One of the titans of modern reggae is back. Protoje — the Grammy-nominated singer, rapper, and label chief — has dropped his first solo release in more than a year with “Hills,” an ode to peace, nature, and frankly, being left the hell alone. “This song narrates what the last two years have been like for me, living in the mountains while the world was on lockdown,” Protoje says in a statement. “Connecting with the simplicity that exists here and being inspired with what I see surrounding me.”
“Hills” is made up of tittering drums and slick flows that lean heavily into rap. “We are much more experimental than our predecessors,” Protoje says of he and like-minded “reggae revival” artists like Koffee and Chronixx. “We’re influenced by hip-hop, rock, pop music, with a reggae base underneath it.”
In the video, set in the hills of Jamaica, two women ask locals to point them in Protoje’s direction, seeking out the mountainous retreat where he enjoys a brisk jog, a mug of beverage, and the company of a bevy of goats. Before the out-of-place looking pair can find him, he’s taken off in a helicopter overlooking the majestic green terrain.
With “Hills,” Protoje announces that his sixth album is coming this summer via In.Digg.Nation Collective and RCA Records. Protoje founded In.Digg.Nation Collective in 2014 and the company is now home to fellow Jamaican artists Lila Iké and Jaz Elise. In.Digg.Nation received support from RCA through a deal announced in 2020.
Protoje will also tour North America and Europe this summer, with dates including Bonnaroo, the Roots Picnic, and the California Roots Festival. His full tour calendar is yet to be announced.