Review

Scar Makes It Look Easy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On lush keys, Scar starts raw and strong, “On that block like I should be, walk like I should be”. His latest album, Easy, starts on coruscating instrumentation, to which his deep voice envelops. The confidence Scar exudes in the opening track, delivered with unprecedented fullness is the first of many arresting moments. Every song has so much weight as the latter. It is all just pieces of the Scar story. A good album is like a good meal, each course leaves you dazzled. Each bar, like each bite, moves the senses. Etched in rap as a trailblazer due to his involvement with Wakadinali, Scar shows tenacity and menace, making it all look easy.

Something about Kenyan artists living good is wholesome, but the story of paper chasing is exhilarating. In Easy, we are presented with this energy as well as transparency. If it wasn’t clear then, by now it is crystal clear: Scar is in his class. The dirge in “Bachelor Degree” (“I miss Gully and my man you were valuable, I was so pained I never came to your burial”) to the flow-shifting “Mountain Mover” – it is all elite expert rap. Easy is seamless, seductive, but plain sailing, the work of a guy who checks in on his own time. In “Million Dollars”, Scar alleges, “Kushikwa juu ya wizi hiyo ni past tense”. But the way he flows now, you get the sense he would have found his way to the mic one way or the other.

The artist born Churchill Mandela, “Mr Riz Mangwai”, aka “Kovu” aka “Mountain Mover”, belongs in the club, the streets and our earphones. Perhaps the most sterile track on the album is “Hera”, thematically hinging on gangsta love and smooth machoness. “Baby girl you don’t really know me you only hear about me, right?” he starts. Here he hits a new peak, more decadent and sleek, complementing the smooth Dholuo chorus by Apesi. Above all, It is refreshing and one of the most accessible tracks. It summarizes where Scar’s music has been, and the possibility of where he can take his music.

An album that sonically imitates the unruly start of the 2020s, Easy sums up what Scar has been building to in under thirty-five minutes. In solid ten tracks, we enter into a Hip Hop world full of smooth basslines and driving melodies. He can make innovative music that makes you sing along. Scar spews bars that feel gangsta yet picturesque. The tracks cruise to the Hip Hop ideals like diction and striking delivery. Subsequently, It is easy to find yourself within the music, thus fair to say that Scar is particularly relatable to the Kenyan youth, swirling their lives in words, flowing fluid – without breaking a sweat.

“I’ve got the number to the Commissioner. Go ahead and tell your bosses it’s the new regime,” Scar raps on “OPPs”. Here, he is back to what makes him adored: snapshots of youth, vivid visions of crime, and boasts that paint him as one of the greats – with lyrics to back it up. With Easy, Scar’s poetic knack reveals itself, the MC introducing turns of perspective previously unheard within his art form. Foreal.

djfita

DJ Fita is a Kenyan DJ, music producer and music journalist. He is the founder of Sound Safari.

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