Jean Claude Uwihanganye, popularly known as Mbarabukeye.

Jean Claude Uwihanganye, popularly known as Mbarabukeye.

Behind the tough face is a man passionate about music and determined to make his contribution to the Hip-hop fraternity.

Uwihanganye thinks that Rwandan Hip hop is losing its feel because rappers are slowly losing originality.

?It is a competitive industry, so you are most definitely going to find rappers who are struggling to appeal to all audiences ending up doing a fusion of different genres in order to make a quick buck,? he says

Uwihanganye started rhyming in his Primary Three where he would rap free style as his schoolmates drummed.
When he joined high school, he started performing at gigs in his Gatsata neighborhood.

?There were really few artistes back then as compared to today. If you did something good people would applaud you. People had a ear for good music,? he says.

In 2008, upon joining Senior Four, he was lucky to join Kina Music Label after going through the raw talent auditions. Uwihanganye made it through the auditions and in 2009; he teamed up with one other male and female under a group named H Snipers.

H Snipers did tracks like Intwari and Nd?umunyarwanda. Together with popular singer Christopher, he also sang Niko Biri.

He later quit Kina Music after coming to a conclusion that Producer Clement Ishimwe despite his skill in other genres wasn?t cut out for Hip hop.

At this time, Uwihanganye was done with high school and was spending most of his time in the gym. He slowly started getting offers to be a body guard or generally provide security at events. In December 2013, B-KGL was formed and he joined.

?Someone can come over to you and simply start shouting at you. The first rule is to know that you are in a better position to behave like an adult,? he says. He adds that his job has enabled him to meet so many people, producers and members of the general public, something that he believes will work in his favor when he gets back on the music scene.

He says people see Hip hop as noise yet rappers talk about current issues.

?I want people to know who we are and not mistake us with just anybody,? says.

Mbarabuceye recently released Imbere Cyane; a collaboration with singer Aime Bluestone.

Mbarabuceye was born in 1990 at Gatsata. He is the first born in a family of three children. He studied at Ecole Primaire de Gatsata and holds a Diploma in Automobile Engineering from Samuduha Integrated College (SICO) in Kicukiro.

Stephen Kalimba, The New Times

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