Klear Kut, Uganda's most successful Hip-hop group are currently in Daressalam, Tanzania to promote their new K-Squared album. Papito, Navio and Lungman left Kampala with musicuganda's 'Tha Puzzle' and they are scheduled to be in 'Bongo' for more than a week.
The promotional tour shall see them do interviews on Tanzanian media including the Channel 5. They also have plans for them to feature at shows while they are in the country and we shall have pictures from their tour when they return.
The entire Uganda waited anxiously as Klear Kut went down to South Africa for the Kora Awards 2002. Unfortunately though, they didn't win any even though they were nominated in two categories. Nevertheless, they did us proud and were Uganda's flag-bearers at the ceremony.
More about the group...
In the 2000's, you cant talk about Hip-hop in Uganda without mentioning Clear Kut? Who are they? They are Papito, Navio, JB, Lungman and The Mith. They are young, they are talented and they are going places. When they had finished their first project, they to went Kenya to feature at Miss Kenya. Believe me when I tell you that the Kenyans felt them. Their debut album, Mind Body and Soul features tracks like 'I remember' and 'Superstar'.
Their Hip-hop expedition to Kenya made them top charts in Nairobi while they were there.. They look nothing like each other, so they are hard to miss. They also sound nothing like each other, so there is variety in their act. According to Dawu of D'n'D (their producers),
The Myth's voice is like a whole octave below the rest! Papito also diversifies their style with hard-core verses in Swahili and French. Their album is not on the streets yet, so you can settle for catching cuts from it on Radio Stations for now.
They recently released a Video for 'All I wana know'. This track features silk-voiced Juliana Kanyomozi who did the hook; she doesn't appear in the video though. The video features poolside scenes with under water shots and GIRLS dressed in all sorts of swimsuits. If you watch the video closely, you can see Dawu, their producer on the boards of production and Seanice of Sanyu FM.
Klear Kut was the only group that gave Uganda the chance for nomination to the very prestigious Kora Awards due in South Africa late this year. Apparently, their Video for 'All I wana know' was the only one which was up to standard from Uganda. All the other videos from Uganda were of 'poor quality'.
Click here to visit the Langman web site
Ugandan Musicians: Meet Klear Kut
By Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
First published: May 19, 2006
This youthful, hip, talented five-member Ugandan ensemble of hip-hop artists and performers was created in August 2000. Their beginnings were humble and not very different from many other Ugandan performers; they started performing at karaoke's and clubs around Kampala . The group rapidly achieved a reputation for their original performances and they started performing at even larger events.
Klear Kut is a hip hop group hailing from Kampala, Uganda . The group consists of five members. Da Langman, Navio, J Baller, Tha Mith and Papito the Multi-Lingual. We first formed as a group in August 2000 and starting performing on a regular basis, especially in DV8, a club in KLA. Things took off immediately after that with us guys recording our first hit single "Nothing Wrong With A Little Doe" produced & featuring Steve Jean.
Click here to read more
Klear Kut: 2k5 Year plan.....
By Paul 'P-Tech' Mwandha
This afternoon, The Missing Link came in and filled me in on the latest from Klear Kut and what future plans the crew has. Hear they are:
About Navio, he’s in studio right now and he’s working on a solo album. Steve Jean is doing some of the tracks and there shall be other masterful beat makers in tow. He also has a couple of fresh beats that were laced in South Africa and these shall feature on the project as well.
Papito is also working on a yet-to-be titled solo album. This shall have a couple of colabos from artists locally and it is still in the works so keep your eyes open for that one too.
Over New Year’s, Mith performed in India to a crowd of over 6000 people! This was with a Ugandan and a Chinese guy. And unofficially, chicks mobbed them as they stepped off stage. He’s also planning to lace a couple of beats and lyrics in India as well. We wait to see if there will be any influence from the Indian music he’s listened to.
Like we informed you late last year, JB is also doing a couple of colabos and has done some mixtapes too. Click here for more on JB.
About The Link? He says he is still thinking about joining college, which is his first priority, and then he’ll plan for what he’s going to do with his musical self but he didn’t rule out a single, album or mixtape.
He adds, “In my head, I have my next three albums ready. I just want to record them and release them at the right time. The material and concepts are all flexible and can adjust to the situation or the times whatever may happen”.
I then asked him about when Klear Kut were going to drop the video for ‘who be the click’, which I presume will be their next release. I was actually there for the video shoot early 2003. He says that it’s going to drop sooner than later and they are waiting for all the members of the group to be in the same country so that they can shoot a few more clips to add to the stage clips they shot when Mith, Navio, Link and Papito were all in town. JB may also be dropping in soon.
On the hush-hush, the group is scheduled to tour Zanzibar some time this year. Link was rather tight-lipped about it and asked me to wait until the press conference when all will be revealed.
You know us, we’ll keep you informed.
Klear Kut's trip to Dar
WORDS BY THE PUZZLE
Hi! It's a fact that we missed the first flight Dar es Salaam on 2nd February, but it is also a fact that we surely made it in time on the next day. “s*@t I don’t believe we missed this flight. There’s so much we could have done tomorrow,” says Navio visibly disappointed.
On Tuesday (3rd February) though, we arrived at the airport on time check in and it’s a sigh of relief for all of us. We are finally on our way to Dar es Salaam.
The mission was to promote Klear Kut's latest album, K-Squared in Dar es Salaam as part of an African Tour. On board is the coordinator Edgar Katiti, Navio, Papito Langman - 'The Missing Link' and myself, The Puzzle. As Langman read a book, we were in Dar on our way to our place of abode an hour and forty minutes later, where we were going to spend a week. Meanwhile 'Swallow', a song off the album ‘pounds’ away in the vehicles’ silver loudspeakers. “We are in Dar” shouts Navio". Langman meanwhile screams on the phone with one of Dar radio personalities. Papito then calls up a buddy who I later learn is AY.
The next day has a tight schedule as the dudes have an appointment for Radio interviews @ Clouds 88.4 FM, East Africa Radio and TV (Channel Five). Time check? 14:45 Hrs; we are at the N.I.C building that houses the radio station. Quarter an hour later, Klear Kut is live on air! Unfortunately, the Dj’s format @ that time is strictly to use Kiswahilli Lingo. Navio and Link don’t understand Kiswahili the way the Queen of England doesn't’t understand Luganda. They keep a low profile during the interview as Papito tussles it out with the Kiswahili questions considering the fact that he speaks the language just as well. I’ll skip the interviews for I din’t grasp a word too but at least I frequently heard the words; “Album Yetu” Navio and Langman get to life the way Lazarus did in the New Testament when they are requested by the show host to do an accapella for the audience to which they readily oblige and thus bless the Mic with 'Lyrical Wisdom.' An hour later, we are at the I.T.V. building, the one that houses East Africa Radio & TV the youth around cannot believe what they see! Klear Kut in town? They surround us requesting for autographs and contacts and photo shoots.
While in the building, we are welcomed by Medzio Kumpuni, a producer with EA TV who leads us straight to the Interviews studio where we found “The Links” show host Blu all ready for the show “Would you need make up?” She screams at Navio. He responds with a wary smile and says; "Nah Nah Nah! It’s lights, camera and ------ action!" 30 minutes later, the TV interview is done and time now to move toward the East Africa radio studio just about 5o meters from the TV studio. Its here that we meet 'homeboy' Bushbaby “The world is small” he says as he welcomes us. Klear Kut await an interview for 'The East Africa Drive Show' with Mr. Flava. “He He He……am so happy today” shouts Mr. Flava hands in the air. “1,2,3 we are doing on air”, He signals to Klear Kut.
A red light flicks in the studio and yeah, the boys are live on the regional airwaves talking about the album, distribution deals and future missions. Flava then plays two of their songs Mon Coeur ‘Murder of the Crows’ and ‘Swallow’ during the interviews. When asked about which African artist Klear Kut would love to do a collaboration with, “Definitely Youssour N'dour” Navio replys to which Flava looks at him sternly and shouts “ooh brilliant!”
We then move to the production studio where meet Rickie, Josh and 'Amo Blaze'. Amos schedules an appointment with Klear Kut for the next day. While moving around town though, we are joined by “The East Coast”, a battalion of artists headed by AY. They tell us about the state of the Music Industry and about an upcoming “Bongo all stars” Concert at Club Bilkanas on Saturday 6th.
The next day, we went back to the East Africa Radio premises for another interview with Amo Blaze during his “Cruise” program 19 – 22 Hrs EA time. Blaze is a 'hard' fellow and thus the interview is surely on fire.
“What’s the craziest thing that you guys have done in life” He asks,
Langman gives him a puzzled look and then replies; "Honestly, I cannot say the crazy things that I have done but surely there’s a lot of crazy stuff that I have done”.
“It’s the friendship we share that keeps us going”, Papito answers in response to the question about where his inspiration comes from.
“Honestly he’s lying, I personally don’t like these guys” Navio cracks at Papito but goes on to state that most of their tracks are a tale of real life experiences that they always go through.
The interview reaches its peak when they have requested a freestyle session over a beat. Navio goes in for about a Quarter an hour as Blaze seems to enjoy it all and thus offering them a variety of beats to flip a verse or two. An hour later, the interview’s done. Amos leads us out of the studio gate and it is peace and goodnite. The time now is 20:30 Hrs. Back home we talk about the day's events as Papito writes out a plan for the next day?
Friday sees Papito calling up different artists, nightclub owners and music distributors to talk about different aspects of their latest album, the possibilities and impossibilities etc Later on in the afternoon, its time to face the Indian Ocean waves along Ocean road. The weather is extremely hot and the more reason to enjoy the afternoon swim. Link slightly hurts his toe.---- not so badly though we head back to the crib along Msasari road at Oyster bay. Saturday is d-day cause Klear Kut is boomed for a performance at the club Bilkanas. It’s also the Bongo all stars concert.
Before hitting the club, it is 'hanging time'. We check out ‘The Bistro’, a nice African setup with a wooden boat at the entrance. The music playing is basically old skool. While there, Amo Blaze joins us and keeps telling us about Dar life. A group of Ugandan students studying in Dar notice Klear Kut and they rush to meet them while smiling upon meeting brothers from home. They drag the team to the Dance floor on which a few dancing strokes are exhibited.
“I surely will be back here” whispers Langman.
Time check 1:45 am and it's time to hit the club for the concert. On stage is a Tanzanian artist Soggy Doggy doing his thing and later on comes Mr. Blue, Masele family, Prince Dully Sykes, 0-10, AY, Mwanafalsafa etc Meanwhile the highlights of the night were; A fight between the East Coast and a bunch of other artists which I later learnt was a result of ‘beef’ between the two camps – punches are thrown in the air between 0-10 and another dude. You would think Roy Jones has attained the premises. Navio, Papito, The Link and Edgar Matiti remained glued in one corner as they looked on bemused and in the company of AY and East Africa TV’s presenter, Amby.
Another highlight of the night was when Mr. Nice tripped and fell off the stage like a sack on beans off a refugee track onto the floor. He later camouflaged like it was part of his performance and spent a few seconds under the stage. But besides that, watch out for his blasting new tracks coming to a radio near you.
After thorough introduction from the night’s MC, Klear Kut finally came onto stage . They started it off with the not-so-familiar K.U.T, which had the audience paying only attention and no emotional reaction but hold on! When the flute for their regional rhythm ‘Mon Coeur’ (Murder of the Crows) started yes ---yes they were now fully in charge. The crowd knew the song and joined the group with all their hands all in the air.
“We want All I wanna know” the crowd shouted and why not? All I wanna Know was performed and by that time, the crowd was all crazy trying to get closer and perhaps touch the boys but in vein thanks to the tight security around them that night”
It being Bob Marley’s Birthday (7th February), the last performance of the night from Klear Kut truly touched thousands. It was the reggae song “Badman Status” featuring Bebe Cool. The crowd could not help but dance to the powerful bass of the song as the 3 flipped verses over it. At the end of the performance it was time to meet the fans and take photographs.
Monday night Navio, Papito, Langman and Edgar plus AY are at producer P-Funks’ Bongo Records to lace a beat and record lyrics, which they successfully do. Am not letting the cat out of the bag but prepare for this new song soon hitting the airwaves around you. At least am sure the beat is as deadly as SARS. Meanwhile as we move around Dar, I can hear Chameleon’s 'Mama Mia' playing on the streets but unfortunately as some Ugandan Radio stations continue to blaze Tanzanian artists on their countdown shows, God forbid! Ugandan artists are not playing that much on Dar radio stations. For example Radio one, Clouds FM, Magic FM, Kiss FM, Uhuru FM, etc you’ll hear a lot of Bongo flavor as it is commonly referred to and unless Ugandan artists say changed their style to mainly Hip-Hop with an incorporation of Kiswahili here and there, you’ll have hard pressed on hear their records on the TZ airwaves.
The Hip-Hop culture is strong in Dar; you’ll find an MC organizing rap-Battle contests in nightclubs as well as igniting 'Beef' between two artists so they battle for respect.
“Here the majority of night-life patrons feel Hip-Hop and if an artist altered that fact, well, it would surely be a miracle if they excelled.” A club Dj told me, “Don’t be surprised if an artist sold 5 million copies of their album down here.” In Dar. people buy their own people’s records”, Bush Baby told me.
It’s Tuesday, the day that we were to get back. Edgar drives the crew to Dar es Salaam International Airport and just like before, we nearly missed the plane as we were the last to board.
Meanwhile on Dar’s Daily Newspapers “The East coast Rappers” that include AY and Snare are on the front pages donning the military fatigue that they wore in their latest video “Amazao” that was under investigation by Government authorities at the time. And the question in parliament is,' from where did they get the military fatigue?'
An hour forty minutes later, we are back at Entebbe. Navio, Papito and The Missing Link all look happy to be back home.
“Ooh! back home” Navio exclaims
“we are back with new styles like folding our jean halfway” Langman joins “we shall miss the Ocean waves” Papito adds. We check in and call it a trip.
JB of Klear Kut speaks out
Interview by MusicUganda reporter
Q. JB, wats ap? Where you @ and what have you been up to?
A. Well I’m doing very well right now. I’m in school in North Carolina, U.S.A.
Q. You've been the 'new missing link' in Klear Kut for some time, when was the last time you performed with the group?
A. The last time I performed with Klear Kut, was at the Steve Jean concert at the Nile Hotel. I remember it like yesterday we ripped that place.
Q. Have you heard about the Uganda Hip-hop Foundation? What do you feel about it?
A. Yeah, I know about it. It’s really good what those guys are doing to build up hip-hop in UG. Big up to the organizers of the Ugandan Hip-Hop Foundation.
Q. When are you going to touch base here in Kampala and what new stuff should we expect?
A. I’m trying to get back to Kampala the beginning of June I have a mixtape coming out, so y'all should look out for that.
Q. Have you been writing verses? How regularly?
A. Yeah, recently I started writing again. There was a period when I wasn’t writing at all, because I was so busy with work that I didn’t have anytime to myself to sit down and think. Now I’m back to writing. I’m working on a mixtape featuring Ugandan MC’s, and some MC’s I met down here in NC.
Q. Any new recordings or record deals?
A. Any record deals? No, not right. I have things I need to take care of before I get a record deals, but they’re there though. I have one record that I did with these two guys I met down here, it was just a lil something.
Q. What is your take on the PAMA saga? Do you think Obsessions do Hip-hop?
A. Come on! How the hell did the Obsessions win best Hip-Hop group and single, and this is not like it is the first time something like this happened at the PAMA’s. It happened last year with Steve Jean winning the best Hip-Hop single with “Fever,” and now Obsessions. Is it because they couldn’t find a category that they could win in. To me that’s disrespectful to Hip-Hop, and to the Hip-Hop artists that are doing something. Nod your Head had no rap in it, so how did it get into a Hip-Hop category. It was BS, because I heard that one of the organizers of the show is their manager or something. So he hooked them up with two awards they had no business getting. It pissed me off, so I’mma stop right there before I get into something else. That’s like Klear Kut winning the best kadongo kamu award, how does that sound. Bottom line it was disrespectful to Hip-Hop.
Q. Who is your tightest MC right now, Ugandan or foreign?
A. I don’t really have one MC that I think is the tightest, I have a list. Of course Klear Kut, and I’m not saying that just because that my group, dem niggaz is tight. Lyrical G, Krukid, Eminem, Meth, Tone Def, Obi Trice, Royce 59, Mos Def, Talib Kwali, Jay, Nas, B.I.G, and Pac. That’s just some of them.
Q. Are all the members of Klear Kut constantly in touch?
A. Oh yeah, we’re always keep in touch. I’m always calling them at least three times a month to see what’s going on over there, and they e-mail when to let know what’s going on. We’re family, we always stay in touch.
Q. What should we expect from Klear Kut when you guys hook up again?
A. When we hook up again, oh my God! It is going to wild. Just expect the best music from us that summer, and our concert and performances are going to be the best you see, you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Q. To you, what is the future of Ugandan Hip-hop and what needs to be changed or improved?
A. To me I think in a few years Hip-Hop is going to take the Ugandan music industry. It’s growing slowly but surely. It will be the love of Hip-Hop that changes and improves the game in UG.
Q. Which Ugandan mainstream artist would you like to colabo with?
A. Well, I never got the chance to work with Lyrical G. So my pick would be Lyrical G. There probably some other artists out there that I would love to work with, but I’ve been gone so long that I haven’t heard allot of mainstream Ugandan artists lately. Maybe I can do a rap song with the Obsessions…lol.
Q. What is your last word to all Klear Kut fans out there?
A. Well, I won’t say that these are my last words, but I’ll say these are my words to my fans. Man, I miss y’all like crazy. Otherwise I’m doing good. No I’m not dead, someone e-mailed me a while back and said that they had heard that I had past away, and get back to him to see if I’m ok. No I am not dead, I am fine breathing well. Look out for my mixtape coming out. Big ups to Klear Kut, Lyrical G, and Krukid. All my peoples out there holla at your boy you know how to get in touch with me, it ain’t that hard. K2 4 Life.
Navio speaks out by Isaac Ssejjombwe
A lot has been going on concerning the hip hop fraternity in Uganda. Music Uganda was able to catch up with Navio one of East Africa’s finest in hip hop and had this to say.
Of recent, you have been on tour. Can you please talk about them? Well, I’ve been in Rwanda and Burundi for musical tours and they were successful as a lot of people turned up since it was my first time in the two countries and from there, I’ll be joined by Myth and Unique to Nairobi for the WAPI concert on the 22nd of this month and finally I’ll be in Tanzania on the 28th of this month with the rest of the Klear Kut members who include Papito, Lungman who is currently in German and JB who is in the U.S..
Friday, July 08th, 2011
Meet Tha Mith
Real Names: Tom Mayanja
Member of Klear Kut
About Klear Kut
Tha Mith is a young Ugandan who is all about family and music and just wants to live life to the fullest. Tha Mith is also one of the founder members of the Hip-Hop group known as Klear Kut “KK” that was founded in 1999.
Klear Kut in 1999 was just a group of friends who enjoyed rap in 2000 if became officially known as Klear Kut and consisted of 5 members; JB, Langman, Navio, Papito and Tha Mith. Right now KK is working on 4 projects; the Klear Kut Album and three solo projects which include Navio’s album: African Hustler Music, Tha Mith’s Album: Week of September and Papito’s album.