Zulu Guru album cover; Jesse Boykins III and MeLo-X (zulu-guru.com)

(The Root) — Chicago-born singer Jesse Boykins III and emcee-DJ-producer-musician MeLo-X — a Brooklyn, N.Y., native — join forces on a project they claim is "a sonic form of connection, a humbling form of passion and the advancement of art in [the] form of romance." Zulu Guru, officially released on Oct. 30, is a fusion of Afrobeats, spoken word, electronic soul and West Indian sounds spread out over the length of 15 songs. The mellow collaboration includes guest appearances by up-and-coming artists MoRuf, Mara Hruby, Chris Turner and others.

Boykins, now based in Brooklyn, is a self-proclaimed member of the Romantic Movement, a term he came up with to "show this generation that it's OK to love" when he made his video for "Amorous." 


This idea of outward passion is reflected consistently throughout the album on tracks such as "Change of Heart," featuring MoRuf and Chris Turner; "Outta My Mind," featuring Chris Turner; "Schwaza Culture," featuring Street Etiquette; and the standout song "Perfect Blues."

Zulu Guru is available on iTunes and Amazon.com now. And check out Billboard's exclusive stream of the project as well as the video for "Perfect Blues."

Previous recommendation: View Startling Stories of Voter Suppression.

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