A lot has been said regarding Navio and his relationship with his heritage; at one point, they said he thought he was too hot for Luganda though fact was that he’s not that good speaking the language.
Well, over the times, he has continued reminding us that he’s indeed a son of the land with a lot kiganda influenced sounds like Nawulira, Kigozi, Lwaki Wenyumiriza and also went on to even do a totally vernacular Mbamalawo.
Truth is Navio may not truly be the best rapper that has graced a Ugandan stage but he’s indeed the most influential, taking risks by sampling local music mostly produced before he was even born or trying to hybrid his so western style with the local sound.
The rapper is at it again, this time it’s a song called Njogereza – well with the title you don’t even to ask which language the song is in, but that’s not what makes Navio’s latest try special, it’s a fact that he goes hard on traditional music.
Njogereza is a 3:25 minute song with a heavy borrowing of Kiganda’s ceremonial traditional sounds – Navio puts rap music on empumi, nankasa, ngalabi and madinda yet finds a way of making it sound all cool.
The songs whose chorus is surprisingly done by Navio himself is about a young man pursuing a rich man’s daughter and he’s not so sure of how the girl or the father will take his proposal.
Surprisingly, even when he seems to have nothing, dude still gets the guts to promise her heaven and earth. In this song, Navio seems to come off not as just a Ugandan but a Muganda that’s absolutely proud of where he comes from, for instance, in the very first verse, he gets his two local names Lubwama and Kigozi mentioned and later his Ffumbe clan.
Earlier in his career, Navio wasn’t that lucky with the masses, for many reasons, they argued that he never sang about things that mattered to them and unlike many artistes that have experienced a struggle, some felt like he got whatever he needed on a silver plate.
Which they believed and still believe is the reason they barely connect with his point of view, however, starting last year, with collaboration with Cindy Sanyu on Ndi Mukodo, his Luga-Flow try on Mbamalawo and Gbesile where he features Nigerian Ragga artiste Burna Boy, Navio seems to be getting into the mind frame of a Ugandan listener whose sole purpose of listening to music is to break into a move.
Njogereza definitely achieves that, it comes with a vibe that will make one feel proud of being a Muganda thus many can easily find themselves dancing. It’s a song that Navio can be sure will make waves on CBS, Kaboozi Ku Bbiri, Dembe or Beat FM with ease, and to make matters way better, he will still have it playing on the elite English radio stations because its him. The song can successfully sit alongside Irene Namatovu’s Kuzala Kujaganya or Mesach Semakula’s Nyimbire Omutadda and it’s not because Navio it is so good, or the first rapper to do it but because it’s him and his American swag thus achieves the surprise effect.