Fans of Game ‘Zeus’ Bantsi will be pleased to know that the much anticipated release of his third studio album ‘African Time’ will hit the shelves this week at all Musica stores and iTunes.
Explaining the inspiration behind the album, which is a deviation from previous releases that tended to celebrate his lyricism as a Hip Hop artist, he said, “It has always been something that has been cultivated in me over the years, from a time when I became more and more aware of the context existing in today’s world, especially in Africa. You get to see a lot that is wrong with the state of affairs of our people with the mindset, our general lack of ownership and control. How many opportunities seem to miss us even though we are in the most resource blessed continent yet still poor?”
His current offering is characterized by a heavy African influence and focuses less on braggadocio and more on content and messages. The name of the album is a reflective trip through the beautiful landscapes and variety that is Africa.
According to Zeus the album title is a clever play on words. “Usually when we say African time it means we are either late or things are not delivered on time hence we usually say, Hei African time! I think it is a very negative connotation and I would like for us to change it to make it more positive and say African time is our time. It is our time to start giving the world something instead of taking from the world. I feel Africa has given the world a lot of things. A lot of aspects of Africanism that find way to pop culture, whether it’s the dashiki or the drum, have not always had us Africans at the forefront. Today international labels have more African print than African fashion houses. We need to start to own what is ours and take it out there and start saying it is our time to influence popular culture globally,” he said.
The 15-track album boasts heavyweight collaborations with renowned artists and producers including Tumi, Kwela Tebza, Mahotella Queens, Mzekezeke, Ross Jack, Nonku Phiri and Ammara Brown among others. Motswako artist Tebogo Mapine popularly known as Nomadic designed the album cover.
“I find him very understanding because he is a very proud African and an artist himself, so when I mentioned the album title he had a concept in mind,” Zeus said.
“When I read the book Capitalist Nigga years ago in my late teens, it really resonated with me and to this day I feel like it’s probably one of the inspirational books that has formed my outlook on life. Therefore the inspiration of this album to me is Africanism and the biggest philosophy is how we do things. We see in other cultures, for example Chinese people, their business principles stem from their tradition. How come it seems as though there is no connection between what we were yesterday and what we are today? Obviously that leads to a concern of who we will we be tomorrow when we don’t have these identity cues.”
The second single, Fast five which is already enjoying airplay on local radio stations has kwasakwasa influence and when asked about the concept Zeus said, “We need to understand that music is inspired by other music. I am a very big crossover artist; my track Imagination was dancehall fused and Dancing shoes is a house tune. I have never limited myself to just being a rapper. I consider myself as an artist. For me that kwasa sound is a very strong traditional rhythm and it does not matter where you are in Africa. It only makes sense to make sounds that our parents can also relate to hence bridging the gap between the young and old.”
The album’s launch is scheduled for the 6th of December at Masa Centre.