Femi Kuti: Africa for Africa (Wrasse)

 |   |  <1 min read

Femi Kuti: Cant Buy Me
Femi Kuti: Africa for Africa (Wrasse)

In 1970 George Melly wrote Revolt into Style, a witty and sometimes scathing look at how the revolutionary, anti-establishment figures in pop art and culture had been assimilated into the mainstream as just another fashion/style accessory.

You'd wonder what Melly might make of Nigerian firebrand musician and lightning-rod political figure Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938-97) now the subject of an award-winning Broadway musical. As Songlines magazine noted “after decades as a cult hero, Fela Kuti has gone mainstream”.

The Fela banner has always been carried by his son Femi who has taken elements of Fela's revolutionary, horn-driven and thrilling Afrobeat and hauled it into the present day by keeping the songs short (Fela's rolled towards the 30 minute mark and often beyond) and offering remixes.

This album – 14 songs, some about corrupt African and specifically Nigerian politics – is a more smooth and streamlined affair than his father's rambunctious work, but nails the right villains (unprofessional journalists among them), and is relentless in its percussion, organ and horns. By keeping songs below the five minute mark, this delivers a flurry of punches rather than a knock-out blow, although you'll be reeling and gasping for breath by the time the boiling standout Can't Buy Me arrives just five songs in.

This is a more pop-Afrobeat style than Fela's soul-rock, but no less powerful. Especially with volume.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; AMIN ALAEV OF THE ALAEV FAMILY INTERVIEWED (Tajikistan)

WOMAD ARTIST 2013; AMIN ALAEV OF THE ALAEV FAMILY INTERVIEWED (Tajikistan)

Interviewing world music artists is often interesting, sometimes fun and frequently frustrating. Speaking to Amin Alaev of the Alaev Family – who play the Taranaki Womad – is all... > Read more

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

Etran Finatawa have band members from two nomadic groups from around Niger, and play music which sounds like the raw electric blues from Chicago in the Fifties and Sixties. Their electrifying music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Pete's Danish rum souffle

Pete's Danish rum souffle

Pete notes that while this is neither Danish nor a souffle it does contain rum. It's an old family favourite apparently. "The parentals picked it up when blowing through some roadside diner... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Browning of the Shake Up

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tim Browning of the Shake Up

Tim Browning of the Sydney rock trio is a busy guy. He not only plays drums but handles the press and tour bookings for the band which last year released its debut album . . . if you have no shame... > Read more