi,’ Mezmah’s latest track, explores what life was like growing up and getting out of Nairobi. It captures the realism of the situation with an upbeat sound that’s given a chill flair from the lo-fi beat that drives it. Escaping those kinds of situations isn’t easy, which may be one of the reasons it’s a prominent idea in the world of hip-hop. Mezmah tackles this idea in a very succinct way, creating a song with true replayability.
The first sound that breaks in at the start of Mezmah’s Nairobbery is its chill lo-if beat. It starts off making the listener feel like they’re floating in the clouds, and that makes the rapping hit so much harder. There’s such a succinct flow throughout the track, and it dynamically shifts between the flow in different vocal lines. There’s so much power and passion behind it, and it meshes perfectly with the chill beat driving it in the background. There are some held-out notes which really add to the vocals, bringing in a brief halter to the percussiveness held in the rapping. Nairoberry is an extremely well-done track, and its musical strength goes hand in hand with the lyricism of rising out of darker conditions.
“I remember being broke outside living in trenches / No these ain’t excuses well life no pretending / Women say they love me now because they just want a mention,” are some lyrics in Nairobbery that do a great job at portraying its message. Mezmah says that this is an ode to his hometown Nairobi, Kenya. The name of the track happens to be the nickname of Nairobi due to its high crime rate. It’s a city that he loves, but he grew up around death and violence, so he made sure to depict it in all the realism that it holds. It’s a place that he rose out of, but it’s his home, which is something that we all hold in our hearts to some capacity.
Mezmah is a UK-based artist who pulls in musical and life influences from his time in both the UK and Africa. He got his start in the world of music in 2017 and has grown to gain a management deal in 2020. Mezmah cites some of his influences being Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Notorious B.I.G., and he’s been featured by sources such as UK Hip Hop Talk and The Word Is Bond. He’s a quickly growing UK Rap artist, and it’s exciting to think about where he’ll go from here.
Written by Sage Plapp