The recently concluded odibets rap challenge has proved why Kenya is a force to reckon within the African hip hop music industry. The challenge was initiated by Khaligraph Jones and sponsored by odibets under the hashtag #Odinare challenge where rappers had to fill in the missing verse (16 bars) over an instrumental and mention “ODINARE” and “ODIBETS” in the verse. With over 7000 entries over a span of two weeks, many rappers brought out their A game and proved why Kenya is among, if not the best, the top players in the rap game in Africa. During the period, ten lucky winners were awarded ten thousand kenya shillings daily before the final shortlist of twenty rappers.
The Top Twenty artists in the challenge.
Khaligraph then chose a shortlist of twenty finalists who would then go head to head for the grand prize. They were given a different beat and now had to rap a full song over instrumentals by “vinc on the beat”. The rappers surely did not disappoint as they managed to cover different topics while still managing to include the concept of betting in their verses. The lyrical justice they did to the beat was truly sensational and even though one winner had to be chosen, they all deserved a spot at the top.
Each of the twenty contestants was judged by a panel of reknown Kenyan rappers including Scar, Khaligraph, Mwafreeka, Ondu Streetlawyer and Miss Ruby. From there they chose another six candidates from which the winner was to be voted for by the fans. The top six who managed to make it include Katapilla, Benc, Achicho software, Murasta, Shekinakaren and Real Elisha. Katapilla eventually emerged as the winner and took home the grand prize of one million shillings. He was closely followed by Benc who took home five hundred thousand while Real Elisha came in third and won three hundred thousand. The remaining three contestants took home fifty thousand each.
Hip hop artist Katapilla.
Katapilla, is a reknown Kenyan rapper already making big moves in the industry and for sure he will be a force to reckon with in Africa in the next few years. He already has been featured in two khaligraph tracks and has some songs with Scar mkadinali which are local bangers. He is regarded as one of the top tier underground lyricist and his pen prowess is unmatched. A member of Afrocentric group, he is slowly rising among the top Kenyan MCs and this wind definitely has given him a boost in the game.
The competition provided a platform to many unknown artists to newer and wider fan base as this was the trending topic for the first two weeks of August. In terms of legacy, Khaligraph Jones will definitely be remembered as one of the top Kenyan entertainers who really pushed for support of the Kenyan music scene. Khaligraph is one of the best rappers in Africa having won multiple awards locally and internationally and has major bangers under his belt including collabos with Sarkodie from Ghana. We look forward to more of these challenges across Africa that will help bring light to talented African artists who are yet to be discovered.