CELEB BUZZ: In defence of the legendary DJ Pinye

Wednesday March 18 2020

Veteran disc jockey DJ Pinye has come out to address the angry reactions by a section of Kenyan musicians after he called on artistes and producers to work with him. PHOTO|FILE


As a young man who is trying to do great things, I have cosmic respect for every human who has already managed to do great things in their lifetime.

I usually feel offended when the credibility of a legend is questioned over petty issues. And that’s exactly how I feel about the recent DJ Pinye drama.

DJ Pinye became the target of endless outrage that was baseless after he revealed that he never used to play music by certain artistes.

One of the artistes he mentioned was Khaligraph. The other was DNA. He also slammed the youthful group Ethic who are known for their salacious lyrics. In conclusion, he said that deejays shouldn’t feel compelled to incorporate mediocre music in their sets just in the name of promoting local talent.


The turn-table ace made these volatile comments during an interview at NRG Radio.

The point that was missed by many was that his reason for not playing certain artistes wasn’t because their music alone was unsatisfactory. It was mostly because their videos were bad.

Pinye has mixed in clubs and events but he is mainly known for being a TV deejay behind the popular show The Beat. You can thus understand why the quality of a video is salient to him.

Khaligraph has been guilty of releasing poorly done videos for a very long time. It’s not hard to see why Pinye didn’t play his music. Up to today, Khaligraph still doesn’t put proper work into his videos as he does to his panache-rich bars. His visuals are a hodgepodge of smoke, weird facial expressions designed to make him look like a tough guy, distracting quandaries and paper-thin plots. This is probably the reason why despite his immense talent, he is yet to properly penetrate the international market.


However, Khaligraph took Pinye’s sentiments with bile rather than with thoughtfulness. He threatened the veteran deejay, telling him that he could have dropped a diss track but he has decided to spare him.

Growing up in my teenage years, The Beat was one of those shows that I always looked up to on TV. 5 pm would find me on the couch waiting to see some of the hottest videos.  On that show, the bald deejay put boundless effort into mining the most gratifying musical productions from the bland rubble of local music before serving them to us. And while doing that, he catapulted many Kenyan talents to greater heights. Ignoring the great role he played is simply being unreasonable.

Some say he destroyed talents. How? Was he ever appointed as the maker and destroyer of talents? Did he go to every radio station or DJ and told them not to play certain artistes? Every industry is huge. When one person doesn’t like what you do, you can always find someone who does. Blaming one person for your failure or lack of progress is a sign of weakness.

If you are an artiste whose music was never played by Pinye, what’s the issue? You cannot expect to be liked be everyone, no one should expect you to like everyone either. I have people that I don’t like and so do you. I am pretty sure that other top deejays like Joe Mfalme, Crème and Mo have artistes that they don’t like too. 

In an effort to join the Pinye condemnation that was already full of logical gaps, DNA ended up releasing the worst diss track of all time. He called it ’Kapinye’, perhaps in an effort to belittle the deejay. Instead, he ended up spoiling his own reputation.


I understand that he saw this as an opportunity to revive his dying career but good Lord, he really made a mess of it. Even those riding on the Pinye-roasting juggernaut agreed that DNA did a poor job at putting the veteran deejay in his place.

Pinye never even said that he hated DNA. He just said that he didn’t like the first “Banjuka” video and so he didn’t play it. When DNA did a second, better “Banjuka” video, Pinye played it. So what was the diss track for? It’s like someone telling you to tie your shoe laces but instead of doing that, you get angry and punch them.

A word of advice to other artistes: if you don’t do Hip Hop, don’t release a diss track. Imagine how awkward it would sound if someone like Bruno Mars released a diss track? Tragic! That’s how this DNA diss track felt like.

Let’s be quick to understand instead of just being quick to react and attack. Let’s remedy ourselves of the Mass Trolling Syndrome that’s ailing us. Let’s give legends the respect they deserve. Most importantly, let’s understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion and tastes. You can’t force me to like matumbo instead of kuku and neither can you force Pinye to like Ethic instead of Sauti Sol.