Last Friday (27 June 2020) Buju Banton released his much-anticipated album Upside Down 2020. The album follows the release of his 2010 Grammy award-winning album Before The Dawn. It includes already released singles which include Trust, Steppa and Memories featuring John Legend. His latest single Blessed had its music video release and stands as the album’s current marquis song.
If there is a track on the album that is representative of original Buju it must be Blessed. The video is gaining traction on media platforms and has 37k views on Youtube, just 8 hours from its release. Inspired and dedicated to Ghana nationals the track talks about black excellence with strong Black Lives Matter sentiment in the video.
Buju delves back to that old-school dancehall sound on this track just showcasing where he came from. Upon listening to the album there is a bit of everything from roots reggae sounds to the new trap dancehall sound. Buju even partnered up with Hip Hop’s N.E.R.D. on Cherry Pie featuring Pharrell, which turned out to be an acquired taste kind of tune.
Buju must be dancehall’s top fairy tale story following his release from prison in 2018. He has really stood up to be counted and has not put a foot wrong (socially and musically). Upside Down 2020 is definitely a contender for dancehall album of the year. It will be interesting to see how things pan out at the Grammy Award Ceremony next year.
Before I do a full album review be sure to listen out for, Call Me featuring Stefflon Don, Lamb of God and 400 Years. I will admit that the album is diverse and offers more than Vybz Kartel’s album Of Dons and Divas.
Be sure to take the time to listen to King Buju. There is a reason why the elders make such a fuss about him.