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Kenrazy: I earned Sh800,000 in royalties but wasted all of it

Kenyan rapper Kenrazy believes he is Kenya’s all-time highest royalty earner. The rapper who’s music career has been on a lull for the last few years says he earned Sh800,000 from Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) in an era when his music topped the chart.

To back up his claims, Kenrazy has recounted how more than 15 years ago he was among the first Kenyan artistes to sign up with MCSK.

“I think I’m the only Kenyan artiste who has ever been paid the highest royalty by MCSK. Back in 2007 my hit song Tichi was ruling the airwaves, MCSK had just been founded and the organization was struggling to onboard artistes. They were literally begging artistes to join. Those days we would queue whenever we went to collect royalties because we were very few. I remember being paid Sh800,000 in cash” Kenrazy said.

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Looking back, Kenrazy regrets that he didn’t put his fortune into good use, blaming it on lack of guidance.

“I was young and it was a lot of money back then,” Kenrazy  said.

When he received the money, the first thing he did was buy members of his family a phone.

“I was young and still in school. I didn’t know what to do with that kind of money and there was no one to advise me on how best to invest the fortune, for instance like buying land. My best friend, my father, whom I would have consulted at the time, was furious that I was doing music. He was hoping that I would pursue a career as a pilot having passed so well, but here I was doing music,” Kenrazy recounted.

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At the time, he had joined Jomino Records which had signed up most artistes who came from well to do families.

“DNG at the time was a student at USIU. He had made good money from working with P-Unit who were riding the charts at the time. Being around this clique, with that kind of money, also didn’t help because to them it was all about partying and girls,” Kenrazy said.

Over years, MCSK has turned has been embroiled in an endless feud with artistes over collection and distribution of royalties. In the last three distribution cycles, MCSK has paid an average of Sh2,500 to its now more than 10,000 members.

The last time MCSK issued a fat paycheque was back in in 2019 when boy band Sauti Sol pocketed Sh400,000.

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