The duo adds an unexpected mix of talent to Uganda’s hip hop scene.
What would you do to impress that gorgeous girl you’ve suddenly fallen for? Well, there are countless ways to achieve that, but here’s what this one city commuter taxi driver does: he falls in love with one of his passengers, and to please he accepts to drive her all the way to Mbarara yet his earlier destination was Ggaba market.
Now, how about that for an ‘I will do anything for you, my crush’ move!
Anyways, that’s Kampala for you. So many stories to tell, plenty of unique experiences. Of course so many serious issues are ubiquitous in our society, and it is such matters that two childhood friends who first met at a local football pitch are addressing, only in a musical and humorous way.
Meet Young Cardamon aka YC (Zohran Kwame Mamdani) and HAB (Hussein Abdul Bar).
These two mates who grew up in the same neighbourhood of Buziga kicked off their music career last year with “Kanda (Chap Chap)”, a song all about an East African delicacy: chapatti.
They have just dropped their first EP: Sidda Mukyaalo (I am not going back to the village) along with their first music video off the album, P.S.V.
Zohran Kwame Mamdani (YC) strikes a laid-back easy pose . . .
. . . as Hussein Abdul Bar (HAB) goes for an accessory you have seen many African chiefs hold
Meanwhile, producer Izaya goes all creative in this photo
The duo adds an unexpected mix of talent to Uganda’s hip hop scene. YC is an Asian-Ugandan rapping in English, Hindi and impressive Luganda, while HAB is a Nubian-Ugandan rapping in Runyoro, Nubi, English, Luganda and Swahili.
In May this year, they released Sidda Mukyaalo – six songs telling the stories of Kampala, and taking on tough issues like racism and corruption, but with a sense of humour that will assure you they don’t take themselves too seriously.
P.S.V. – the first video released off Sidda Mukyaalo – is about a Kampala taxi driver who diverts his destination from Ggaba market all the way to Mbarara when he falls in love with a passenger.
Young Cardamom says that was his colleague’s idea.
“It was HAB’s idea to make a song about a taxi driver. My idea had been to make a song about fish, which HAB rightly said was a bad idea.
“Yeah, people would think we only rap about food,” HAB chips in.
Meanwhile, P.S.V. brings out the hustle and humour of Kampala’s public transport sector, and it inspires creativity from both artists.
P.S.V. audio was co-produced by Izaya and YC, and it was the last song recorded for the EP, which took three months to record altogether. The video was shot spontaneously at a photo shoot just outside Fort Portal by photographer Martin Kharumwa, with set design by artist Mirembe Musisi.
“We like to tell stories of what we see in Kampala and play characters based on people we’ve actually interacted with,” explains YC.
“Young Cardamom and I have a background in film,” says HAB, “so we love creating the ideas of our videos. And then we also have video directors that we work with, and they end up making the video even better.”
YC and HAB plan to shoot videos for all the six songs on Sidda Mukyaalo, and the next one will incorporate Uganda’s Wakaliwood style to their rap battle on “Wabula Naawe” (coming soon).