In a recent interview with MTV, the singer-songwriter explained the project’s overall message as well as the significance of its title. The numeral refers to Interstate 85 in Georgia, which leads to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport where travels can take flights directly to Africa.
“I wanted this album to be a highway that you could take to Africa,” he explained. “We’re living in a time where there’s a lot less borders between people. There’s some people to build borders and make walls but the rest of us know that we are in a time where global culture is it. This album is a mixture of all of that.”
The 11-track album also boasts features from Seun Kuti, who appears on the opening track “Worth the Weight.” American rapper Goldlink on the hip hop-leaning “Babouche,” as well as St. Beauty and Mereba, who both appear on the album’s final track “The Other Half.”
The artist has also dropped the music video for the politically-charged track “Worth the Weight,” directed by Wesley Isaías Walker. Check it out below. The 85 To Africa tour begins October 2 in Sacramento, CA, and closes out on November 16 in Los Angeles.