Kabaka Pyramid – Kontraband
Kabaka Pyramid – Kontraband
- Make Way feat. Pressure Busspipe
- My Time
- Kontraband feat. Damian Marley
- Can’t Breathe
- Well Done
- Reggae Music
- Kaught Up
- Lyrics Deity
- Borders feat. Stonebwoy
- Africans Arise feat. Akon
- Meaning Of Life
- Everywhere I Go feat. Protoje
- Blessed Is The Man feat. Chronixx
- Natural Woman
- I’m Just A Man
- All I Need feat. Nattali Rize
Since the release of his 2011 debut EP “Rebel Music” and the “Lead The Way EP” (truly remarkable to call a collection of 10 tunes – with its deluxe edition stretching it to 13 – an EP!!!) in 2013, and the release of the highly talked about recent singles “Can’t Breathe”, “Well Done”, “Kaught Up”, “Borders” and “Kontraband”, a whole heap of reggae fans have eagerly awaited the release of the first official full-fledged album from one of the most remarkable talents in contemporary reggae music. Towards the end of the month of May, the scalding Kabaka Pyramid’s much anticipated album has finally landed.
Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, the executive producer of Kabaka Pyramid’s album titled “Kontaband”, played a big part in the creation process of this album. As one might expect, Damian Marley’s involvement in this project has led to the use of reggae/dancehall infused riddims which in most cases have a decidedly hip-hop edge. And as we all know, this approach proved to be a profitable concept for ‘Jr Gong’ aka Godzilla’s own albums.
On each and every track of this album, Kabaka Pyramid’s highly praised lyrical prowess comes to the fore. You really have to focus on every word of the multifaceted, forthright lyrics, which are delivered on top of the riddims he rides in a seemingly effortless way.
Already well known are the above mentioned singles, which preceded the release of this “Kontraband” album. The hard hitting title track “Kontraband”, done in collobaration with Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, is infectiously catchy. Next comes the powerful message tune “Can’t Breathe”, depicting a painful and stressful situation many face living in a polluted system, which suffocates the betterment of the people. His impactful hit single “Well Done”, a cut across the awesome “On The Corner” riddim, sees Kabaka Pyramid sarcastically speaking to all corrupted politicians of this world. This tune is social commentary at its very best. The message of “Borders”, which features Ghanian artist Stonebwoy, couldn’t be timelier especially with the refugee crisis taking place across the world. At the beginning of the song, Kabaka Pyramid pleas for a change to break the borders down as we all a part of one nation. Affairs of the heart are touched in the sensual love song “Kaught Up”, which comes across a riddim created by Genís Trani, a Barcelona based music producer specialized in reggae music.
Genís Trani also built the backdrop for the exquisite “Meaning Of Life”, while the production crew of Austrian Irievibration Records contributes the solid autobiographical “I’m Just A Man”. And furthermore there’s Natural High Music’s involvement in the track “Reggae Music”, and Zeke Stern, who produced “Lyrics Deity” for the Green Lion Crew. Besides these collaborations and those with Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and Stonebwoy there are also guest appearances of Pressure Busspipe, Akon, Protoje, Chronixx and Nattali Rize, which more or less makes this album a global affair. Of these collaborations it are in particular the huge album opener with one of Virgin Islands’ foremost artists Pressure Busspipe titled “Make Way”, the contemplative “Everywhere I Go” featuring Protoje and the glorious “Blessed Is The Man” done with Chronixx, that leave a serious impression.
Worth a mention
Of the few tracks not yet pointed out, it’s the self-produced “My Time” in which Kabaka Pyramid tells the listener “I’ve been working hard and waiting patient so long now a my time to shine” and “Natural Woman”, a truly beautiful tune about natural beauty and self worth, that also deserve a special mention because they are worth hearing more than once.
Conclusion Not an album that will entirely appeal to the hardcore reggae fan, but one that's vibed perfectly for a broader audience.