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MTN Uganda Launches MTN Pulse Rap Battles

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By Reporter

MTN Uganda has launched the Pulse MTN Rap Battle (MPRB), a three months rap competition that will also act as a lead up to the MTN Hip Hop awards in February 2020.The telecom giant has sponsored the MTN Hip Hop Awards for the last 3 years. The MTN Pulse Rap Battles, however, offer the rap community a sustained opportunity to express their talent and are a fitting lead up to the awards.

The MTN Pulse Rap battles will provide a minimum of 6 months engagement inclusive of a countrywide talent search, production and online/TV broadcast of the competition. The 12-episode televised show will be set in a battle format in various settings like cages, streets, etc. in the presence of 3 renown judges, a super hyped host and the participation of the general public especially through digital. Commenting about the project, Hellen Kirungi, the MTN Uganda Youth segment manager said, “Pulse has been mainly positioned as a lifestyle proposition. The MPRB however, explore how the youth can use the platform as a potential future source of livelihood while continuing to enjoy the hip lifestyle that comes with it”. It’s worth noting that Uganda’s Hip Hop industry has grown from being only popular in High School and as Karaoke acts, to become the most loved music genre today especially with the advent of Lugaflow, the vernacular version of Hip Hop that accounts for almost 90% of urban music played today.

The epic rap competition will see contestants face off in the following competition categories:

Pass on the Mic: A beat is dropped in a cypher set up and each rapper is supposed to freestyle without losing the beat and passes on the mic after the given time period

Can U Handle the heat: Contestants are subjected to physical activity while rapping out

Speed TEST: Contestants are rewarded for speed and articulationSpoken word: Contestants are challenged to write and perform the spoken word

Street Concert: The challenge is set on a busy street with the objective of attracting the biggest crowds through rap

#NOFEAR challenge: Contestants are expected to rap despite any barriers meant to instill fear and disrupt their lyrical flow. The MTN Hip Hop awards night will see 16 of the competitors walk away with various prizes. The grand prize for the overall winner will be a mentorship and recording deal in addition to cash, MTN Data and Voice minutes.

Furthermore, the winner will be an MTN Pulse ambassador for a year and his/her music will be uploaded on to Tidal, a top music streaming app that is available to MTN customers and is owned by renowned American rapper, Jay-Z. This potentially means, that the winner can, with time start earning income from the revenue earned by artistes whose work features on the app. Aspiring rappers can take part in the MTN Pulse Rap Battles by registering atwww.pulse.mtn.co.ug/rapbattles

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Celebrity Gossip

John Blaq lands new multi-million deal

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John Blaq

By Our Reporter

Musician John Blaq will soon be smiling all the way to the bank. This after reports indicating that the Tukwatagane singer has once again scored a new multi-million deal with beverage company, Crown Beverages Limited.

This doesn’t seem to come as a shock, following the success of the Tukonectinge with Pepsi promo for which he was the Campaign ambassador. The Tukonectinge campaign saw thousands of locals participating and winning millions worth of prizes, 25 Toyota wish cars driven home and more than 30 people winning a fully paid trip to Dubai.

“John Blaq brings good vibes, has great support from his fans and is a humble person which I think might have made him sign a new deal,” a source from Pepsi revealed, adding that, “His music is getting better and given the right support with the right partners, John will only get better.”

Asked about the nature and value of the deal, our source said, “All I can say is, the singer is smiling all the way to the bank.”

According to one of his close associates, Blaq is likely to have Pepsi behind him on many levels because of his growing music career. “They told us they have enjoyed working with him in the past and believe that the partnership between Pepsi and John Blaq is for the long-term,” he said.

We can’t wait to see how this unfolds.



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Lil Kid Uganda, Fresh Kid fight for stage to perform with Nigeria’s Emmanuela

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A few days ago, we reported to you how the newly introduced 8year old rapper Lilkid Uganda, commonly known as Pastor Omurasta for his gospel preachings had met up Nigerian comedians, Emmanuela, Mark Angel and Success and was confirmed to perform at the show. Well, latest reports we have received indicate how the “Bali Bali” singer, Lil Kid Uganda Pastor Omurasta was bounced from the venue when the day for the show came, infact our reporters at the event never saw the young rapper inside the concert hall.

The “Emmanuela Live in Kampala” show at Serena on Friday last week is where Lilkid was supposed to perform but ended up being bounced for yet to be known reasons. When we contacted his management for a word about why they decided to disappoint their fans, Manager Henry of Pricesana.com told us that; “We don’t know what happened, the boy was there in time but as refused to sing. He was even refused to access the hall where the show was supposed to take place from,”Meanwhile, it should also be noted that at the same show, Fresh Kid Uganda, another young rapper was among the headliners of the evening since he has always fantasized about meeting the Nigerian comedian Emmanuela and he was allowed to perform without any hustle when his time came.

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Nyege Nyege was Party after Party, here is why.

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By Staff Writer

I had yet another experience of Nyege Nyege. A fourth year here means you come off much calmer, with less movements, and begin to follow a certain flow.

This Nyege Nyege found me even more prepared. The one thing I truly mastered from Kenya this year was the phrase; “Wamlambez…Wamunyonyez…”

When Nyege Nyege came around, I was on top of my game. There’s something so real, so nice about this Kenyan hits, most of which have been banned off official airwaves in Kenya. Wamlambez is one of them. No one did beat the Kenyans when it came to dancing. Whether it was Wabebe, Accelerator, name it all, the men and women always killed it to perfection. It is rumoured that whenever Kenyans lost a friend in a crowd; they just had to shout; “wamlambez” this time not to mean sucking but where are you? The friend would reply; “wamunyonyez” not to mean licking but; “here I am.”

But then came the phrase that completely took over was; “party after party.” It is the only infinite phrase in Uganda. It has no end to it. You just keep saying party after party after party….

Of course, you know it did not rain despite my prayers yet again. The rainy nyege nyege has still built this unforgettable memories in the minds of most. We look forward to a return of the rain.

Now, the secret of Nyege Nyege is to be at the right stage at the right time. Because you could all be at Nyege Nyege at the same time and be experiencing totally different things. You ought to have the intuition to shift and change stages. It takes an experience or one or two nyege nyegez for this to build in. Of course this also means that you become good at navigating the place. Most people leave nyege nyege without mastering the way around.

There was the mighty reggae stage. The Tanga girls did conquer this during most morning hours. But at night, reggae took the best of it. Nothing beats a reggae chill by the river side late in the night; finding inspiration in roots and chalice. It felt like a commune with Jah.

The electronica area is where you went to test your nyege levels. If you danced to the max while here then you had reached the point.

Now I have read some claims of lost phones. I must say, if a phone is lost at nyege nyege, it is most likely a case of absolute carelessness. And it should be to friends hanging around a person. I have attended events and I must confess, no one does a better job that the Nyege security team.

I have often been asked; “what happens at Nyege?” Let me confess that Nyege Nyege is what you make it, it is how you choose to define it. If you want it to be a high experience, then it will be one. If you want it to be a dancing experience both literally and figuratively, then it will be. Nyege Nyege is what you will it to be. Above all, there is not gonna be a place where you will engage in radical self-expression. Deep down, I now think nyege nyege is a place for exploding creativity. You come here and have four days to explore self, be self, imagine self and create self. The music is just there to guide you on this journey.

At some point I carried out at experiment of free hugs and it worked just fine. I went with flu and returned with none of it. Something smoky about the air that clears all ailments.

My only problem with Nyege Nyege is that it ends. You wait a whole year for it and then boom, it is gone in less than 4 days. That is the problem with all good things in life, they end. You can’t hold onto them. May be they end so we can always look back on the memories and thank our spirits for dancing to life in full.

To Team Wamlambez, to Team Parte after Parte…. cheers to Nyege Nyege 2020.

Photography by Nyege Nyege Fest.



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