This past weekend, Buju Banton released his 11th studio LP Upside Down 2020, a project that boasts 20 new tracks from the reggae/dancehall star with features from Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Stephen Marley, and Stefflon Don. During the initial announcement of the album, Buju spoke on the its meaning in regards to the crises we’re all facing this year:
“We, who have been the political football of many, the economic underdog nations, say no! No more to this upside down system… This one sided view of justice and all the other issues affecting us as a people. While I seek to highlight the systemic problems around the world, I am aware of the need of preserving dancehall culture along with the real essence that reggae music offers but these are not normal times so things cannot continue as normal.”
This week, he delivers a new visual from the project for the track “Blessed,” which is produced by Dave Kelly and speaks to the fight against oppression and injustice, something that Black America is currently in the midst of:
“We a strive and a reach fi wi goal, them a fight and spy through them in control/
Dem a real asshole, but a long time, we a fight fi a slice of di bread, them a scheme and a dream and wish wi fi dead/
But a God have wi head and a just now, we a scream and a cheer fi di team, them a plan how fi bench we and them rule supreme/
Like a dem one fi clean, well imagine we a try move out of the shack, them a cry and a spy and a try stop we clock, guess a who have wi back…/”
The accompanying visual starts with Buju giving rising star Koffee some knowledge, before switching into fast moving clips of various protests that have been taking place — all interspersed with Buju performing/recording the track in-studio.
Press play on “Blessed” and, for those that missed it, Upside Down 2020 below.