MC Rabbi while in Uganda
Recently at a Lounge Night event dubbed “Ignite Experience,” a Kenyan Gospel singer who refers to himself as “The 21st Century Worshiper” was the main artiste. It was therefore no surprise that Kampala, especially the youths and urban contemporary music lovers, we’re highly expectant. The reformed former drug addict who has been free for seven years and counting was given great airplay during the weeks leading to Lounge Night and had a number of interviews, mostly on Ugandan radio.
The general feeling is, like Dafari, Kris Erroh, Suz Eye, S.O.C, Majic Mike, Ting Seh (though the latter is very quiet now), MC Rabbi is certainly one of those Kenyan musicians whose music has struck a chord with Ugandans. Since we love to dance to upbeat tempo songs, MC Rabbi who sings Dancehall, Reggae, and Ragga genres is well suited for the Ugandan market.
Kenya should be proud of their musical export to Uganda. MC Rabbi did not disappoint when it came to his performance at the Gospel Lounge Night event. His energy levels were high, and this time we are convinced he was empowered by the Holy Spirit. What stood out for us was when we walked out of the concert hall earlier during the evening to find him and a team engaged in deep intercession. It is no wonder that ‘The 21st Century Worshiper’ did not focus only at giving his all into getting the crowd hyped but ministered as well.
A brief history
Born Ashford Hinga and raised in Gachie, Kihara, in Kiambuu County a village well known for a high crime rate and insecurity in Kenya, it is not surprising that, although he was raised in a Christian family with his father being a minister, he still gave himself to drugs, heavy partying and the nightlife. He became an Emcee in the night clubs and drowned deeper and deeper into the Rastafarian religion that believes God is black. His first involvement with drugs was when he was 14 years of age.
Concerning his conversion, or rather, return to the faith, MC Rabbi remember this vividly and said, “It was on June 8 2008, in the morning. After smoking weed (marijuana), while playing the guitar singing a Christian song, “CHAKUTUMAINI SINA ILA DAMU YAKE YESU”. (Which means “I have nothing to hope in, but the blood of Jesus “)” That day, while tears flowed down his face, he accepted Christ but was ashamed of his newly found hope. He did not reveal this to his friends until much later. When the elders, parents and guardians in the neighborhood got wind of this good news, they rejoiced because the ringleader in organizing secular shows that encouraged drunkenness and a sinful way of living among youth had reformed. He would later return to church, join the praise and worship team and become the leader. It was obvious that the call of God was on his life.
In his school days, owing to his love for music, MC Rabbi started learning to play guitar. When he reformed and started music ministry in church, he was taught to play keyboard. He recorded his first two songs between 2010 before meeting and working with his current producer Vickypondis in 2011 on a Kikuyu album titled Nyumba. He is currently working on a new album.
Back To The Lounge Night Concert.
One of the best moments at the show was when he teamed up with one of Uganda’s musicians who has joined the league of the most celebrated among Gospel music listeners, Fortune Spice . Before MC Rabbi stepped onto the stage, King Kulcha performed to prepare the crowd for him. King Kulcha’s stage appearance and performance of a recently re-done ‘Level’ song left us wondering whether him and Kuseim Knots who is now more into audio production are still a duo. Perhaps we should interview Kuseim Knots soon to discuss how he is thriving in that field since he is producing for some of Uganda’s top mainstream musicians.
We arrived when Paul Selah a Dance Show program host on WBS TV was leading the crowd in a dance session. The house was not packed to capacity but the attendance was fair. Lena Price gave a performance that left Christians dumbfounded. (That’s all we will say.) JK Shine was by far one of the best ministers and performers for the night. She started hers with a prayer, then went on to deliver a spirited ‘Deeper’ song performance and some of her more hyper jams. By the time she was through, we had worshiped, danced and screamed our lungs out.
Two things were the most disappointing. Make them three actually. The first was the fact that the DJ for the night was rather a bit ‘slow’. The second was, Phila performed only one song and the last being, Kulukuta was not performed until after we pleaded and only for both the DJ and whoever was in charge of sound to collaborate in making that a less than successful performance. Fortune Spice’s performance of ‘Making Jesus Famous’ and Daala were among the best for the night. The rest of the performances were normal.
Blox Musta! This gentleman has some really amazing reggae vibes. During his entire performance, we kept thinking “Someone needs to find this artiste and work with him.” His lyrics are sober, his vocals are on point, however, those who were seated next to us agreed that he sounded a bit like Levixone. Whoever handles him must consider intentionally driving him away from the similarity. Those are our honest thoughts.
It was a great night. We had a great time. The stage setting was lovely. The musicians gave us a show we should have paid for, but the crowd could have been bigger, the sound could have been better and the DJ could have saved the evens organizers a lot more stress.