If you’ve been riding the Rong Rende wave since Ndani Ya Cockpit 1, you’re already in on the secret sauce. Wakadinali is like a hip-hop juggernaut, especially now in Ndani Ya Cockpit 3. Unlike the earlier albums where you’d play detective to find missing members on different tracks, this time it’s a full house- a well-oiled machine firing on all cylinders.

Rolling into the third chapter of their Ndani Ya Cockpit series or NYC, the Wakadinali trio isn’t holding back. They are slinging bars so cocky it feels like they’ve come in from another galaxy to school everyone in the Kenyan hip-hop scene.

Munga Domani, Scar Mkadinali and Sewersydaa? Those dudes have the Kenyan hip-hop scene in a grip tighter than a Nairobi street mugger’s headlock.  

Check this out – all the Wakadinali crew ain’t just killing it together; they’re flexing their solo game, too. Scar Mkadinali dropped the thoughtful #Easy” album, while Sewersydaa went all in with the politically charged “WADA “The Healing of a Nation.”  

Now, Munga Domani? Man, he unleashed the “Exposed: Munga’s Revenge” album and is straight-up wildin’ on the “Mungu series.” And get this – Munga’s a hip-hop machine; no breaks, always in the zone. Now, what you wanna do with that info in the Kenyan hip-hop GOAT debate? That’s up to you.

The Wakadinali trio’s dishing out insults and conscious lines like they’re passing out candy. And you know what? It’s shot them straight to national superstardom- crowds singing along at their shows like it’s a damn hip-hop anthem. It’s a movement.

Let me drop some truth here – keeping your performance always on the upswing is a challenging feat. Look at the American trio of the Migos – even they struggled to match the impact of the first Culture.

When Culture II hit, Hiphopdx called it an “unfocused, unworthy sequel.” Ouch. And don’t start me on Culture IIIPitchfork said, “like its predecessor, can become a slog and, at times, seems shoddily constructed.” Now, why am I telling you all this? Wakadinali isn’t falling into that trap, and Ndani Ya Cockpit 3 is proof.

I’m not throwing Wakadinali into the Migos ring. But here’s the deal for the slow learners: the Ndani Ya Cockpit series has been leveling up. It’s like a staircase to quality and artist maturity. 

In Ndani Ya Cockpit 1, Munga Domani passed the hook mic to strange voices. Fast forward to now, and he’s like, “Nah, I got this.” Post NYC 2, he’s on full hook duties. 

Ndani Ya Cockpit 3 is not just another sequel; it’s a damn upgrade from the first two. They’ve shown off the technical wizardry they flexed in Victims of Madness. Quick note – that one was a beast, even though it was outside the NYC series. The Eastlands trio nailed it, hands down. 

Hold up, though. What’s screaming out loud in Ndani Ya Cockpit 3? The witty Sewersydaa stealing the spotlight. Dude was playing hide and seek, but now he’s always in the mix. There is no disappearing act here. And peep this – this project comes with no usual intros.

Wakadinali’s journey to stardom was rocky as hell. Mainstream media shrugged them off, doubting their style would amount to anything serious. Big mistake. Wakadinali kicked everyone out of their chill mainstream vibes.  

These guys were spitting rhymes about mugging, weed, and pulling off the infamous koto (Nairobi street talk for breaking locks and pulling off heists). No dry spell for these wordsmiths; they thrived even when rejection came knocking.

Fast forward, they’ve got the crown for the best album in the area code and are up there, looking down at the scene they conquered.

Let’s break down the first track, “Singefanikiwa,” a motivational anthem where the trio dives deep into their past struggles. Munga Domani’s hook hits you right in the feels, suggesting they were on the brink of throwing in the towel, but they gritted their teeth and held on, and now, they are on top. Sewersydaa stays sharp with the wit.

Here’s a cool throwback: Munga drops the legendary title Pesa, Pombe, Siasa, Wanawake,echoing the Dandora duo Mashifta. It’s like a nod to rap’s earlier years and history. Scar spills the beans, admitting folks told him music wouldn’t pay off, but look at him now.

Now, “Mc MCA” might not be the absolute banger on the album, but let’s give props to Ares66 for the production magic. The Africanized beat with the flute vibes? Pure eargasms.

Let’s get into it. So, there’s this interlude featuring George Wajackoya, Kenya’s 2022 presidential hopeful, going on about the glories of Marijuana – the main agenda of his manifesto. And right after that, we’re into the next joint,Mariwana.”  

Let me take you back to when Nas spun a tale from a gun’s perspective in “I Gave You Power,” sparking 2Pac’s “Me and My Girlfriend.” Wakadinali pulls a similar move in “Mariwana.” It’s a weed anthem, but trust me, it’s on a new level.  

Munga Domani drops a hook so smooth; you’d think he’s crooning to a sweetheart, maybe someone on Nikita Kering’s level. Sewersydaa, on the flip side, gives nods to the one who led him to embrace the green. These guys love their weed. 

I remember Scar on a video shoot (the second time I met him) with a massive resealable ziplock bursting with blunts. Meaning? This song isn’t just blowing smoke; it’s a testament to their love for the herb.

Let’s break down Scar Mkadianli’s solo, “King Size.” It’s like a breath of fresh air, striking a perfect balance. Since Scar released the monster track “Kovu,” shaking up every artist in the game, his projects have been on a level of realness and authenticity.

This joint makes it clear – Scar doesn’t need hooks to craft a killer track (Remember when he spat on “Kovu,” saying “na ka unangoja chorus ndio hii,” then just went full-blown with the rap?) The dude’s a powerhouse in his own lane. 

The “King Size” vibes are political and sprinkled with some dancehall flavor. Check out the lines like, “pole ka uko na experience bila connections,” and “Mama tried, man, I can’t complain, ukizaliwa Eastlands ni ka ushafail, f*ck the government, I can’t bank on them.” And, of course, Scar takes a moment to pay respects to his uncle Ochieng’

I’m calling it – “King Size” could easily snag the title for the tape’s best track.

“Huu Kijana” is not just one of the best songs on the album – it stands out like a boss in Wakadinali’s all-time catalog. Why, you ask? Because of the slick sampling of “What a Man” by the trio Salt N Pepa on the chorus. It’s subtle, but if you’re sharp, you’ll catch it, and damn, it does wonders for the song.

There’s this human-like whistle sprinkled throughout the beat, and it’s the perfect sidekick for the entire track. Sewersydaa jumps in with a verse dripping with confidence, and let’s take a moment for that new voice – it deserves a standing ovation.

Let’s talk real. “Ndani Ya Cockpit 3” isn’t flawless, and let’s address the elephant in the room – “Shit Yangu.” It’s not just the weakest link in this album; it’s dragging down the entire NYC series. Wangechi’s verse? It’s hitting the amateur hour like it got ghostwritten by some mediocre up-and-comer still figuring out the ropes. Honestly, it’s a misfire of epic proportions. Just imagine: “Me ni Wangechi Walaaaaaaaai…..napull up na mangwai kwa karaaaaaaaaaaaaaaai.” Yeah, it’s that bad.

We gotta talk aboutSikutambui– this track is the breakout star of the album, giving a serious run for the title of the best song in the whole series, right up there with Mangana Manangos from Ndani Ya Cockpit 2. 

It’s Scar Mkadinali’s show from the get-go, with no hook in sight until he drops some of the ridiculous lines, like “anataka nimwage ndani me namwaga kwa matope.” Munga steps in with a hook that’s lurching and confident, comparing his speed to Boxer and Kawasaki motorcycles. Talk about needing a sponsorship deal for that shout-out.

Sewesydaa comes in strong on the third verse, sealing the deal and making this track the ultimate hit. It’s pure fire.

“Zoea” is a whole vibe – take it or leave it. It’s the track that’s patching up the void left by Wangechi. It’s a full-blown drill anthem that’s confidently strutting its stuff, and while it might seem like an underdog, it’s packing the sickest hook of the series. 

Munga Domani kicks off the hook, doing his wizardry that no one else but himself can even comprehend. When he finishes the first verse, the song’s already a hit, leaving you with the message, “mwanume hafai kukula lunch.”  

Scar steps in, going full-blown Steve Harvey, dishing out advice to the ladies: “msupa mbona uko na haga bigi na hauna ganji umekalia doo.” Girls, what you do with that advice is up to you.

As other artists might take the last verse as a demotion, Sewersydaa flips the script and takes control. He spits, “vumilia ka inakuuma, kuma isikufanye mtumwa… samo ya streets piga tapo usiinyoshe keja labda lojo” and signs out in the most brutal way possible.

Khalihraph Jones messed up his verse on Moja Safi from Ndani Ya Cockpit 2, but this time round, he redeemed himself on Tourist.” This ain’t the same old “ni mamaji safi, makali kiasi na ugali fry, mishikaki, samaki sazingine chapati chai” vibe. Nope, he brought the real bars and went all out, stepping up his game from the mediocrity we’ve seen before. Respect where it’s due – he’s paid his dues.

“Aroma” is Sewersydaa’s solo gig, and he’s bringing social politics to the table. Dude deserves the spotlight because his absence was hella noticeable in the last two NYC projects. Now, fair warning – this track ain’t for everyone. It’s not gonna serenade you; it’s more of a raw, unfiltered vibe.

You must be a hardcore Sewersydaa fan to catch the actual message. But hey, if you’re vibing with it, just make sure you know the drill when passing that weed in your next smoke sesh with your crew.

Let’s switch it up. “Chunga” is a tight drill joint by the ‘Kapenguria 3.’ Scar’s letting us in on what’s cooking in his mind when a rising female rapper hits him up for a collab. Munga Domani drops some real talk to close it out – “unadai kuilamba na venye hii mwiko imepitia sufuria mingi.”

On Case Closed,” Scar threw a curveball with “Nichezee ngoma moja mpya ya E-Sir.” My mind took off on a mental flight, trying to decode Scar’s game. E-sir, the Kenyan music icon, left us with just one album and some tracks. His untimely exit robbed us of witnessing his full lyrical potential with a broader catalog. It’s like a missed chapter in the book of the Kenyan music GOAT debate.

“Rong Reggea” is that bonus track vibe, no doubt. What’s Eastlands without a sprinkle of reggae, right? And that saxophone at the end? Pure magic.

 “Rong Cypher Vol 2.0” is a 13-minute freestyle bonanza with a star-studded lineup. I dig Sudo, but once Kitu Sewer’s name hits the credits, the legendary status might make fans restless and itching to fast-forward.

Hold up, though! You gotta give props to Sewersydaa for dropping lines like “ukijileta unajilea.” Hr the Messenger brings the flow but kinda lacking in the bars, just like Katapillar spitting “swagger imetii” in a seriously charged track. 

Scar? He’s bringing the dope and the political vibes. And Kitu Sewer? That man’s a legend!

Ndani Ya Cockpit 3 might be imperfect, but it’s got Wakadinali ruling from the mountaintop, and no other rap crew seems poised to dethrone them any time soon.

Rappers, take this as your warning.

RATING: 6 Out of 10

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