Words by Jesse Serwer—
Of the collaborations promised on Major Lazer‘s upcoming Free the Universe LP, “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” featuring Busy Signal is one of those that most piqued our interest. Not only has Busy been on a quality-filled tear since returning home to Jamaica from a US prison stay last year (though surely the song’s vocals were recorded before that), but the song promised to match Busy’s dancehall style with some Latin flavor, an arena where he has excelled in the past. Add in the early ’90s JA period-piece video (directed by dancehall director Jay Will) that Major Lazer shot on a recent visit to Kingston (see above photo), and color us intrigued.
In lieu of not releasing Free the Universe today as planned (the release has been pushed back to March 12), Major Lazer is today giving away a download of “Watch Out For This (Bumaye) to those who pre-order the album. For those of you who don’t plan on buying it, the track is streaming on Soundcloud via song collaborator FS Green. In any case, it’s worth checking out cause it’s quite good, a savyy synthesis of dancehall, salsa and EDM sure to work in any variety of settings. Busy, for his part, sold us out the gate with his reference to Tenor Saw’s “Fever” and kills it, throughout.
Like a few other Major Lazer tunes, this one has a pre-history. Specifically, it’s an update of a 2011 track Green and fellow Dutch house producer The Flexican made from a sample of Wilie Colon and Ruben Blades’ “Maria Colonza,” placing an almost identical beat beneath Busy’s original vocals. I don’t know if it’s just cause I live here but, for a track with roots in the New York, Holland and Kingston, this one sure feels very Miami, a place just about to heat up with a series of festivals (Calle Ocho, Ultra) where “Bumaye” is sure to be a welcome addition.
Side note: how did we miss this Rio Carnival joint Busy dropped earlier this month?