Audio

Audio: Chico Mann 'Same Old Clown' ft. Kendra Morris

Stream a new African music track from Antibalas' Chico Mann featuring Kendra Morris.


Brooklyn-based afrobeat/African music collective Antibalas guitarist Chico Mann is back on his solo grind once again, this time offering a dope collaboration with Wax Poetics Records artist Kendra Morris. The track, "Same Old Clown," is the combined effort of Mann's funky, bass-driven groove moving underneath Morris' effortlessly soulful vocals — the result is a cut that feels equally at place on the dance floor as it does soundtracking your morning walk to the subway. Last year, Antibalas' Chico Mann impressed us with his contribution and knowledge of African music in our Africa In Your Earbuds series, and you should absolutely not hesitate to download that immediately (if you can turn 'Same Old Clown' off long enough, that is). The Same Old Clown EP will drop March 4, which features two remixes and a dub from UK house producer Linkwood and US re-edit king Kon, serves as a prelude to Mann's full-length album Magical Thinking due out later this spring. Check out the track from Antibalas' Chico Mann below.

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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