News Brief
La Même Gang. Photo courtesy of the artists.

La Même Gang Blend Afrobeats & Trap Exceptionally In Their New Tape 'Linksters'

The trailblazing Ghanaian collective show off their growth and versatility on their highly-anticipated sophomore project.

La Même Gang is the collective that is shaping the new wave of urban music in Ghana. This enviable squad is made up of six creatives: Darkovibes, $pacely, Kiddblack, RJZ, Kwaku BS & Nxwrth.

The Accra-based supergroup is part of a new school of African artists who are navigating a shifting musical landscape on their own terms. By connecting with their fans organically on social media, as well as through live performances, La Même Gang has gained quite the dedicated following.

After topping charts with their first project, La Même Gang follows up with Linksters, a 2.0 version of the 2017 La Même Tape and a 20-track body of work functioning as an extension of the collective's personality. With two sides to the tape, there's something here for everyone.


La Même Gang. Photo courtesy of the artists.

While they are individual powerhouses, the bond they share together in music has created a brotherhood that fosters each artist's growth, while still offering opportunities for collaboration. They share precious and emotional moments on their lead single "Stone Island"—an appreciative song to each other that explores brotherhood and oneness.

Other standout tracks include "Gold Coast," an ebullient love-letter to Ghanaian girls that enlists Nigerian vanguard act Odunsi the Engine and "Accra Stay by Plan," a dancehall-flavored rendition that addresses the hardships and hustles of Accra.

Darkovibes' vocals float effortlessly over the groovy and funkadelic Altra-Nova production on "Up/Down," we're loving the sing-song delivery and playful wordplay on Kwaku BS' verse, while RJZ's high-pitched, catchy chorus seals the deal.

La Même Gang - Stone Island (feat. Darkovibes, RJZ & Kiddblack) youtu.be

Linksters includes a diverse array of vocal features including Sarkodie, King Promise, Medikal, Kobla Jnr, Pappy Kojo, Odunsi the Engine and Odartei.

Musically, the tape features productions from noteworthy beatmakers like Nova, Kuvie, Zodiac, Killmatic, Eargasm and of course Nxwrth—the producer at the forefront of Ghana's buzzing trap scene and the mastermind behind the growling melodies in subversive trap bangers like "Bonjour" and "Terminator."

With Linksters, La Même Gang display their growth and versatility in a phenomenal way. By blending afrobeats and trap, the boys have served a thrilling musical experience for the die-hards as well as new listeners.

Stream Linksters 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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