The Vault: October 2012

The Vault

The past Sunday, after church, I found myself rushing to meet up a friend (hereafter referred to as “my friend”) who was supposed to take me to an event I had only heard of just 15 hours prior. When my friend explained that the event was to be at the Kenya National Archives, I gave her that look that is supposed to tell someone, “is this some kind of a joke?” I had been to the National Archives before, and I did not see how an event would be held there … well, till we got there and were ushered upstairs, where I had never been to. What welcomed us when we got to where the event was to be held was half of the people on the dance floor with Ken the DJ playing Lecrae’s More. And that was my first impression of The Vault.

 The Vault is a bi-monthly gospel hip hop event which gives a platform to up and coming artists as well as seasoned artists to perform. It is held at the Kenya National Archives from 2PM to 6PM and the first hour, dubbed the hype session is a session for the Deejays to do their thing and ensure everyone is kept on their feet. It is the brain child of Dangee, whom I had the opportunity to say hi to thanks to my friend. This is my account of the first, of many subsequent Vault events, that I attended recently.

 My friend had a role to play in the event, and as a result, I got to sit at the VIP with her, how cool. Moreover, since – not being a hip hop fan – I had no idea of the artists who were going to perform, I needed someone in the know to break it down for me and she did a great job. The hype session extended till about 3:30PM and I must say, Ken the DJ is a really really great DJ, considering I had never heard of him. The MC, Othole, a producer, also did his best to hype the crowd. Within no time, the artists started performing.

 SPAT were first on stage because they had to leave early. The event could not have asked for better artists to perform. They did a good job with songs like Don’t Listen, Change and Celebrate keeping everyone on their feet. SoReal performed Let Go – a song I was hearing for the first time, like most songs that were performed, but whose chorus is still stuck in my head. What I liked about him is that he used exactly 10 minutes, which was the allocated time per artist. H3, who I got to hear has a Masters in Finance or something performed No Turning Back (which is a very good song) and Freedom. I am waiting for his new single, Fame, coming out this week. I hope someone will hook me up.

 Other performers included Maluda, who has a Barry White kind of Bass. If there is a guy who kept everyone on their feet, it is this guy. And he did it for a whole 25 minutes. We were introduced to a new artist called Sam who performed Amaizing Grace, another song which is stuck in my head. The fact that he came after Maluda did him little justice in that with all the jumping, most people had decided to take a breather. Moreover, I thought the song was kind of slow so people would not really jump up and down. Nevertheless, it was one of the best songs performed, according to me.

 My friend and I decided to get juice from The Vault Cafe which has other snacks like Hot Dogs, Samosas and Sodas. She complained that the cocktail was not too good, and I could say the same about the passion juice I took, especially considering the price. Next time I will take a soda. Also, I hope they introduce mango juice because my friend likes mango juice. We found Dan-Gee on stage performing Not Guilty and later a remake of the popular Sunday School song “If you are happy and you know.”

 What I will remember for a long long time about this event will be the performance of Nasara. He started with beat-boxing and the guy is like super talented. I had never seen anyone do it like that. Point Black, who is a secular artist, and his friend whose name I cannot remember were invited to freestyle. Again, I think the only place I have seen anyone freestyle better was in 8 Mile and I am not exaggerating. He is that good! He free-styled two songs, Nasara beat-boxing for him, and the second song totally blew me away. Later, Nasara performed Like Christ. Unfortunately, we had to leave just before the main artists of the day, Kelele Takatifu performed.

 Perhaps I should mention the good work done by DJ Priestly and DJ Joel, who were working alongside Ken the DJ; and the event’s sponsors Christ Powered Radio, Kelele Republic, xHoodz, Epic Concerts and Try Crew.

 My parting shot is that there are a lot of positives with the event. The only downside is time management, which I think the organisers should address. The event almost started on time, but some artists took more time on stage than they were allocated. At some point, we were given questionnaires on our view of the event, which I found to be a good way of getting to know how people view the event. You can follow the event on twitter, thevault254 and on facebook. It is an event I would recommend any hip hop fan not to miss. Make it a date on Dec 2 for the next edition.

Review: Twitter App LMAO!

Before I begin, it is good if I ask you to register the following information somewhere in your subconscious mind: I am not a tech guy. I try to know what is helpful for me, and let other people, whom I can consult when I need to know about something, worry about the newest inventions. For example, it is enough for me to know Google Chrome is a better browser than Internet Explorer. What use is it for me to know that Internet Explorer 9 is about to be released or Google has ditched built-in H.264 support in Chrome? No use whatsoever! Now that we have a background on where I am coming from, we can begin.

I think twitter has more apps than I have followers! One of them is LMAO! LMAO! is a “mobile web interface to twitter’s API. It is a twitter client for idiots developed by another!” according to the developer, Amasy. I have used it for about two weeks now and I have no doubt it is one of the best out there. LMAO! is like Dabr’s sister, only she is younger and therefore, more attractive. Not only is it developed by a Kenyan, it has several Swahili and sheng words such as “Fuata” and current in-words such as “mpango wa DM”, “Mara that”, “PAP!” etc. I can only hope that the words will be replaced with other in-words when their time has come to an end. However, I must say the use of words that are in general use by almost any young adult makes this app much more fun to use than its sister!

Unlike snaptu, I did not have to download anything. I just went to where I was asked my twitter username and password. Once I gave it permission to access my account, I was good to go, as easy as it sounds! The first thing I saw was the purplish background with menus at the top. (Luckily, I was able to change it to a more male colour of Blue.) The menus are as follows:

Home: which displays the tweets of the tweeps you follow according to date and how long ago the tweet was posted. This can be changed in settings so that instead of how long the tweet was posted, it shows the time. I should also mention that unlike snaptu in which you can only view a maximum of the last 200 tweets, in LMAO! you can view as many as possible by clicking the “older” tab available down the page.

Replies: No points for guessing what is found here!

Directs: Again no points for guessing what is here. I should mention that unlike snaptu, LMAO! allows you to view the DMs you have sent in the “Ma DM’s Zile Umesend” section

Search: I really enjoyed using this part, mainly because it was faster than I imagined.

Favourites: All my over 500 favourite tweets were here. Favouriting a tweet is also as easy as ABC. Unfavouriting a tweet, however, gave some sort of error, but still did the job.

Followers: Shows my followers in the order in which they followed me from the latest. There is some information given to help me decide whether to follow (Fuata) or not. For example, the average tweets per day, number of followers, bio etc. This info is normally not available in snaptu. On clicking the username of the tweep following you, you get more options including @replying them, following them, blocking them (Block hii fala) or reporting them (snitch this ass to twitter) and not forgetting the tweep’s tweets.

Friends: Shows the tweeps I follow with the options as I have given in “Followers” above.

Twitpic: You can upload a twitpic directly from the device you are using or from the memory card, easily I must say. You also have an option of adding a message of 110 characters!

Trends: Show the Trending Topics. You have an option of checking the TT of certain areas/countries like the UK, Canada, India, various states in the US etc. Unfortunately Kenya is not on the list.

Lists: Show the lists I am in

Settings: You have options to adjust the app to suite you. You can change the background colour, set the app according to the device you are using (if it is touch screen, a PC, normal phones etc)

About: Tells you one or two things about the app and developer. (not three.)

Logout: I know you are smart enough to know what this does.

The app does not refresh itself, which means you have to refresh it in the “Si urefresh?” tab. The advantage of this is that it does not eat up your data charges if you forget to close it. Another disadvantage is that, unlike snaptu, it does not allow you to use multiple accounts. When writing a tweet, snaptu will not let you continue once you reach the 140 character mark. LMAO! on the other hand will let you be an “idiot” and write whatever you want, only for it to give you an error when you post it. I also forgot to mention that you have two options of retweeting (old school, where you can edit the tweet or new school).

I assume that the app is a work in progress, even though it is better than most apps around, since the developer does not mind comments, suggestions or questions. He does not seem the type to take criticism though, and fairly, for coming up with such an app, he should not get any. Big up to Amasy for LMAO! I will suggest you take a look at it, and give it a spin. If you do not like it, “download snaptu uache kusumbua watu kichwa!