Despite many artistes putting their music career on a pause due to the pandemic, artistes used this as an opportunity to record new music and perhaps finish their Extended Plays (EP) or Lengthy Plays (LP)/ albums.
Urban Rap Music & longest-serving Hip Hop king, GNL Zamba is hitting the road back again and so hard this time.
The Ugandan HipHop icon & Lugaflow pioneer GNL Zamba is one of those and yesterday he released his new album dubbed ‘The Spear. In true Ugandan tradition, the Spear symbolizes royalty, coming of age, passing on responsibility, and wisdom.
The album launches African roots into the future with his new Afropunk ‘Spear’ album, calling for triumphs in personal growth and collective solidarity
The Spear album catapults this tradition into the future through an afro-futurist, HipHop, and Afropunk musical blend, with lyrics reflecting the demands of our time in both the artist’s native Luganda and English.
GNL Zamba, now a US-based rapper spent 3 years pouring his personal and spiritual journey of growth into this album, which is to be released at a time when both his Ugandan and American neighbors are in need of the personal reflection and social unity it calls for – as both countries grapple with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic and divisive elections.
GNL Zamba rose to fame a decade ago in Kampala when he captivated the country with his unique concepts of storytelling, by building bridges that married tradition and urban culture through a series of EP and albums releases including: ‘Riddles of life Koi Koi’, ‘Speaking Vernacular’, ‘Uganda Yaffe’, ‘I Am Zamba / Ceasar’ and ‘Dreaming in Colour’, as well as many singles.
This newest release “The Spear” ties Uganda’s past together with present life in America, introducing an inspirational, creative vision of the future. As GNL says, “the future is ancient.” The spear, in this album, is a spaceship!
“I want the whole world to sonically and spiritually travel back to their shared African origin,” GNL said. He goes on to say, “Here is where all the answers lie. Most new Africans have never been to this shining through obscurity Come let’s gather the tribe Vibe in the spirit of Ubuntu (togetherness) we come alive.”
The album weaves together different styles of music, with its roots in hip-hop, including a body of Ugandan traditional music samples, and wings of rock music and punk.
The combination of musical influences are a nod to the black history inventions of Rock n Roll, with influences from Little Richard to Bad Brains. The album features drums by Tony Austin, who has performed with Kamasi Washington and Lauryn Hill among others, and bass guitar by Dante Pascuzzo from the Grammy-winning band Quetzal.
This is mixed together with the Ugandan HipHop style the artist is known for. “I have evolved, but I’m still the same all good,” says GNL of his choice to combine HipHop with an Afropunk sound. “Rock takes the masks off. Through this sound, I feel I can express myself freely and unapologetically. Whatever I want to do musically, I’m going to do it. I want the world to feel and think deeply again about where they are from and where they are going.”
The album was produced at L’Atelier Studios Los Angeles by Fly Tucker, which includes 11 tracks riffing on themes of African heritage, social change, personal and community empowerment.
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