The genre: a unique and futuristic selection of instruments makes it quite catchy to the ear. It's not uncommon to see an elderly person grooving to a Sailors' or Ethic' tune. In fact a sea of Tik Tok videos is available to back me up.
Job creation: Hate it or love it, Gengetone has created a wealth of jobs for not just the singers, but also the music producers, camera-men and music promoters.
Status Quo: When it came into the market, Gengetone was criticised for being extremely vulgar and obscene.The young generation however loved it. In a few days the singers were amassing up to 1,000,000 views. This upset the status quo in the market and many established artists had to either re-invent themselves, collaborate with the artists or start buying views, haha.
Increase in Quality: When it started, it was a shoddy genre. 2 years later, it is a very well managed genre in terms of audio & video quality. The spontaneous increase in content brought with it a need for better standards for the artists who wanted to stand-out. For this I commend the genre.
Mirrored the Society: Sure. The nudity, drug use & obscene lyrics upset many elders. At the same time though, it painted a vivid picture of the society we live in and how the pop culture has influenced our youth. If parents actually take note of the lyrics, they will learn a lot about the children they are raising and communicate more effectively from a point of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. The parents will also be able to tackle issues such as sex education head-on.
Lack of corporate investment: Investors sustain industries. However, owing to the need to preserve their company image most corporates have shied away from investing in the genre. Most corporates want their products to cut across the whole demographic. Sadly, Gengetone does not. When companies partner with artists as their brand ambassadors, they want to make sure the artist's image and music speaks to the product consumers. Gengetone seems to fail at establishing this.
Terrible pay: Most may argue that the Kenyan music industry generally pays poorly but with established artists earning up to Kshs 500,000 a show, it is safe to say that all artists deserve fair pay. This is not the case for Gengetone artists. There are a myriad reasons for this including: self-artist management or lack of management, money-hungry music promoters and the monetary value attached to the genre.
Rise of Stereotypes: Due its' characterisation as an obscene genre, Gengetone has 'painted' a bad picture of the young generation. Young artists are easily dismissed without a chance to show what they got. Parents are also quick to dismiss their young ones if they ask for financial support to join the Gengetone genre. This is because they believe that all Gengetone music is 'bad', which is simply not true.
Censorship: In the past, a couple of Gengetone songs have been flagged by Youtube and some have been pulled down at the request of Ezekiel Mutua. Due to this, most artists have been forced to change their lyrics or use a new hard-to-understand sheng' language.
Little to No Ad Revenue: Youtube came up with a checklist that you have to tick through successfully to-ensure that content is advertiser-friendly. Adult content, drug related content and many more practices are not considered advertiser-friendly. This simply means that making money from the YouTube Partner Program may prove to be an uphill task for Gengetone artists.