Music is the weapon. The past ten or so years have witnessed a western appreciation of Fela Kuti that would have seemed implausible just a decade prior. From the Broadway success of the Fela! musical, to the ongoing celebrity-endorsed reissue series, Kuti’s music, and (with it) message have reached a far broader audience than ever achieved during the Nigerian musician’s own lifetime. The ease and access of digital music obviously comes into play, here.
In Kuti’s case, these services have proved an excellent/efficient means to survey the Afrobeat pioneer’s vast, expansive catalog. For example, take “Unknown Soldier (Pt. 1 & 2)”. A sonic manifesto that comprised the entirety of both of its vinyl sides upon the original 1979 release, the record is an absolute monster. And incredibly hard to find. It curiously remains one of the few titles that have yet to see a physical reissue. No matter — get lost via the digital ether, below…
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Essential Viewing: Fela Kuti :: Music Is The Weapon (Documentary, 1982)