Recho Rey takes a surprising twist in her recent song, Imagine Uganda, moving away from the usual suggestive lyrics and tone as she calls for unity and imagination from all Ugandans using a powerful patriotic message.
It’s an old adage that practice makes perfect. That simple saying carries a heavy dose of truth in it and applies virtually everywhere, including in music. It is only natural that as time goes on and an artiste continues to practice their craft, they become better and better at it.
For someone looking for a measure of where she stood at the time, none of the rappers she attacked in her version even bothered to acknowledge her in their responses to the media. She wouldn’t be a non-entity for long though, as later that same year she released ‘Guma Bakunyige’ the song that launched her into stardom after Mun G jumped on its remix.
She has carved out a niche for her playful and suggestive lyrics, which combine with her assertive tone to create a unique sound. Something which has no doubt contributed to her becoming arguably the finest female rapper in Uganda since a one Keko Jocelyn.
Her latest release, Imagine Uganda is going to go a long way in removing the doubt clause in the previous paragraph. Departing from the witty but ultimately light content of much of her music, she takes a much more serious route on this one as she pulls it out of the patriotic portion of her soul.
Imagine Uganda starts with a deeply resonating clip of the Ugandan national anthem, delivered with low pitch piano notes and backed up by the rattle of jazz drums and a snare taking prominence. Recho Rey further garnishes the intro with her vocals, calling on the listener to “Imagine Uganda…when this is Uganda”
She then embarks and takes or rather drags the listener along with her because trust me, you won’t be able to stop yourself from imagining about a journey down the imagination realm of her mind, asking us to try and visualise a country free of the corruption, theft, poverty and violence that we as a country are living through right now.
Recho Rey takes a patriotic stand in her Imagine Uganda song
While listening to the song, Rey continues with the same echo, she summons the image of a patriotic society using the scenario of us showing more support to local Ugandan sports clubs SC Villa, KCCA and Vipers over the foreign ones like Arsenal.
The writing and literal quality are quite different from her usual offerings, as she focuses on delivering more wordplay, such as the segment where she instructs us to paint the picture of a “Uganda omutali buchayi, nga tugabana kachayi, teli na byakuyuwa musaayi”.
I think the most impressive bit of all is that Recho Rey took the brave gamble of stepping out of her comfort zone and putting aside the thumping dancehall tunes she has become most identifiable with for this slower tempo vibe and still managed to stamp her identity on the song.
One thing you can be sure of is, it might not get the massive airplay it deserves but that takes away nothing from the fact that this is a very good song. Not just because of its literal quality, but also because of how well it captures the mood of the nation right now.
Check out: Song Review: Ndeese Love by Victor Ruz
Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.