Kenya’s First Viral Music Video: An Auto-Tuned, Blaxploitation-Themed Epic

makmende amerundi

Just a Band’s music video (or, more accurately, short film set to music) is a pastiche of blaxploitation like Shaft, crime-centric American film ranging from Tarantino to the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” and a dash of kung fu tropes, all tossed together and filtered through the lens of another country. It’s funny, violent, at times confusing, low-budget, and undeniably fun–in other words, of course it’s going viral.

The video, for the song “Ha-He,” is the first such video to really take off in Kenya. It’s gotten tens of thousands of hits (no comparison to the “OMG cat,” but that’s not really a fair fight–look how surprised that cat is!) in just a week, and the Wall Street Journal reports that it even launched its own “Chuck Norris quote” phenomenon for the main character, Makmende. (Our favorite: Makmende can tweet 141 characters).

The song itself is pretty catchy too, using Antares’s Autotune to create a song that sounds a bit like the Black Eyed Peas, minus the ear-stabbing horribleness. And the song along with the video has spread like wildfire across Kenya–it’s the first real homegrown “have you seen this video?” moment, and should pave the way for all kinds of cute Kenyan animal videos. The video, here: