Written By: JaJa Nelson
Afro B just dropped his debut album, Afrowave 3, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed. Unwrapping it, the cover art and the visual message it is sending by including many shades of melanin is phenomenal. By now, people of all shades, beliefs, and values have probably heard his hit single “Drogba (Joanna)” at least once, but Afro B has introduced us to his versatility with this album.
Afro B opens up the album with fierce jazz instrumental and a girl speaking in regards to the divide of people when it comes to not having a connection with their African “roots.” The girl states that “we are all black if we are keeping it basic, and this means that we are all one.” It transitions into him ad-libbing over the even stronger instrumental that has now come to a full blast of Afrobeats sound. Afro B states that he is “taking us on a journey,” and that powerful opening made me want to go and seek more of that sound.
This album contains appearances from T-Pain, Slim Jxmmi from Rae Sremmurd, and Reggae moguls like Busy Signal and Vybz Kartel. I have listened to the album several times, and the features seem very organically put together. The chemistry on each song was authentic and meshed very well. It was incredibly awesome to hear T-Pain on an Afrobeats song because initially, I felt his smooth, R&B tone would be overpowered by the distinctive drums and electro-jazz sound of Afrobeats music. Personally, I think that Reggae and Afrobeats mesh seamlessly together, so I am not surprised that “Go Dance” with Busy Signal and “Shape Nice” with Vybz Kartel (produced by Dre Skull) are pure gold and will easily be favorites of every girl that loves to whine her waist to the Carribean sounds. Overall, every feature was worth it and fit the album.
With “Joanna” being known as the infamous girl who broke Afro B’s heart, he still has some compassion and warmth in him. He made a fun ode to that one girl, “The One,” that gives him butterflies. A definite feel-good sound, upbeat, Caribbean sound that made me feel like he really had admiration for this girl-I could picture her. Although there was not real descriptive imagery in the song, it still made me imagine an island, a beautiful girl, and the perfect day. Songs like that do not come very often, so it was much appreciated. “The One” is just the beginning of Afro B’s softer side.
“My Way” is a song where he is clearly crushing and is not up to being curved. There is a persistence there that he conveys in a very gentle way. Here we see some range, we hear more of his vocals, which gives it a hefty R&B feel. “Long Time” continues that same mood and emotion. He expresses his love and his view on wanting longevity in a relationship. So, ladies, he does not have an “icebox where his heart used to be” (I know it was corny).
“Melanin” is another tribute to being black, and how amazing it is to be. I first heard this song when it was released last year, and I was immediately mesmerized, especially when I saw the video. However, with it now being on the album, I feel it will be a continuum in joy and pride that was gifted to many when they heard Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl.” He shows a profound appreciation for the color of his skin and women who contain the same. Honestly, I am proud of this era we are in currently because it is causing us to be confident and unified. It is a beautiful thing that it is happening through music, and I hope it’s an endless era.
Afro B and the girl’s voice he introduced in the intro closes out with another strong message over a touching instrumental. “American or black British, don’t be ignorant to your roots.” That statement speaks volumes. It seems that Afro B has begun his conquest to unite us as a people, educate us, and remind us of who we are through his music. I wholeheartedly approve of this album, its message, and the profound production of each and every song. Afrowave 3 is a must-listen for anyone whether you want to dance, boost your mood, or balance your energy.