GNL Zamba, aka Ernest Tulye Nsimbi Lupiazitta Zamba, released a new album, entitled The Spear not long ago.
Speaking to the album’s title – The Spear – GNL Zamba shares, “The Spear is how Africans pass on inheritance and responsibility to the heirs of the throne.”
The winner of a long list of awards, GNL Zamba is known as the King of Luga flow and the Father of Ugandan hip-hop. Since dropping his debut album in 2009, GNL Zamba has performed at SRO shows in Africa and the SXSW Festival, along with playing prestigious venues such as The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and UCLA’s the Fowler.
Describing The Spear, GNL Zamba likens it to “a conversation between Fela Kuti, Malcolm X, Tupac, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley, Mandela, Marcus Garvey, My grandmother, an ancient moor and Mansa Musa.”
He goes on to explain:
“People are waking up to something. People are longing for more connection, more love, equality and wisdom. Many are realizing now that what you actually need is thriving relationships and community to stay functionally sane. We’re asking: Are we just tools for data mining, or where is this all going? We’re seeking a level of consciousness that improves us as human beings. It’s time to go back to where it all began.”
Embracing 11-tracks, The Spear begins with “Africa,” opening throbbing Afrobeats, followed by the entry of growling guitars topped by luminous synth accents. Potent vocals infuse the lyrics with a tight hip-hop flow.
Entry points include “No Borders,” which blends a cavernous bassline riding syncopated Afrobeats. Hints of reggae give the tune tropical savors, emphasized by bright, braying brass. The merging of alt-rock energy with the heft of hip-hop infuses the tune with infectious dynamics.
“Wake The Fuck Up” offers spectral coloration on a rumbling, thick bassline topped by gleaming textures infusing the tune with psychedelic surfaces. GNL Zamba’s spoken-word flow injects the lyrics with palpable intensity.
“Who Got The Power” travels on thick, gritty guitars supported by raw, crunching percussion. Whereas “Zamba the Great” features edgy, twinkling piano hues juxtaposed against a heavy, muscular bass. Rolling, almost spitting, rapping flow imbues the rhymes with visceral pressure.
With The Spear, GNL Zamba lights it up with tempestuous soundscapes, pushing out vicious, brutal layers of tangible Luga flow.