We met up with the members of AD Family during last year's Nyege Nyege Festival. After four full days of nonstop turn up, we still had one more day of fight left in us and we decided to pull up to AD Family's after party at a boutique hotel hidden deep inside Jinja town. Needless to say it was a night to remember. We spent a Monday evening jamming and sipping with some Shrap music's coolest kids as they shot outtakes for their latest bop, Shrappin' Jinja. Fast forward to regular programming in Nairobi we hit up AD Family to have a little chat, curious to know about their sound and what they had planned for the near future.
Mookh: Who is AD Family?
Boutross: AD Family is a collective. Kuna three artists, one DJ and one manager.
Mookh: Who are the members?
Mookh: When did you guys come together?
Dope: AD Family has been there for a long time. Basically, wasee waligrow up Highrise, kina Boutross hapa. There were the original members of AD Family but wasee wakafall out with time. In 2015, I linked up with them; I was with Musau in primary and he grew up with them. So, I joined AD Family officially in 2016.
Mookh: It’s something that has evolved over time…
AD Family: Yeah, it’s been around since 2011
Mookh: Your sound is Shrap, did you guys always rap in Sheng?
Boutross: Hatukuwa tunarap na Sheng sana, more of it was English but we had a bit of Sheng in there. Eventually, we realized tulikuwa tunataka kufanya Shrap na kuinclude the Sheng culture and that’s when we changed. That was about three or four years ago. That’s when we decided to put more Swahili rather than English into our songs.
Mookh: Why did you feel that Sheng was necessary to incorporate into your music?
Dope: Charity begins at home, so you first have to win at home. It was something that other artists were doing but there was nothing to give it an identity. So, we felt that with Shrap we can give Sheng music an identity. This is music from Nairobi and it represents the urban pop culture in Kenya.
Mookh: With the emergence of Gengetone and it becoming a popular sound, how do you differentiate between what you guys do and what Gengetone is?
Mawinch: It’s all Shrap. Wasee wa Gengetone pia wanabonga Sheng.
Boutross: The only difference is that wanaiita Gengetone na sisi tunaiita Shrap. Also, a point of correction, Gengetone didn’t come up recently. The name came up recently but the style has been there for years. From the days za kina E-Sir, hizo ndiyo ngoma walikuwa wanado. What Gengetone did was just put a new tag on it. Same way we did, we just called it Shrap but people have been rapping since day one. It’s just the identity that has changed.
Mookh: What do you hope for the future of Shrap?
Boutross: I don’t think we hope, we expect it to be something that is universal. The language itself, tunataka ivuke mipaka. Someone alitupita akafanya ihappen before us, anaitwa Sho Madjozi. Shout out Sho. Alifanya hadi wasee wa majuu waanze kuskiza Swa, having people wanacomment on kitu hata hawajui nini inamaanisha. That’s our agenda, making the Swahili culture ikuwe accepted everywhere.
Mookh: Other than you guys, in the Gengetone/Shrap game, who are you guys feeling right now?
Mawinch: Silverstone Barz…
Mookh: What projects are in the works?
Mawinch: I’m dropping a mix soon.
Dope: I have a project in the works called Purple Hunnids. Kay Green is also working on his project Greener Pastures but he doesn’t have a date yet. We are all basically working on our visuals and our audios.
Mookh: Any collective projects coming up soon?
Dope: Next year tings…
Boutross: Saa hii tunafocus on individual projects but we have the Sho Madjozi video dropping soon, that, we can say is an AD Family project. Lazima tawachape na kajuice watu wabambike mbaya.