GNL Zamba’s New LP Could Make Him One Of The Next Big Names In The Rap-Rock Community

Courtesy: baboon Forest Entertainment

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.

More information on The Spear is available along with all of GNL Zamba’s latest news at:




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Klezmer-Ish’s New LP Is The Cream Of 2020’s World Music Crop

Courtesy: Riverboat Records

World Music is, perhaps, the most niche of genres within the expanse of the musical universe.  It does have its own appeal, but never that of its mainstream counterparts.  As a matter of fact, unlike so much mainstream music, World Music is generally relegated to airplay on public radio, limiting its reach and appeal among audiences.  Even with its limitations, it is a genre that is still deserving of its own attention and respect.  This year produced plenty of notable World Music offerings, not the least of which being the debut album from the Middle Eastern act 47 Soul, Semitics.  Vusi Mahlasela’s new record, Shebeen Queen, and Jungle Fire’s new self-titled album.  Those albums and new records from acts, such as Klezmer-ish, Manhu, and Trio Tekke show even more how much enjoyment World Music brings.  They are all featured in this year’s Phil’s Picks Top 10 New World Music Albums list, too, along with some other new records.

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new World Music albums and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Without further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New World Music Albums.


  1. Klezmer-Ish —  Dusty Road
  2. Riddim Doctors – Ope (Gratitude)
  3. Trio Tekke – Strovilos
  4. Vusi Mahlasela – Shebeen Queen
  5. Pete Rodriguez – I Like It Like That
  6. Jungle Fire – Jungle Fire
  7. 47 Soul – Semitics
  8. GNL Zamba – The Spear
  9. Groupe RTD – The Dancing Devils of Dibouti
  10. Ceu – Apka!
  11. Captain Planet – No Visa
  12. Manhu – Voices of the Sani
  13. The Rough Guide to Urban Mali
  14. The Rough Guide to Cape Jazz
  15. Khruanngbin – Late Night Tales

Next up from Phil’s Picks is this year’s Top 10 New Live Recordings.  Stay tuned for that.

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New Rap, Hip-Hop Albums Prove 2020 Was Not All Bad

Courtesy: Def Jam

Rap and hip-hop fans have had quite a bit to be happy about this year.  That is because over the course of the now fading year, a lot of notable entries have made their way to audiences within the genre.  They have come from independent and well-known acts alike, too.  From the familiar socio-politically charged content featured in Public Enemy’s new album What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down, to the lighter yet still engaging content featured in Aesop Rock’s new album Spirit World Field Guide, to the unique hybrid jazz/hip-hop instrumental offering from Analog Players Society, Soundtrack For A Nonexistent Film, and more, this year’s field of new rap and hip-hop records has proven quite diverse and entertaining.  Even Eminem released his own new album (albeit by surprise) in the form of Music to be Murdered By early this year.  Between that record and so many others, this year’s field of new albums was full of interesting, impressive new albums, both mainstream and independent.  Phil’s Picks has kept track of them once again this year and produced a list of the year’s best new product.

As with past years and each list, this collection features the Top 10 new titles in the category, as well as five honorable mentions, for a total of 15 titles.  Here for your consideration is the Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 new Rap & Hip-Hop Albums.


  1. Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
  2. Run The Jewels – RTJ4
  3. RJD2 – The Fun Ones
  4. Common – A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1
  5. Jamo Gang – Walking With Lions
  6. Aesop Rock – Spirit World Field Guide
  7. Eminem – Music to be Murdered By
  8. Analog Players Society – Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film
  9. Atmosphere – The Day Before Halloween
  10. GNL Zamba – The Spear
  11. Denzel Curry – Unlocked
  12. Prof – Powderhorn Suites
  13. Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2
  14. Aesop Rock – Music From The Game Freedom Finger
  15. Black Eyed Peas – Translation

Next up from Phil’s Picks is a listing of the year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  Stay tuned for that.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at