The continent is rough and so these days I find myself in an Anikulapo Kuti mood thinking about Fela’s music.
What made Fela’s music great was that every single sound coming from his band was very important to him; he needed to hear you shine. When someone you look up to looks back at you all your potentials is unlocked, and you give nothing but the best. A wise man once said a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
If you know pain, if you suffered and seen people suffer and was unable to do anything because you were spineless, Fela was the spine of Africans. Fela might have smoked a lot but he read a lot, and reading is all that matters. He had experiences to back him up and he knew pain too.
Now let’s talk about his genius as a composer and as a thinking man, he used his environment to the best of his knowledge, he fought with his compositions and got punished for it. It is psychological for music to provoke reactions don’t you think; great compositions can do that.
Individually Nigerian artists have always been pioneers of African music – Fela Kuti being one of the Godfathers and an early influence, if not the only recognized creator of the genre known as Afrobeat, although there are other variations now. It is a source of pride for me that Nigeria has the biggest entertainment industry on the continent which extends to music made in Afrobeat.
I love Fela and I listen to him a lot, and so any other variation of Fela catches my attention. As Africans, music and dance especially, is a part of who we are and what we are most proud of. So I have made a list of underground songs fleshed out from Fela, I found most on SoundCloud.
1. The Antibalas
2. Sute – “Let’s start”
3. Afrikan Boy – “Hit Em Up”
4. Paybac – “Follow-follow”
5. Blitz The Ambassador – “Make you no forget”
6. King Jamal TheHitMaker – “Rap Fela”
7. Dremo – “Fela”
8. Black Magic – “Loyal”
9. Metaphor – “Kalakuta”
10. D-Truce – “Suffering and smiling”
11. Brymo – “Prick no get shoulder”
12. ThirtySeventy – “Fela”
13. Dj K-mart – “Fela tribute”
14. Yinka Bernie – “Fela”
15. Greo – “Gra Gra”
Two hands up if you enjoyed them.