JuJu Rogers' name has come up before here on the fox. I stumbled upon his work thanks to his collaboration w/ Bluestaeb Lost In Translation (2016).
Today, however, we mark the premiere and the release of his new album 40 Acres N Sum Mula released via one of my favourite Berlin labels Jakarta Records. The rapper, who also lives in the German capital, has cooked 10 gorgeous tracks where beats, samples and smooth flows perfectly intertwine into a staggering sonic experience.
The record focuses heavily on themes like spirituality, something you can pick up from "Intro" - album's opening track. There's something utterly mysterious engraved in those beats. That being said, those who dig the good old school hip hop vibe won't be disappointed. With production that flows from laid back hip hop to contemporary trap, JuJu's multi-faceted identity is in the spotlight.
Born to an American GI out of New Orleans, and a German mother with Austrian roots, JuJu was raised in Schweinfurt; a southern-German city filled with stationed US Army troops. From this, he was exposed to a rich New Orleans musical heritage, alongside the German culture. These influences have manifested into a unique perspective, perfectly reflected in 40 Acres N Sum Mula.
"Forty acres and a mule refers to Special Field Orders No. 15, a promise made by the United States government for agrarian reform to aid formerly enslaved black farmers. Approved by president Abraham Lincoln, the field orders were written 1865, and specifically allotted each family a plot of land no larger than 40 acres (16 ha) plus a mule for the agrarian reform effort.
I changed »a mule« into »sum Mula« in order to place the legitimate struggle for equal rights and reparations into the context of our current capitalist world and underline the historic connection to the very beginning of today’s society.
Sound, lyrics and vibrations represent a mixture of ancestral spirit and contemporary characteristics and lead you through the self reflecting and rebellious thoughts of a black man born and raised in Germoney."
When sharing the album news, Juju posted this on Facebook, which I find quite relatable / moving. You can tell the dude has put heart and soul into this release and this resonates from every track.
This album speaks on real shit in my life right now and in the past couple of years after moving to Berlin.
Fighting depression, self medication, systemic and institutionalized racism and finding identity within this society. I speak about mass incarceration, God within, Eurocentricity and Pan africanism. Afro futurism and decolonisation also play a core role!
I swear I put my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into this. Also a little trumpet haha...