Just when you thought Major Lazer’s infatuation with Afrobeat couldn’t get any better, the trio of music DJs; Jillionaire and Walshy Fire and music producer; Diplo return to Africa this year with a stellar lineup of Pop, Hip-Hop, and Dancehall tracks in a 30 minutes long compilation of smashing hits for every mood in a new mixtape titled Afrobeats (DJ Mix).
The group has been teasing new music for a while now while touring Africa. They finally come through as the perfect tourists by allowing themselves and their sound to be completely washed in a variety of African cultures. One might see this as cultural appropriation but in an interview with The Guardian, Diplo admitted that Americans lack cultural capital so he has nothing to take from said culture. He also stated that he is a product of his environment. His recent visit to Africa with his group members allude that revelation. Last year, they recruited Jidenna, Ice Prince and Nasty C for chart topping single; Particula which unknown to us was a catalyst for an entire project filled with more African talents, the majority being Nigerian.
The 17 track project includes a more electronic refix of Davido’s IF, waist controlling Particula, a tropical refix of Niniola’s Sicker, a mid-tempo Burna Boy record that flaunts his signature rastafarian tinged vocals pouring over a soundscape of pulsating synths and steady drums accompanied by a video directed by South Africa’s Adriaan Louw but shot in the suburbs of Lagos Island, Nigeria.
Another piano led track featuring Kizz Daniel’s amazing vocals and Kranium, two club leading singles featuring Skales and finally a downbeat but throbbing love song led by Mr Eazi, RAYE and Jake Gosling. The other tracks feature solid African talents like Busiswa, Sauti Sol, Babes Wodumo, Helen Ting and a host of others.
This Mixtape is a manifestation of the phrase “Africa to the World”. While doing what they love, Major Lazer has inadvertently introduced these African acts to the world, though some are already known. They go 100 steps further with a tour round select cities in Africa and an alliance with VETPAW (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife) to help eradicate unlawful hunting and killing of wildlife in South Africa and beyond.
Fans in Nigeria can catch them live at Hard Rock Cafe; Lekki, Lagos on the 5th of October. Before then, familiarize yourself with the new mixtape and the video for the Burna Boy led effort; All My Life.