News Brief

Sims, Just G and Ranks ATM. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Listen to Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims’ New Mixtape ‘3 Way’

Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims finally share their debut mixtape.

If you've been following the ATM (African Trap Movement) gang closely, then you know a joint project from three of its members—Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims—has been a long time in the making.

3 Way is a 10-track mixtape consisting of songs performed by the trio collectively, including the lead single "M.I.A," which has been out for a few months. The only guests on the project are two of ATM's founding members Emtee and Saudi, who appear on the songs "Where Would I Be" and "Silent Night."


Production on the mixtape is predominantly handled by Ruff and Kreazo, two producers who are affiliated with the ATM camp (Ruff has produced most Emtee, Saudi and Sjava's projects). Ndu Browns produces the song "Run It Up." Ruff doubles as an executive producer.

Owing to having only two main producers, 3 Way sounds monolithic, which makes it more of an album than a mixtape. The songs vary in mood and lyrical content, making for a wholesome listen instead of a random selection of songs, which you normally expect from mixtapes in their traditional form.

3 Way does a great job of illustrating the potential the three rappers have. Their diversity and chemistry exhibit crew members who understand each other's abilities and know how to optimize them. The production on the project is predominantly trap as you'd expect, and the three artists sing and rap in varied styles and languages, including SiSwati, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa and of course English and slang.

Stream 3 Way below and revisit our interview with Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims here.




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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

[Op-Ed] Speeka: “‘Dankie San’ brought me closer to kasi rap”

A personal reflection on one of South Africa's most influential hip-hop albums, 'Dankie San' by PRO.