Release Date: Jun 21, 2011
Record label: Because
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, International, African Traditions, Afro-beat, Pan-Global
As one might expect of a musical giant who married 27 women, the late Nigerian pop radical Fela Kuti fathered some talented kids. Two of them are furthering the family business in Afrobeat, the Africanized vision of James Brown's funk that Fela invented (and which has influenced everyone from Beyoncé to TV on the Radio). Femi, Fela's eldest son, fell out with his dad in the late Eighties, leaving the fold to start his own band.
Seun Kuti has always had two problems. He has had to battle against continual comparisons with his legendary father Fela (hardly surprising, since he based his early career on a stage performance in which he looked and sounded like his late dad's clone), and he has had to watch the success of Fela's oldest son, Femi. The UK has been blitzed with Fela nostalgia in recent months, with the success of the Fela! stage show and the rerelease of all his back catalogue.
Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Afrobeat, left quite a legacy behind when he died of AIDS in 1997. Besides his impressive contributions to music, the Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and composer was a serious human rights activist. Fela had a huge number of incredibly dedicated fans—people who love his music and value his passions outside of it—but he also left a more physical legacy: his son.
Brian Eno co-produces Kuti’s second international LP of muscular Afrobeat. Jon Lusk 2011 How times change. Fela Kuti would probably have put out around 10 albums in the time that has passed between his son Seun’s first and second international releases. But in almost every other way, Seun is continuing his father’s legacy.
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