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Fela Kuti, pope of Afrobeat

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Playlist: Fela Kuti, pope of Afrobeat

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Fusion of the rhythms of West Africa, soul, funk and jazz, the afrobeat of its shamanic creator who disappeared 20 years ago, still influences hordes of musicians. Blaze of brass and concentrated rhythms: this is how Fela Anikulapo Kuti invented the most bustling trance of the 70s and 80s.

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Fela Kuti, pope of Afrobeat

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
My Lady Frustration
Fela Kuti The '69 Los Angeles Sessions 00:07:02

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

2
Alu Jon Jonki Jon
Fela Kuti Afrodisiac 00:12:41

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

3
Gentleman
Fela Kuti Gentleman 00:14:41

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

4
O.D.O.O. (Overtake Don Overtake Overtake)
Fela Kuti O.D.O.O. 00:31:54

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

5
Kalakuta Show
Fela Kuti Kalakuta Show 00:14:32

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

6
Jeun Ko Ku (Chop and Quench)
Fela Kuti Afrodisiac 00:07:15

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

7
He Miss Road
Fela Kuti He Miss Road 00:10:47

Fela Kuti, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Artist, MainArtist - 1999 FAK LTD., MusicPublisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

8
Zombie
Fela Kuti Zombie 00:12:25

Fela Kuti, Composer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

9
It's Highlife Time
Fela Kuti Highlife: Jazz and Afro- Soul (1963-1969) 00:05:23

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - His Koola Lobitos, MainArtist

2015 Knitting Factory Records 2015 Knitting Factory Records

10
Ye Ye De Smell
Fela Kuti Fela With Ginger Baker Live! 00:13:16

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

11
Lady
Fela Kuti Shakara 00:13:48

Fela Kuti, Composer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

12
Roforofo Fight
Fela Kuti Roforofo Fight 00:15:39

Fela Kuti, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Artist, MainArtist - 1999 FAK LTD., MusicPublisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

13
Monkey Banana
Fela Kuti Monkey Banana 00:11:34

Fela Kuti, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Artist, MainArtist - 1999 FAK LTD., MusicPublisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

14
I.T.T. (International Thief Thief), Pt. 1 & 2
Fela Kuti ITT 00:24:02

Fela Kuti, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, FeaturedArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

15
Expensive Shit
Fela Kuti Expensive Shit 00:13:13

Fela Kuti, Composer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, FeaturedArtist

2013 Fela Anikulapo-Kuti Estate Kft under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise/Knitting Factory Records 2009 Fela Anikulapo-Kuti Estate Kft

16
No Agreement
Fela Kuti No Agreement 00:15:32

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Composer - Fela Kuti, Producer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

17
Coffin For Head Of State
Fela Kuti Coffin For Head Of State 00:22:42

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

18
Africa Centre of the World
Fela Kuti Music of Many Colours 00:17:32

Roy Ayers, FeaturedArtist - Fela Kuti, Composer, MainArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

19
Alagbon Close
Fela Kuti Alagbon Close 00:17:00

Fela Kuti, Main Artist, Artist, Producer, Composer, Lyricist - EMI Music Publishing / FKO Music, Music Publisher

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2016 Knitting Factory Records

20
Sorrow Tears and Blood
Fela Kuti Sorrow Tears & Blood 00:10:16

Fela Kuti, Composer, MainArtist - Afrika 70, FeaturedArtist

2013 Kalakuta Sunrise 2009 FAK Ltd under exclusive license to Kalakuta Sunrise / Knitting Factory Records

About Playlist

Fusion of the rhythms of West Africa, soul, funk and jazz, the afrobeat of its shamanic creator who disappeared 20 years ago, still influences hordes of musicians. Blaze of brass and concentrated rhythms: this is how Fela Anikulapo Kuti invented the most bustling trance of the 70s and 80s.

Fela, the Pope of Afrobeat

by Marc Zisman

A fusion of West African rhythms, jazz, funk and soul, twenty years on from the disappearance of its shamanic creator, Afrobeat continues to influence hordes of musicians to this day. An inferno of horns and a thick tangle of rhythms: Fela Anikulapo Kuta invented the most thrilling trance of the 70s and 80s.

Upon his return to Nigeria, Fela set up his own recording studio, modestly entitled Kalakuta Republic, and opened a club called ‘The Shrine’. Nigeria 70, which would later become Africa 70, recorded at a a diabolical pace, committing long compositions to disc, often a kind of groove ragga infused with quasi-psychedelic trances. Fela's charisma quickly made him a major star of the African continent, and a key actor in the political scene of his native Nigeria. Until his death, the military junta in power would never cease in its efforts to silence this extraordinary agitator, who was to Nigeria what Bob Marley was to Jamaica - a lot more than just a political singer.


Throughout his career, Fela was regularly arrested and imprisoned; his Kalakuta Republic was attacked by the army many times, and his family and friends were often harassed. His 80-year-old mother was even thrown through a window by soldiers. Often going into exile, particularly in Ghana, Fela founded his own party in 1979 - the MOP (Movement of the People). The party calmed down their activism at the start of the 1980s, before hardening their stance again in 1983 and condemning the ‘Pope of Afrobeat’ to ten years in prison. With the help of Amnesty International, Fela was set free in 1985. He would continue to record many albums in the same vein, before slowing down in the 1990s and passing away in the summer of 1997, falling victim to AIDS.


Translated by Edward Maltby.

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