The Spear is a sharp new offering from international rap artist GNL Zamba. Released Nov. 11 through Baboon Forest Entertainment, the 11-song album is one of the most unique rap albums released so far this year. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s featured musical arrangements adds its own share of interest to the 43-minute presentation. It will be discussed a little later. The sequencing of the record’s content rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of The Spear. All things considered, they make the album a presentation that deserves its own share of attention among rap and hip-hop audiences as well as World Music fans.
Rapper GNL Zamba’s new album The Spear is a presentation that any rap fan will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more. That is due in no small part to the album’s musical arrangements. The arrangements in question cross a wide range of styles. The album opens with an arrangement in ‘Afrika,’ ‘’Zim Zim Bombo,’ and ‘Who Got The Power’ that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Skindred and Rage Against the Machine. ‘Black Caesar,’ which immediately follows, is sort of like a Fort Minor style arrangement that offers audiences something of a nu-metal rap/rock approach. Also featured throughout the course of the 43-minute record is a song in ‘No Borders’ that presents some very infectious African-infused jazz. As if that is not enough, ‘Zamba The Great’ is a full-on modern rap style presentation, showing even more, the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements. ‘Wake The F*** Up,’ another of the album’s entries, even offers some EDM style influence. Between everything noted here and the other arrangements audiences get a lot to like about GNL Zamba’s new record at least in regards to its musical content. Its musical content is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds its own touch to the presentation.
The lyrical content that is presented throughout The Spear is sure to generate its own share of interest among audiences. It features a lot of socially conscious content. the album’s opener, ‘Afrika’ is itself a commentary about people needing to take price in their roots inn Africa. The mentions of the great pharaohs, queens, and peoples of Africa across its many nations make that clear. As fast as GNL Zamba raps, it can be heard at one point that he makes mention of his mother and grandmother telling him about the legacy of Africa. ‘Who Got The Power,’ on another note, is a call to unity, urging people to come together and stand up to those in power. ‘No Borders,’ on yet another note, is its own unique call for unity. Audiences hear the statement here, “I imagine a world with no borders/One love/One world/No borders.” It is a statement about bringing the world together among all the separation that is out there. This is a statement that many listeners will find welcome. It is just one more way in which the record’s lyrical content proves its importance to the whole of this album’s presentation. On yet another level, GNL Zamba noted in a prepared statement, that the lyrical content featured in the album actually follows one central theme.
“People are waking up to something,” said GNL Zamba. “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.”
“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!” added GNL Zamba …”This Universal Pan African album is inspired by the urgent need to remind the people of the world about what we have in common, an origin of the human race in Africa. Among so much divisions on basis of race, colorism and worship it is imperative to draw from the spiritual wisdom understood by ancient African societies; by looking at the past we predict the future. The oneness of “Obuntu” (The Human spirit).”
Everything noted here rings true with the songs addressed. They all have that central theme of unity, just in their own unique way. Keeping all of this in mind, there is no doubt as to the importance of this album’s lyrical content, both by itself and together with the album’s musical arrangements. Even with all of that in mind, it is still not all that is worth examining in this album. The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.
The Spear starts off strong in ‘Afrika’ with the aforementioned rap-rock arrangement that so conjures thoughts of Skindred and Rage Against the Machine. While ‘Black Caesar,’ the album’s next song, changes stylistic approach, the song’s energy maintains the energy established in the album’s opener. The album’s energy does not even begin to pull back until roughly halfway through its run in the ironically titled ‘Energy’ whose own energy is far relaxed in comparison to its predecessors. The record’s energy slightly picks back up immediately after in ‘Sweet Uganda (Star Taffa).’ Things start to pick back up even more in ‘Wake The F*** Up’ and continues on through ‘Who Got The Power’ before pulling back again in ‘Zamba The Great.’ That song gives listeners a familiar modern hip-hop vibe, so its energy is not too reserved. As a matter of fact GNL Zamba’s speed rapping is reminiscent of that of Eminem and certain other rappers. The album goes on just as strongly as it opened in ‘Zim Zim Bombo’ with its heavy rap-rock style arrangement. It may not be fast, but its heaviness closes out the album with noted same strong musical punch with which the album opened. Looking back through the record, it can be said of its sequencing that it ensures the album does not get too monotonous at any point. The stylistic approaches and their related energies change up just enough throughout to keep things interesting for listeners. When this is considered along with the album’s overall content, the record in whole proves itself to be a successful offering that could make GNL Zamba one of the next big names in the rap and rock communities.
GNL Zamba’s latest album The Spear is a positive new offering from the veteran rapper who calls America and Africa home. His album offers listeners musical arrangements that will appeal to fans of acts, such as Hyro The Hero, Rage Against The Machine, Fort Minor, Eminem, and even Skindred. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements follows one central theme of unity while in itself giving listeners something different with each song. The sequencing of all of this content rounds out the most important of the album’s elements. It brings everything full circle, ensuring the album never gets boring. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of The Spear. All things considered, they make the album one “sharp” new record. The Spear is available now.
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