Khaligraph - Africa's No. 1 rapper
Kenyan rap king Khaligraph Jones a.k.a Papa Jones is easily one of the most influential African rappers of this decade. He cuts across the complexity of all genres, and music fans, quickly rising to become one of Africa’s most sought after rappers. Khaligraph will be making a return to Coke Studio Africa after his debut on the 2017 season, when he was paired with Rwandese singer Bruce Melodie. Their collaboration “Don’t Know” was one of the most well received original tracks from that season.
Becoming Africa’s No.1 Rapper
Despite his humble beginnings, Khaligraph’s career has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. He has risen from winning rap battles on the streets to being crowned Africa’s Best Rap Act at the AFRIMMA 2018 Awards. He attests: “My greatest moment in 2018 was when I flew to the USA for the Afrimma awards ceremony. That feeling, when they called out my name as the winner, Priceless! It honestly cannot get better than that.”
Khaligraph admits that starting out, he never had big career expectations as he was not sure that any of his dreams would become a reality. He confesses: “Honestly, I never expected any of this to happen. I consider everything that is currently happening in my career to be a miracle. That is why my debut album that I dropped this year is called “Testimony”. I’m thankful for the direction my career is headed in, seeing that I am now working with artists that I grew up looking up to.”
Khaligraph concludes, “One thing I’ve learnt from my journey is that growth is gradual. You just need to keep pushing.”
Bringing up new stars
With great success, comes greater responsibility. Khaligraph has continuously lent his hand to multiple upcoming rappers that look up to him. This is evident through his annual cyphers: “The Khaligraph Presents”, “Khali Cartel 1” and “Khali Cartel 2” where he has featured some of Kenya’s fast rising emcees. Khaligraph states: “I’ve got to be the most consistent Kenyan artists when it comes to working with young upcoming acts. For me, it’s never about the number of social media followers you have, so long as you have the skills and right vibe. I understand that right now I’m in an influential position and I don’t expect to shine alone. That’s why with every chance I get, I also put my people on [the spotlight]. “
Return to Coke Studio
Musically, Khaligraph cuts across the complexity of all genres. On Coke Studio Africa 2017, he wowed the audiences when he did an R&B cover of Bruce Melodie’s song “You Complete Me”.
in the 2019 season however, Khaligraph will take it a notch higher with an Afrobeats/Hiphop music fusion as he is paired with Nigeria’s Rudeboy – to be produced by Majic Mike.
Khaligraph says, “Last time I was here [on Coke Studio Africa 2017], I brought my A-game, but this time I plan to go even harder. I’m paired with Rudeboy, one of the biggest and most influential acts out of Africa. So you already know that this is going to be epic!”