BANTU’s “What is your breaking point?” album for release Friday, June 9
BANTU’s latest album, “What is your breaking point?” is set for release on Friday, June 9.
The 13-piece BANTU collective made the announcement via press statement, saying the 10-track long player is the third in a genre and era-defining trilogy of releases including 2017’s Agberos International and 2020’s Everybody Get Agenda.
With this new album, the 13-piece BANTU collective pushes the boundaries of funkiness and political prowess even further than its predecessors. It is also the first to feature a female guest lead, in this case the renowned African American rapper Akua Naru.
The System is Broken, the Sound is Resilient, says the statement, which adds that Every song on “What Is your breaking point?” spreads its own bit of Nigerian stardust over the listener.
“As the unprecedented #EndSARS protests against police violence and criminality that began alongside CoVid-19 showed, Nigerians have finally reached the breaking point. In this sense, ‘What is Your Breaking Point‘ is as much a statement as a question, forcing the listener to pay attention to the changes in politics and the evolution of music in Africa’s most populous and culturally important country, and from a global perspective.
“In this regard, each song opens a rich tapestry of sounds, lyrics and narrative that woven together portray a compelling, angry yet hopeful vision of Nigeria and in extension Africa and its possible futures”.
According to Mark Levine, who reviewed track-by-track the album produced by Aman Junaid & Ade Bantu, mixed by Manu Schlindwein and mastered by Tony Dawsey, the first track on the album, “Wayo And Division” focuses on the deceit that’s at the heart of Nigerian politics and social life.
Referring to how successive governments have used tribe and religion to divide people while the elite share the loot they have stolen from the commonwealth. Since they don’t actually care about tribe or religion, neither should we, the song argues. So we should stop being “hoodwinked” and falling for their deceit and being led to the slaughter like lambs, but instead come together and face the corruption head on, as happened with the #EndSARS campaign despite the great risks it entailed. The government “Dem go cast away all suspicions and doubts,” but like all authoritarian regimes in Africa, India, the US and beyond, it’s only by coming together that we can make plain their deceit for society as a whole. The track may sound like a political polemic, and it is, but it’s matched by the propulsive grooves, guitars and especially horns, over which the rich vocal harmonies soar in a way that even Fela never conceived. It is, in every sense, the perfect opener for a powerful album.