Stella Mwangi, Norway’s Eurovision 2011 contestant and the Queen of the Norwegian hip-hop scene, gained traction in Kenya and Uganda recently with her single “Koolio”. Now she’s riding the wave and has teamed up with Kristoff and Kaligraph Jones on a new track that takes us deeper into East African clubland.
“Biashara” is an Afro club banger about the struggle for money, power and respect in the corporate world. Africa as a whole, and Kenya in particular, is a maelstrom of internal power struggles. As nations grow wealthier they must cope with their spoils—how to split them, and how to deal with a changing national identity. It’s a case of mo money, mo problems, y’all.
Stella wrote the song several years ago, but now that she has a growing African fan base she felt it was time to release it. The message remains just as relevant today. The song also serves as a good platform for her to engage with the emerging East African hip-hop scene.
Mush King, the video’s director, shot on Biashara street, a business hub in Nairobi. He wanted to show young entrepreneurs expressing themselves through rhythm and poetry. Visually raw, it shows Stella—also known as the STL—smoking a cigar. She tells us that she likes having a drag when she’s feeling bossy.
“Biashara” may be lost on Stella’s European fans, but the beats are universal. Mwangi should be applauded for reaching out to different markets with targeted sounds and honouring her Kenyan roots.
BIASHARA LYRICS — Stella Mwangi (STL), Kaligraph and Kristoff
Me and biashara
Flow so tight ask Chris Kantadda
Young Impala, ass like prada
Na kama huwezi shikanisha basi wee ni falaaaa!…..
Yeah basi we ni fala
Mi na enda pale kila kitu dola dola
President moi kibaki wanna hola
Na oneeesha kindooole pole
Tumbo tumbo kubwa kama rick ross
Pesa zetu munafanyia WHAT..????
Kazi kwa vijana pesa kwa ma boss
Washa kuwa floss
Eti wasanii wataget ganji 2030
Nitakuwa 54, made it under 30 eehh
mbere ta mohuko wa shati ya Khaki Jet karatasi
Mi ni st-ella the bigger the better
i emcee on the mic, come test her
Hii biashara ni kaa Mpesa
Wee send, nta recieve
Kaa usend , sku’skii
Biashara ni Biashara
Biashara niko busy
Na mziki ndio huwa Ni grizzy
Na flow ingine maji maji utadhani Gidi Gidi,
In otherwards niko Tei na Jaba
Ju niliskia pia kukula Mei Ni swagger
Am from the business land Nairobi to be specific
Crooked popos na Changaa illicit
River road Baibe , that’s where u gonna find me,
I be getting ka money fast Conning people hadharani
Nikona mpesa coperative nikona Equity
Pesa Ni mingi nimeivisha so me Nina publicity
Paparazzi piga ma Picha then tuzione BBC
Ntashika am mita, biz imejipa ju nime sign na DTP
Biashara Baibe what it do miss Stella
Am the man with the power so I’ll make you feel like Cinderella
And am making it shower so hope you got ur umbrella
Yo it’s biashara Baibe stella go ahead and tell em
Nikiwa na STL siunajua graph huwa ni khali,
Ju miupenda kuchew gum unaeza nipata hurli,
Asalaam aleikum,waleikum salam,
Miupenda Mpesa,Pesa pap na Mshwari,
Hustler ambaye upeel doe kama ndizi,
Mihu peek n peel, uyu boy sinimjuicy,hisi,
Flow chizi ka matiba,na ziko on point ka,AbdubaDida!!
Weka doe,kwenye mkeka,
Flow nutty ka proffesor,
Kristoff, ndo ana tesa,
Kila time,weka pressure,
Pima na tapemeasure,
Kula Ethiopian, hapo Habesha, (aah)
Anapenda Rose na yeh si Amber,
Nikama vindeoo,unaeza thani ni Mkamba,
Biashara ndio Mi ulamba,
Pesa imenifanya mweupe skuizi ka Pamba.
Photo: Stella Mwangi / STL