We are back at it again, this time to dissect Mauru Unit album by Sewersydaa, the next chapter after the success of WADA (The Healing of a Nation). This album showcases an upgrade in production compared to its predecessor.

Returning from WADA are rappers Katapillar, Sudough Doss, Ajay, Skillo, Kitu Sewer, Hr The Messenger, Virusi Mbaya, and Hassano. They get a second shot in the Mauru Unit album.

The reappearance of these rappers sparks pondering – did Pepela deserve a second chance after his superior performance on WADA? The Mauru Unit album’s general sound isn’t tailored for acne-clad teenagers. It resonates with mature devotees who grew up recognizing that Octopizzo and Khaligraph aren’t the true architects of Kenyan hip-hop.

Mauru Unit by Sewersydaa Album Cover

While Mauru Unit by Sewersydaa doesn’t quite reach the brilliance of WADA, it still stands as a formidable force. If it’s not his magnum opus, it achieves its role by fearlessly speaking truth to power.

The Mauru Unit album cover, with mugshots of Sewersydaa, Wakadinali, Sudo, Kitu Sewer, and others, tells a compelling story. Notably, the faces etched in history belong to Nairobi’s notorious gangsters. You’ll see Rasta, Wacucu, Wanugu, Shimoli, Matheri, Cheruiyot, Irungu, and Kariamiti, a literary luminary. This alone welcomes listeners to Sewersydaa’s empire of spirited politics. 

Mauru Unit by Sewersydaa Track Listing

Cry Baby

Crafted by Hr The Messenger, Cry Baby emerges as an apex of production excellence, featuring reflective verses interwoven with the authentic sounds of a crying infant. Sewersydaa wastes no time laying bare the realities of money with the opening line, “wanasema ati niitumie itanizoea mara nikitumia vibaya inapotea.”

Furthermore, his wise counsel to men resounds: “ukinyimwa unaishia usianze bargain na huna kakitu ukidahni utaskizwa ata unaeza ingizwa kwanza ukijiona mnisa mwanaume utalilia choo tukufananishe na sister.”  street knowledge served raw and unfiltered.

C-4

That bleeds to C-4,” one of the best tracks of this album. Ares66’s production unfolds flawlessly, and Sewersyda’s wordplay finesse reaches unparalleled heights. The line, “vituko juu ya vitu tuko  hadi ninajipata Tuko” resonates with a profound understanding of the narrative.

Illustrating the societal crookedness, he lays bare the absurdity: “tunacheza golf kwa court ya bake na mafans ni wa cricket, system haitaki tupicket.” A scathing commentary on the stinking state of Kenya’s governance system.

Eastlands

In the evocative track, Eastlands,” Sewersydaa orchestrates a transcontinental conversation with the familiar voice of Skillo. It’s a phone call between the two. In this scenario, Sewersdaa is somewhere in America, and Skillo is in Nairobi.

Across the waves, Sewersydaa’s voice echoes from America to Nairobi, each chorus making another call borne from boredom. Regret seeps in as he curses, “F*ck manze hii area inakatsia joh!” Yet, he unveils a contrasting picture of America as the land of opportunity, where wealth flows more freely among celebrities than politicians, a stark reversal from the Kenyan reality.

Skillo, in response, praises Kenya but with reasons that would never convince an African to reject the temptation of international travel. However, the assertion that “Greencard haimaanishi green pastures kama Waafrika we need to learn that,” is challenged.

Success abroad lies with the individual. Given the shadow of corruption cast by African leaders in a continent plagued by crooked presidents, the prospects of a brighter future remain dim.

Seasaw

Sudough Doss’s distinctive voice becomes an instant favorite, reshaping the overall sound in the track Seasaw.” Meanwhile, Katapillar is on a meteoric rise, making appearances in more albums than any other artist in the last ten months. It’s now or never for him to transcend into a household name.

However, on this particular track, Sewersydaa’s political aggression, which I admire, seems to wane, leaving his collaborators struggling to sync with the missing vibe.

Ki Di’ng

In the collaborative track Ki Di’ng,” Ajay from the Burulyn Boyz duo makes another appearance after gracing the WADA album. Sewersydaa, unyielding in his activism, criticizes Kenyans, proclaiming, “Siwezi wablame kwanini mliamua kuvote na feelings.”

He bemoans the Kenyan voter’s inclination to vote with their stomachs rather than their minds, a perpetual struggle. However, Ajay’s performance, unfortunately, falls short of infusing the necessary vigor to complement the thematic essence of the track and the entire project.

My Avi

Returning with intensified stamina on the drill beat in My Avi,”  Sewersydaa delivers shoutouts to two tenacious Kenyan criminal lawyers, Danston Omari, and Clif Ombeta. (Ombeta has every characteristic of Joe Proctor from the Power series – a legal mind capable of securing freedom regardless of the charges).

In a raw expression of African sentiment, Sewersydaa exclaims, “I wish ata walami wangebaki ona sai Kenya iko up for grabbing.” He laments the corruption entrenched in Africa post-independence.

While Sewersydaa regrets the departure of colonialists, he gracefully elevates King Kalala rapping, “na Kalala anaeza kua the Kenyan Harris, naskia yeye haitishangi faris,” a stark opposite of numerous Nairobi women.

Kijana Good Job

Domani Munga holds a special place as my all-time favorite. Sewersydaa features his Wakadinali brother, and in the track, Domani Munga takes charge of the hook. Have you noticed Domani’s shift towards singing lately?

The track titled, Kijana Good Job is as intense as its verses. Domani fearlessly addresses Kenya’s politics, poking fun at rigged elections, and seemingly glorifying street thugs.

Sewersydaa doesn’t hold back, rapping lines like, “vitu tuanatoa stu zinathreaten kuanza coup hii si kizazi ya mafools, acha ka umelemewa.” Hoping Sewer succeeds in this pursuit.

Sema No

Skillo makes his return withSema No.” The track produced by Ares66, features a persistent piano that creates a perfect backdrop for the duo to deliver their message distinctly.

This time, Skillo’s political stance takes the spotlight, and it’s not hard to appreciate his perspective.

He challenges Kenya’s politicians who expect unwavering pride in the 2010 Constitution, shedding light on the reality that this law primarily serves the interests of the leaders.

With lines like, “Mr politician what is the solution kutoka nikue newborn same condition mmechange constitution je njaa na pollution poor living condition bias distribution,” Skillo captures the deep-seated issues in Kenya society. Kudos to Scar Mkadinali for bringing Odongo to light.

Sewersydaa adds his authentic touch, making a standout contribution with a line that solidifies this track as one of the best on the tape: “me ndio the main na kuna mwere anamblain acha nimdishi nikupee,” a direct message to the envious individuals.

Break Point

Mauru Unit by Sewersydaaa has consistently delivered impactful moments throughout. But Break Point stands out as one of the filler tracks that doesn’t bring the insightful elements seen in other tracks.

It seems like a manifestation of “Patrol” from WADA although lacking the political introspection that Sewersydaa is known for.

Tena Siitaki

Tena Siitaki serves as a boom bap production by Hr The Messenger. The sheer quality of the beat elevates this track to one of the best in the Mauru Unit album.

Kitu Sewer, a significant influence on Sewersydaa, delivers a million-dollar verse that adds immense value.

For genuine hip-hop enthusiasts, this song is a must-repeat, with Sewersydaa contributing a killer intro and maintaining a high-quality flow throughout.

Ukweli

This album takes a trajectory toward its peak with the Eyuh Chino-produced Ukweli.”

This isn’t a track for those seeking a dance beat; instead, it transports you back to the era when extrajudicial murders were rampant under the guise of crime-solving, particularly during Hessy’s time.

The significance of “Ukweli” lies in Sewersydaa’s admission, a first for him,  that crime doesn’t pay. Undoubtedly, this track stands out as one of the best in the entire project.

Chief Gwetheist

Chief Gwetheist boasts the most impressive production in Sewersydaa’s repertoire over the years.

The storytelling reaches a level that feels almost otherworldly, making it a track best enjoyed in a laid-back setting. Sewersydaa skilfully dismisses political discussions in street gatherings, using the voice of Bunge La Wananchi’s Omosh One Hour, a move that resonates with many.

The track drives home a vital message – Kenyan youth would benefit more from self-improvement than wasting time discussing leaders who often seem unbothered with their concerns.

The line, “Easleigh wanajua president wao ni Abdi,” powerfully captures the reality of Somalis being deeply embedded as Kenyans, yet their allegiance lies back in Somalia. 

Mbwenya

The next track Mbwenya delves into a narrative centered around hood life and crime.

While undoubtedly a compelling song, Sewersydaa leans more towards storytelling in this piece. He steps away momentarily from the activism that defines the essence of the Mauru Unit album.

Round n Round

Round n Round,” despite the return of Sudo, comes across as another filler in the album.

While the song’s flow is on point, it deviates significantly from the overall theme, throwing listeners off course.

Despite the missed opportunity for King from Wakuu Music to truly shine, those who approach the song as a standalone single may still rate it as a dope track.

Telescope

MRRight from Buruklyn Boyz finally secures his place in a Sewersydaa album with Telescope,” but unfortunately, it doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

Within the Mauru Unit album, there are already tracks with a more significant impact. While Hr The Messenger’s beat is noteworthy, his verse doesn’t elevate the song as expected.

Notably, on the hook, Sewersydaa’s pronunciation of ‘kitelescope’ raises questions, seemingly resembling an attempt to adopt MRRight’s style. What are your thoughts on that?

Zikishika

The track Zikishika,” produced by Hr The Messenger, carries a distinct message that warrants attention.

It serves as a direct address to our entitled women, reminding them with a straightforward message, “princess treatment me si baba yako” (princess treatment? I’m not your father).

Tuko kwa Streets

Skillo makes his third appearance on the Mauru Unit by Sewersydaa in Tuko kwa Streets,” delivering a quality verse.

However, when Sewersydaa utters, “Tuko kwa streets nyi mlibaki mko kwa phone,” it prompts a reflection on one’s entire life and the choices one wants to make.

Yaye

As this is a Sewersydaa album and Domani Munga has already made an appearance, it’s only fitting that Scar Mkadinali joins the mix on Yaye.”

Hr The Messenger brings a Latino vibe to the beat, creating a unique sound. Scar Mkadinali ventures into the Luo language in his verse, blending it with the Sheng he incorporates later.

True to form, he doesn’t disappoint with lines like, “Mresh amebeba I guess iyo ass ilinizuia sikuona izo red flags.” Sewersydaa quotes a portion of the Extra Pressure hook with “tempted to quit my day job.”

He speaks truth to power by saying, “gatekeepers tuliwacha kwa mlango kilakitu huishaga fashion.” This echoes the not-so-distant past in Kenya when quality music often faced rejection from industry gatekeepers for no justifiable reason.

(It’s worth noting that figures like Mwalimu Rachel attempting to ‘advise’ Wakadinali, despite having no role in their ascent, is ironic; it was the fans, not the mainstream, who propelled them to success.)

P.M.M

P.M.M aptly standing for Pre-Meditated Murder carries a vital message.

The line, “Deep Inda miaka sita juu ati sikuwachekeshea,” shows the ugly reality of the Kenyan system.

It reflects the unfortunate situation where the police and, to some extent, the judges, may impose a sentence of up to six years on an accused individual simply because they weren’t bribed. This can be seen as a form of ‘premeditated murder’ on the conscience of the youth.

As you reflect on this harsh truth, consider the impactful line, “kam na idea bila doo tunaisnooze,” emphasizing the challenges faced by those without financial means.

Tuko Deep

Tuko Deep unequivocally claims the title of the best song in this Mauru Unit album. The beat stands out as a flawless sample, complemented by an exceptional hook.

Skillo solidifies his presence with a justified fourth appearance on this project. Hassano impresses on his second appearance in a Sewersydaa album. Additionally, Roller of Wakuu Music and Mnabe contribute quality verses, adding further depth to the overall composition.

Cry Baby 2

The synergy between Sewersydaa and Dyana Cods is consistently enchanting and the magic extends to Cry Baby 2.”

Dyana Cods is often the subject of street speculation linking her romantically with rappers (which is untrue). She collaborates with Sewersydaa addressing women who pursue relationships with rappers for clout and money.

Sewersydaa highlights the dynamic in his verses, while Cods issues a warning for these women to steer clear of rappers, even if blogs wrongly suggest that she built her career on such relationships.

She repeats the line, “cry baby nadeal na ka cry baby nilikushow usijaribu kufallia msanii cry baby nadeal na ka cry baby story kwa news ni vile napea wasanii.” Ladies be warned.

Unatakaje

Unatakaje brings together Sewersydaa, King, and Octoppizzo’s nemesis Virusi Mbaya. It’s a hardcore track that might not appeal to most non-hip-hop enthusiasts who may skip it without a second thought.

The track lacks a conventional sweetness. But Sewersydaa gives Virusi the spotlight to shine, creating a hardcore experience that real Kenyan hip-hop fans are likely to appreciate.

Waliniambia

The concluding track Waliniambia raises the question of why the legendary Kitu Sewer consistently outshines young rappers in the game.

After immersing yourself in the verse of the Mashifta legend, it’s a bit drowning to listen to Wakuu, not in terms of flow, but in the educational depth of the bars. Kitu Sewer’s prowess undoubtedly sets a high bar in the rap game.

While WADA (The Healing of a Nation) exhibited political extremism, Mauru Unit by Sewersydaa is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the Kenyan hip-hop scene. The album stands out as an exceptional individual performance from Sewersydaa despite numerous collaborations on the project.

RATING: 7 out of 10

TRACKS TO REWIND:

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