AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Fela Kuti

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Monday, May 20th, 2013

The Master Drummer of Afrobeat

File under: excellent news. Details.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

No, Africans don’t remember Margaret Thatcher fondly

Margaret Thatcher died yesterday. Or the day before maybe, I don’t know. At any rate, Thatcher died, and now the hagiographers and the demonizers can have their day. All by herself, apparently, Thatcher “reforged Britain”, “transfixed the...

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Classic Jukebox N°1: Nigerian Highlife

They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, at least when it comes to Nigerian highlife. Whether that’s good or bad is up for debate. Whatever the case, people get riled up when they’re talking about...

Monday, February 18th, 2013

When Kim Kardashian came to Lagos and “419ed the 419ers”

I was just over a thousand miles away from the action in Freetown, watching my Twitter timeline cascade with commentary as the evening unfolded. Tweets purred with pleasure at the acrobatics segment, and at the godly qualities...

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

‘Landing on A Hundred’: An Interview with Cody ChesnuTT

The Yoruba have a word–tutu–for cool. Robert Farris Thompson describes it in his book Flash of the Spirit: “As we become noble, fully realizing the spark of creative goodness God endowed us with, we find the confidence...

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Weekend Bonus Music Break, N°23

“Halleluja.” Ghanaian-Swiss OY breaks down hair politics over some church loop. Next: Ghanaian-Canadian singer-songwriter Kae Sun’s ‘Ship and The Globe’, the debut single off his forthcoming LP “Afriyie”:

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Cape Town African Swag

The first time I heard about rapper Youngsta (government name Riyadh Roberts) was during Public Enemy’s tour of Cape Town, in a club awkwardly named @mospheer. Chuck D and Flavor Flav rocked the crowd that night, with...

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Fela Kuti meets De La Soul

What happens? An 8-track remix compiled from “… dozens of  hand-picked samples from the Nigerian instrumentalist and political figure Fela Kuti, and 8 carefully-chosen acapellas from the Native Tongue rap trio De La Soul” called Fela Soul. The...

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

‘Cars, Clothes and Parties’

Seun Kuti (28 year old son of Fela), playing Brooklyn next month, talk to Wax Poetics TV has some issues with other artists. He is definitely casting stones on all the blinged out, autotuned Nigerian pop.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Roy Ayers Project

http://vimeo.com/22227829 Roy Ayers played and recorded with Fela Kuti (here‘s an example) and he has reinvented himself musically a few times–he still does. Now there’s a new documentary film about Ayers. In the trailer, above, Bobbito Garcia,...

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

No Comment

Fela Kuti works for Lebron James. I can only imagine what Fela would have said (or sung) about the real Miami, like Overtown or Liberty City.

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

When Fela Kuti came to New York City

The Fela revival–lawsuits and all–in New York City rolls on. This time it’s a new documentary about a mid-1980s visit Kuti–then in his prime–made to New York City.  “Fela–NYC: Fresh from Africa”  is a 97-minute film directed...

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Fela Can’t Dance

I am not sure what to make of this. Bill T Jones (creator of the musical “Fela!,” currently playing on Broadway) recently choreographed “Zombie” (a song about military repression) for Canada’s version of “So You Think You...

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Music Break: Fela Kuti’s “Water No Get Enemy”

By the cast of the Broadway musical Fela!. Not bad. Via Knitting Factory Records. – Sean Jacobs

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Everybody Say “Yeah Yeah!”

Some of us will be a bit preoccupied with, you know, the biggest event in the world this weekend so it’s only natural that this Sunday will come and go without our tuning in to watch the...

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Abraham Lincoln and Fela Kuti

Some critics went after Bill T Jones for his musical portrayal of the king of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, on Broadway. Here, in the link below, Mr Jones responds–indirectly–to criticisms of “Fela!,” during a discussion with Bill Moyers...

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Wax Poetics “Africa Issue” and Other Links

* I just got the Wax Poetics Africa Issue in the mail.  Though the issue may give the impression that good music stopped being produced in Africa since the 1970s–in part it reads like a tribute issue...

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Seun Kuti goes to see ‘Fela!’ on Broadway

He liked it and thinks its “genius.” Video by Afropop.

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Representing Fela

Last week The New York Times published an odd piece of writing by one its theater “critics”, Charles Isherwood about the Broadway show “Fela!” about the life of the Afrobeat king.  Isherwood ccused the show of “tilting”...

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

How come the richest continent has the poorest people?

Femi Kuti knows.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The Black President’s Son

This is a clip from an excellent PBS report by journalist Marco Werman who traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, where talk to Fela Kuti’s son, Seun. Watch the full program here.

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Fela Inspiration

This artist was inspired to create after seeing the Broadway musical.

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Music Break / Pax Nicholas

Daptone Records

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

‘The Inspiration of Fela Kuti’

This compilation focuses on the music Fela inspired – whether by fellow Nigerians recording alongside him in the early 70s, neighbors in Ghana, then-modern Colombian cumbia ensembles inspired by the man who injected a new feel into...

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

THE MAN BEHIND FELA KUTI’S ALBUM ART

A profile of Lemi Ghariokwu

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Femi Kuti speaks on politics and Afrobeat

Femi Kuti speaking on politics and Afrobeat; interviewed in San Francisco earlier this year. Via Spin Earth.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

MUSIC/ JIMI TENOR AND TONY ALLEN

Great little video of Jimi Tenor and Tony Allen talking about their collabo. I like the sound of this. Belated H/T: Steve Coplan

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

FELA KUTI IS COMING TO BROADWAY

“Fela!,” the Bill T. Jones musical about the life of the Nigerian Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is opening on Broadway on October 19. I had tickets during the show’s short Off-Broadway run last year, but on...