Born and bred in Kinangop in Nyandarua County, Mak Mansa’s story is that of perseverance, persistence, and that of sheer hard work and hustle which will probably get the attention of his Hip Hop peers in the game. Mansa’s musical journey can be summed up in two words, ‘Brutal Ambition.’
Whether it is 13 years ago while in Form One and managing to convince his mother to finance his first project, to beginning various enterprises to finance his music career you cannot fail to acknowledge the efforts of this ambitious 26 year old. Mansa’s struggle in the industry has had its lows and he has faced a lot of ‘red tape’ while navigating his career.
The biggest challenge being getting professionals to work with in the industry. Some have been downright ugly break ups while others have been amicable splits but what’s clear is Mansa doesn’t want the next rapper to endure some of the unprofessional-ism that has bedeviled him.
He wants to be part of the solution, the structure and most importantly, be part of the vision bearers of the Kenyan Music Scene. Shawn Carter (Jay Z) is the one rapper that Mansa looks up to and once you talk music with him, you easily notice this. Thus his stage name comes as of no surprise as it is derived from the great Mansa Musa I of Mali.
He wants the greatness, but he is very self-aware to know that it takes a certain level of tenacity to be one of the greats but he’s ready for the journey. As Mansa says in his debut single, “Hapa Kazi (No Wira),” “Nö stress, press on, till I get it all” means that he is not coming to play but rather stay in the game. Versatility can be said to be his other name since he is ready to experiment with beats which no rapper would dare, flows and sounds that cannot be termed as safe. A good example is his debut single where he passionately raps in Kikuyu, English, Sheng and Swahili so effortlessly that one can be fooled to think they can rap too. The wordplay, fusion of the different dialects but mostly the raw passion in the delivery is what makes this single a hit.
Mak Mansa is here to stay and ready to give you that vibe that will get you thinking harder. No topic is off-limits when having a conversation with the Mansa and that’s a fact. Hail the King!