“Dem seh dem love wi, but dat ah yessideh, get weh dem want an switch it up aready. Dem naah go draw wi out, oh no, nuh today. Ee nuh so easy fi drain wi energy…” ushers in the long-awaited sixth studio album, In Search Of Lost Time, from Jamaica’s Grammy award-nominated multihyphenate Protoje.
The opener, Switch It Up, escorts music enthusiasts on an audial journey through a pageantry of lyrics from the proficient songwriter and his equally capable guest, Grammy winner Koffee. The simple, yet captivating, rhythm simmers beneath the duos flamboyant festival of verses.
Diggy (as Protoje is also known) explains, in the track, that his focus is on embracing good fortune and besting his former projects. The In.Digg.Nation Collective chief assures his audience that he is largely unbothered by distraction or detractors, toasting “…blessings fall now anyweh weh wi deh, ah good wi good wid everybody… Nothing nuh deh yah fi seh.”
Deliverance is self-explanatory. The deejay, without fanfare or enmity, recounts the meandering pathways he navigated during the arduous beginnings of his career.
Still I Wonder and Same So, also,hold no pretenses and are both straightforward in their intentions to reflect on matters complicated by the heart and complicated matters of the heart.
“Seems like I’ve been asking for too much from you; paying no attention to the things you do. Thinking of myself, not what I’ve put you through. It’s unfair to ask you for a chance, so true. But, still I wonder” finds Diggy momentarily pandering to ‘what ifs.’
In true herb connoisseur fashion, Protoje engages tranquility with back-to-back odes to marijuana. First comes the laidback Weed & Ting, an effortless and enjoyable sonic grade rolled into a collection of infectious rhythmic patterns that ultimately kindles a state of blissful nonchalance. The second, A Vibe, finds the Jamaican Billboard Reggae Album chart-topper eliciting the aid of renowned weed maestro and Golden Globe-nominated US rapper, Wiz Khalifa.
Meanwhile, on the mellifluous In Bloom, the Grammy nominate artiste and sometimes-producer’s appearance is dramatically scaled back, ushering his protégé Lila Iké to into tasteful florescence.
On the sure-to-be-standout Self Defence, Diggy chairs an inquisition of sorts, asking questions such as “how man ah starve, but find strength fi rob ooman ah supermarket, when food deh country an it ripe…,” before, also, adding “…an any man weh ah prey pon woman, dem fi get line up mek wi shoot di target” to remind listeners that he is still in-tune with and skilled at addressing social issues.
Previous releases Like Royalty, which features dancehall luminary Popcaan, and Strange Things are somewhat similar, in that, they are both hinged on the artiste willfully negotiating the chasm between reflecting on the past and actualising the future. Like Royalty, additionally, purveys a frame of reference to inform gratitude, humble beginnings and reciprocity.
In addition to Protoje, other producers on the In.Digg.Nation Collective-Six Course/RCA In Search Of Lost Times project include Winta James, Iotosh Poyser, Supa Dups, Ziah Roberts, Natural High, The Grei Show and Stephen McGregor.