This September 12 I had the honour to attend Kabaka Pyramid’s listening session for The Kalling, his sophomore album that drops on September 30th, 2022. The Kalling is the second album for Kabaka to be working with Damian Marley after his, 2018 released Kontraband album. The album will be released on the Ghetto Youths International / Bebble Rock Music Labels.
Kabaka introduced the 14 + 1 bonus track album, as a project that made him, with the help of Damian Marley, grow even more as a vocalist. The listening session was truly a well spent evening as we ran down most of the tracks on the album.
The album starts with a track called Mystic Man which starts with a sample of one of Peter Tosh’s biggest tunes, Mystic Man. The opening of the song makes you expect a reggae track but turns into a UK Style Hip Hop Track. A lyrical showcase where Kabaka explains why the term Mystic Man also applies to how he feels about his own persona.
Track 2 is the, already released, Red Gold Green. According to Kabaka, this song is the most important one on the project, a tune that everyone should be able to play and enjoy. Representing the culture of Rastafari the song already gets a high play count on all (streaming) platforms.
Grateful, a song Kabaka recorded with Jemere Morgan, is a unique song, co-produced by Young Pow, that contains two different vibes through its switching of the tempo and riddim halfway through the song. The song combines Jemere’s beautiful singing voice with Kabaka’s lyrical skills.
In Stand up, track 5, Kabaka touches on the many (political) issues in this world where people just look away and do nothing, Urging the listeners to stand up for what the believe in.
On Mr. Rastaman Kabaka collaborates with Dancehall artist Tifa. A nyabinghi-inspired track speaking on the subject of Rasta vs Non-Rasta lifestyles and relationships. Showing Tifa’s skills in a different way than we are used to from her.
The title track, Track 8 on the album, will drop this Friday September 16. The Kalling is Kabaka’s first collaboration with Stephen Marley. Also, the voices of Protoje and Jesse Royal are added to this track that calls on, inspires, and aims to remind the (Rasta) youths to represent the Rastafari culture.
Another bomb dropping on the album is the collaboration with the Gargamel Buju Banton on Faded Away. The uptempo 90’s vibe track, which is heavily carried by a digital bass is built on Junior Byles’ major hit Fade Away. Faded is surely a track that will do very well in dances around the world.
One of Kabaka’s favorite tracks on the album is The Addiction, co-produced by Young Pow and Stephen Marley. A more slow rootsy hip-hop-ish track that tells about the addictiveness and gratification of Social Media and Online shopping, sugars, and all addictions out there. In a nutshell nowadays addiction to the many “bad” things and influences, we all are exposed to.
Energy is the second song Kabaka did with Jemere, a soulful feel-good song calling for positive energy and most of all not draining energy, or invading space (during a good party).
On Mary Jane we hear another collab, this time with Black Am I. You don’t have to guess the topic of the song, nor where the lyrics are about. What is a proper reggae album without praising the sacred herb? This roots reggae-driven love declaration to Mary Jane is very very well done!
The bonus track on the album is Kontraband part II, a next Hip Hop track where Kabaka teams up with Damian Marley again. Both do what they do best, perfectly displaying their lyrical skills and recognizable flows.
On this album Kabaka is, again, showing his versatility, slipping in a lot of his first love, Hip Hop, but still staying true to his Rastafari beliefs and his Kalling. I think, with this album, Kabaka and Damian Marley have pure gold in their hands!
By Danny Creatah