Fela Kuti also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, and political maverick. Over a decade after his death, vindication has come to Kuti, Africa’s musical genius. AfroBeat, his gift to the world, is now an international staple.
Throughout his life, Fela contended that AfroBeat was a modern form of danceable, African classical music with an urgent message for the planet’s denizens. Created out of a cross-breeding of Funk, Jazz, Salsa and Calypso with Juju, Highlife and African percussive patterns, it was to him a political weapon.
This Afrobeat epic contains just one eponymous track clocking in at just over 25 minutes in length, beginning with a mysterious and psychedelic musical interplay between Fela on organ and Tony Allen on drums. As the song takes on a righteously funky groove, Fela evokes the chaos of Lagos — the multitude of regional dialects, the gnarly traffic jams, the absence of a policeman to take charge — as a metaphor for the larger problems of post-colonial Nigeria.