Hip-hop has caught on quite well on the African continent. Unfortunately, it is not so recognized as a musical and lyrical force that it actually deserves. Possibly, The Spear, the new album byErnest Tulye Nsimbi Lupiazitta Zamba, aka GNL Zamba will go further in rectifying that.
Zamba, who is also called the King of lugaflow, or Father of Ugandan hip-hop has been around for a while (15 years or so, to be more precise), has been picking up stuff – not only from overseas artists like Nas, Jay Z, and Gil Scott-Heron – but also from the best musicians Africa has come up with in recent times like Fela Kuti.
At the same time, Zamba has been a founder of the Baboon Forest brand and shares his artistic gifts beyond the stage by creating global platforms and opportunities to empower local communities, and he is an advocate for the environment, a filmmaker, and social entrepreneur.
So what is The Spear all about? As Zamba puts it himself, “Africa is the future and I say the future is ancient. This is hip-hop with an Afropunk sound. This is the soundtrack to a human revolution, coming back full circle after completing the first journey of physical evolution to now start the elevation to a spiritual one!”
“My Spear album is like a conversation between Fela Kuti, Malcolm X, Tupac, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley, Mandela, Marcus Garvey, my grandmother, an ancient moor, and Mansa Musa.”
So how does that really sound? You get the real taste the moment ‘Africa’ opens the album – real African rhythms with rumbling guitars and Zamba’s lyrics, both in his native language and English. And it all sounds like a truly natural combination, with neither the beats, rhythms, or Zamba’s raps missing a single step.