KHALIGRAPH JONES

 

Crowned Best Rap Act at the AFRIMMA Awards – 2018, Kenyan rap king Khaligraph Jones a.k.a Papa Jones is undoubtedly one of the most influential African rappers of this decade. Touted to have a rap flow as quick as Twista’s or M.I’s, his style still stands out and with a super flexible flow. Musically, Khaligraph has cut across the complexities of all genres, eras and music fans, quickly rising to become one of Africa’s most sought after rappers. On Coke Studio Africa 2017, Khaligraph was paired with Rwandese singer Bruce Melodie. He makes his second appearance on the show, collaborating on Coke Studio Africa 2019 with Nigerian artist Rudeboy and produced by Kenya’s Magic Mike.

 

CAREER

Always proud of his roots in Kayole, Nairobi - Khaligraph is an inspiration to younger artists in the rap game, especially those from informal backgrounds similar to where he grew up. Today, he commands a strong following and massive attention. In June 2018, he released his anticipated debut 17-track album “Testimony 1990”, which is one of the most downloaded Kenyan albums via Boomplay and iTunes.

 

MUSIC INTERESTS

Beneath the success of Khaligraph’s own releases and collaborations today lies years of hustle and unsuccessful release of various mixtapes. Some simmered on the back burner for up to five years before getting any airplay. But this never stopped Khaligraph from performing at spaces like WAPI, where he was crowned severally as hip-hop battle king. As soon as Khaligraph started making it big, he began saving to launch a label that would represent other acts and support their careers. He is the head honcho at The Blu Ink Corp Record label. He is also the founder of The Baba Yao Foundation CSR. He further initiated the 'Khaligraph Presents' cypher to discover, nurture and promote talented youth.

 

BACKGROUND

Khaligraph’s journey as an artist began at a young age and he was inspired by listening to a wide range of music genres as well as reading books. He developed an interest in the hip-hop/rap genre and when an opportunity presented itself in the form of The 2009 Channel 'O' MC Africa Challenge, the then 19-year old took it up and went all the way to the finals. It was from that competition that the rise of Khaligraph Jones became evident. He coined the popular phrase “Respect the OGs” to his brand. It has become a common slogan in Kenya’s hip-hop industry, used to refer to Khaligraph in a respectful way.