Buju Banton has released his thirteenth studio album, his first since his return to Jamaica.
You might have heard it by now, but Buju Banton is back, and I don’t mean back from a hiatus or prison. No, my friends, this time, Gargamel is officially back with a brand new album entitled “Upside Down 2020.” While he was incarcerated for close to a decade, Buju’s fans had to rock to jams of the past to fill the void left by the dancehall/reggae juggernaut, and now after a diligent wait, they have an entirely new catalog to look forward to. Tracks like “Steppa” and “Trust,” which we have heard before, were lead tracks from the album, and they have indeed set our expectations on high.
When Buju announced the album, he explained the relevance to these trying times in a lengthy statement. “As we approach this shift in time, in ages, in the consciousness of man, many things can be said, but who is really listening?” Buju wrote. “So much trouble in our world, yet are we aware? The battle lines have been drawn and it’s simple. Good vs. evil. I am not here to tell you the side you should be on, rather my offering of music is meant to inspire, uplift, educate and eradicate negativity from the minds of the masses.”
Based on the above statement, Gargamel’s mission is clear to us listeners. If you want positive music to inspire you and keep you motivated to stand up for what is right Upside Down 2020 is for you. If you are seeking upliftment or a higher consciousness, this project is for you! Those who will join Buju in songs would make any ordinary music lover go bonkers. The album features the likes of John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Stephen Marley, and Stefflon Don, so expectations are rightfully through the roof.
The year 2020, which was later added to the album title, is also symbolic of the 20 tracks on the album. This is Buju’s first album in 10 years since “Before the Dawn” in 2010 as well. It’s no secret that it has been a tumultuous year so far for the global community, which has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters. With the focus shifted to social justice and the growing attention around prevalent police brutality while protests continue, an ode of positivity from Buju Banton is just what we need.
The good news is that all the nail-biting has come to an end as the album is now available on all platforms. Be sure to get your copy of Upside Down 2020 from the reggae connoisseur Buju Banton.