The King’s Rifles serves exceptional hip-hop in “Roots”
Written by Burnet ArQnutrient Mulungu on 1st Jan 2022
The Lilongwe based duo, called The King’s Rifles has dropped an album called “Roots” which came out on 19 December 2021. The group established in 2018, comprises of two rappers namely King Kananji and Phi-Ella backed up by producer and sound engineer Basssik. The duo is signed to Soulamp Entertainment, a company which comprises of talented and diverse artist’s.
Our reporter Burnet “ArQnutrient” Mulungu sat down with The King’s Rifles to learn more about the group and the project.
Who are the King’s Rifles?
The King’s Rifles are a hip hop collective comprised of producer Basssik (Beyani Munthali) and rappers King Kananji (Kananji Msaka) and Phi-Ella (Simba Sulamoyo). We mix poetic lyricism and melodic soundscapes to give our fans a unique experience that stays true to Hip Hop and Malawian Culture
When did they start making music?
We’ve been making music as solo artists in some way or form for nearly 20 years, but The King’s Rifles as a group was formed in 2018
What inspired you to come up group?
We’ve all respected each other for a long time and the stars just aligned nicely to allow us to be in the same country, at the same time and on the same label.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Authentic. Hip Hop. We pride ourselves on making music organically. We’re not chasing trends or fads, our aim is to make music that is timeless and that connects.
You previously released a project titled Love and Revolution, how has been the reception so far?
Love and Revolution, https://www.soulampent.com/love-and-revolution was the stepping stone that took us to a wider audience, people enjoyed the album and we think it’s because we were telling the stories, the hopes and the frustrations of the nation.
Did the reception of the first project influence you to come up with ‘Roots”?
No, our intention with Roots was to do something totally different from Love and Revolution. We wanted to have fun and whereas Love and Revolution was a very serious album, we wanted Roots to reflect a more fun and approachable side of The King’s Rifles
What messages are does “Roots” carry?
You really just have to listen for yourself. We cover so much from love to money, social media culture to African culture. It’s an expansive album with something for everyone.
How long did this project take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
It took us a year and some months to get this project out, there were a lot of trials and tribulations to get to this point. But we have a strong (and patient) team around us and we were able to give the world something we are proud of.
I understand BasSik is part of TKR, did he produce the project? , And what input did he have to the project?
He IS the project, he made all the beats you hear on the album. He guided the direction and probably understood the Roots concept more than the rappers. Aside from being the producer, he’s the backbone of the group.
What are your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
We’ve been discussing this amongst ourselves this week and honestly, we can’t decide! It might be better to let the people decide for themselves. Each track is like our baby and you can’t choose a favourite child.
Overall, what message does the project convey?
The message is simple: We take hip hop seriously! We are students and masters of the artform and this album is meant to prove that.
How can people access the project?
Go to https://www.soulampent.com/roots you’ll find the album there and you can purchase it for just MK4,000 or $5 on PayPal. We’re also on Spotify and Apple Music.
Any plans for future projects?
Of course! But right now we want to just enjoy this moment of finally releasing the album and getting such positive feedback from our fans and new listeners. There’s still so much to do with Roots, tours, events, video, etc. So we can’t get too ahead of ourselves.
How would you describe the urban music industry, in reference the reception of the kind of music you make?
We don’t really mess with the “industry”, our focus is on creating art that’s honest and speaks to THE PEOPLE. The industry can get political, we think the people are the truest voice. And the people more and more want substance.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, say, please do:
Our label, Soulamp Entertainment is packed with talent so check out “Mtolo” https://www.soulampent.com/mtolo, the new album by Sagonjah and Tadala and also look out for new D.O.Dub music in 2022. Peace.