NOTE: I initially published this article on Ghafla, but It was pulled down because apparently I was too harsh. I never like mincing my words. I can’t be lenient just to be politically correct. I can’t be economical with words just to be politically correct. So here is the article once again in it’s raw and hard-hitting form.
I have a problem with Timmy Tdat, the guy who is the ultimate example of how mediocre mainstream local music has become. The guy who has been inflicting the airwaves with his whiny, horrisonant voice and horrid singing since last year.
Roughly two weeks ago I wrote an article detailing why he was the best artiste in the game right now (or should I say as of that moment.). He didn’t say anything, well because every artiste thinks they deserve to be praised. Last week, I wrote another article listing five Kenyan artistes that sound the same in every song. I also included him in that list. I never even portrayed him in a bad way. I just mentioned that sooner or later, he might need to change his style to something more decent. However, that didn’t go down well with him.
In an interview with Daily Nation, he let loose with an impassioned outburst, claiming that those who didn’t like his music can stop listening to it and that the writer who did that piece (me) is just a fan disguised as a hater. Why go to cry about a Ghafla article elsewhere? Here are parts of the rant…
Why so sensitive bruh? If you are able to handle praise, be able to accept correction too. Listen up Mr. Timothy Owuor. You thought that was criticism? Today, let me show you what real criticism from Etemesi looks like.
Timmy, I must say that when I wrote the first article, I was blinded by adoration because I had really liked ‘Haitosi’. Or rather, I liked the beat while gyrating on some chick in a club and got carried away. Now when I listen to the rest of your songs, they leave a bad taste in my mouth. I am looking around for something to compare your music with right now as I am writing this article and guess what I have seen first? The dust bin. That’s right. What you sing is all trashy musical excrement.
Your music is void of substance. It’s as fake as a porn star’s orgasm. It’ a carp in the sea of quality. And should I mention your ear-drum-damaging vocals? And what’s with the alternating between rapping and singing? You are probably doing this to hide the fact that you’re pretty crap at both disciplines. The only thing you are capable of is putting nursery rhymes together to sound clever. Lyrics like “Sijui nikuite butchery vile una nyama. Sijui nikuite motuary vile una murder.” Continue singing that kind of nonsense and see if you’ll still be relevant two years from now.
Your Nation Media rants are just the latest example of the tendency of artistes to turn fair criticism into a pantomime of ego-tripping. This does nothing to advance the art. In the long run, it will just work against you by making you more detached from public perception (read: reality).
No matter how much you feel the need to respond to criticism, the only real way to respond is by adding something valuable to the music.
So as you walk around shirtless, a kind of swag you jacked from Nigerian artiste Flavor, take a good look in the mirror. You are losing yourself in the celebrity madness at the expense of good music.
It’s pretty obvious that you are getting the arrogance because just like every other celebrity, everybody around you routinely kisses you a**s. You are surrounded by a**s-licking yes-men and fame worshippers, and it’s in that type of environment that you end up creating soulless mediocrity like “Inaweza” – a stale and powerless track with a smoky video to accompany it .
Just like Nyashinski said, “Kama wewe ni mgeni usijiskie sana. Ukikaa tutachoka na wewe. Hivyo ndio kuuenda.” Heard that? Don’t thump yur chest too much. You are still a new cat with a lot to prove.
I tried to digest your latest song ‘Inaweza’ but I found the whole listening experience to be like choking down a plate of raw eggs laced with pepper. That was such a lousy output. Real music should convey some sense of humanity – some sense of relationship with the listener’s life. I know that’s a hard concept for you to get since your idea of a relationship is picking up a new Instagram follower.
But the substandard songs don’t end there, for next up is “Dus Nyau” with its shocking punchlines and some horrid echoing. It’s a nasty, tacky track that sounds like it was robbed from some adolescent teenager before explicitness was added to it. I am still surprised as to how people managed to enjoy that horrendous musical mess blended with a faux-dancehall rhythm. By the end, the song feels like full-blown aural diarrhoea, Someone give e tissue paper please. I need to wipe my ears clean.
Over the past few months following your rise to fame, you have abandoned any allegiance to the ‘Welle Welle’ brilliance you blessed us with and have instead become a strange and unpleasant amalgamation of cheap and rushed hits, tacky video aesthetics, and exaggerated rudeness.
You can flex muscles as much as you want, it won’t make your feeble, tame, candy-ass music any harder. You should remember that you’re making music FOR THE PEOPLE. Of course, you have to be your biggest critic and if you don’t like it, there is no point in publishing it out in the wild. You have to know the dynamic though. The simple truth is that you make music so people can listen to it. Simple as that.
This means that yes, you should pay attention to what the general mood towards your music is. If a hundred people say that your song wasn’t good, they’re probably right. Ignoring them and continuing to work in the same manner as always, might turn out to be the worst decision you can take. Try something new and see if they like it. Public opinion can act as a compass which guides your search for true expression.
Now at this point I will put on my helmet in anticipation of the furious vitriol that will inevitably pour down my head from your fans. That’s if you will still have any left after this article.