Major Lazer Essentials
Major Lazer’s animated “frontman” might be a bearded, beret-wearing soldier-cyborg who appears to have been lifted from a lost G.I. Joe episode, but the group itself is so much more. Beyond core members Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire, Major Lazer is a moveable feast—the product of all its principals’ musical influences, their collaborators, and the places to which they've traveled in their decade of existence. Essentials is a sprawling introduction to the band’s biggest tracks and a glimpse into the vast array of cultures it folds into its cohesive musical vision. Recorded at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio in Jamaica, 2009’s “Pon de Floor” mixes dancehall and Brazilian baile funk with a few choice lines from Kingston deejay Vybz Kartel. A languid house beat underpins “Lean On,” their 2015 team-up with France’s DJ Snake and Danish singer MØ. And Bruno Mars, Tyga, and Mystic feature on 2013’s more-than-suggestive, hip-hop-inspired dance track “Bubble Butt.” In addition to those and plenty of other key singles, Essentials also includes four newer tracks: Collabs with Mr. Eazi, Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, and Babes Wodumo weave Afrobeats and gqom vibes seamlessly into Major Lazer’s borderless sound.