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Ethnic Entertainment: Pioneers of Gengeton Music

Ethic Entertainment, a Kenyan music group formed in Nairobi, has become synonymous with the Gengetone music genre. Comprising Rekless, Swat, Zilla, and Seska, Ethic burst onto the music scene, capturing the attention of Kenyan and international audiences with their unique sound and unapologetic style.
Ethic Entertainment was formed in 2018 when the members, who were friends with a shared passion for music, came together to create a distinct sound that would later be recognized as Gengetone. The group’s name, “Ethic,” reflects their commitment to authenticity and the representation of their culture.

Formation of Gengeton Music

Gengetone is a sub-genre of Kenyan urban music that emerged in the late 2010s. It is characterized by a fusion of Genge, a popular Kenyan genre, with elements of dancehall, hip-hop, and sheng (a blend of Swahili and English slang). Ethic Entertainment played a pivotal role in popularizing Gengetone, contributing to its rise as a dominant force in the Kenyan music landscape.

Ethic gained widespread attention with their breakout single, “Lamba Lolo,” released in 2018. The song’s catchy beats, explicit lyrics, and energetic delivery resonated with the youth, catapulting Ethic to stardom. “Lamba Lolo” not only became a viral sensation but also sparked discussions about the evolving sound of Kenyan music.

Ethnic Entertainment Discography

While Ethic’s music has been celebrated for its catchy beats and relatable lyrics, it has also faced criticism for explicit content. The group’s unfiltered approach, addressing societal issues and reflecting the experiences of Kenyan youth, sparked debates about the boundaries of artistic expression and cultural representation.
Ethic Entertainment’s discography goes beyond their breakthrough hit, featuring a variety of singles that showcase their versatility within the Gengetone genre. Songs like “Pandana,” “Figa,” and “Tarimbo” have further solidified their presence in the Kenyan music scene.

The group has faced challenges, including controversies and lineup changes, but has demonstrated resilience in navigating the dynamic music industry. Despite controversies, Ethic remains influential, addressing societal issues through their music while evolving their sound. Ethic Entertainment’s influence extends beyond Kenya, with their music reaching international audiences. The group’s success has contributed to the global recognition of Kenyan urban music and the Gengetone genre.

Legacy And influence

Ethic Entertainment’s legacy lies in their role as pioneers of the Gengetone movement, shaping the sound of contemporary Kenyan music. Their impact on the industry has opened doors for other artists experimenting with new sounds. The group continues to evolve, keeping their finger on the pulse of youth culture and maintaining their status as cultural trendsetters.

Ethic Entertainment’s journey represents more than just a musical phenomenon; it symbolizes a cultural shift in Kenya’s music landscape. Their fusion of genres, unfiltered lyrics, and authenticity have left an indelible mark, ensuring that Ethic remains a defining force in the ever-evolving narrative of Kenyan urban music.

written by Felix Kwasi Annan

edited by Ruth Ama Onumah



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