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Paul McCartney Smoked the Strongest Weed of His Life With Fela Kuti

He told the story in an interview for Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

Paul McCartney recently sat for an extended interview with Marc Maron in which he covered a bunch of Beatles memories, as well as many from his releases with Wings and solo career.

One anecdote that stands out is about his 1973 album with Wings, Band on the Run, which was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria.

Paul mentions that he decided to record in Nigeria because at that time it was "kind of fashionable for people not to record in their normal studios." So, he asked his label EMI what international locations they had studios in, and when he heard of the Lagos studio he was set on Nigeria.

When Paul arrives in Nigeria, the first thing he sees in the papers were headlines of Fela Kuti accusing him of "coming to steal the black man's music," a story he's told many times before.

So he calls up Fela and invites him to the studio to hear the songs he's working on, to prove that his recordings are nothing like afrobeat or any other African music. That's where the new bits of details of this story start.


In Paul McCartney's own words:

"[Fela] came over with his 30 wives and a studio full of ganja. He was one wild cat, he used to have a bottle of whiskey in which was marinating a pound of pot... in the whiskey. We turned out to be real good friends, he got it, he said 'no you're not doing that' [stealing African music].

Ginger Baker was there, he was his big friend. So, Fela invites us to his club which was outside Lagos, the Afrika Shrine. This was a few of us, little white people, me and a couple of friends. So we go out there and I say, '"let's not smoke any pot." Cause it's pretty crazy, we're out in the jungle and it's pitch black.

So we're sitting there with Fela [at The Shrine] and one of Fela's guys comes up, he's crouching and he's got a packet of Rothmans cigarettes. They're all joints. He goes, '"You want one of these?" I say, "no thanks," so he carries around and gets to Ginger Baker who says "Yeah man! Sure!'"

Then Fela shouts, "Ginger Baker! The only man I know never refuse a smoke!"

So I go, "A-ha! Ok, I'll have one of those."

Man. I tripped out. It was so strong. It was stronger than anything I've ever had, I don't know if there was something in it.

But in the end it was a good night.

You can listen to the full Paul McCartney interview with Marc Maron for WTF here, it starts at around the 50-minute mark.

Paul's previously talked about his favorite Fela songs and memories on video which you can revisit below.

Interview
Photo: Shaughn Cooper

Ras Nebyu Is Washington, D.C.'s 'Uptown Lion Walkin'

We talk to the Ethiopian-American rapper about his new album, his Washington Slizzards crew, and the impact of gentrification on D.C.'s music scene.

Ras Nebyu is caught up in the crowd at Howard University's homecoming tailgate, where he can barely walk a block without shaking hands with another person who he knows. Although he didn't attend Howard University, the campus and the surrounding neighborhood forms as much of a part of his narrative as any student.

The Ethiopian-American rapper hails from uptown Washington, D.C., a neighborhood he uses to inform his latest album, Uptown Lion Walkin, a project that pays homage to his ancestral upbringing, as well as his thoughts on making money, love, happiness, and the government.

There's a twoness to Nebyu's identity that allows him to create from a place of historical-cultural reverence while pushing forward new ideas. He was raised in a Rastafarian household by an Ethiopian dad and African-American mother.

Nebyu doesn't hold much back when he speaks, like his music. He preaches about belonging to his community, gentrification and the diaspora. His work serves as a strong soundboard, for not only his Ethiopian community but D.C. natives.

In 2011, Nebyu co-founded the Washington Slizzards, a collective of Ethiopian creatives in D.C. What started as a joke, tacking on "slizz" to everything, became a buzz-worthy crew. Around the same time as the group's inception, he began releasing music into the world.

Nebyu first ventured into making music as a producer, but soon found it frustrating getting artists to use his beats. He decided to begin experimenting with using his own voice and hasn't slowed down since. OkayAfrica caught up with Nebyu to discuss the new album and growing up uptown.

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Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty, Afro B & Mayorkun Join DJ Neptune On 'Tear Rubber' Remix

Listen to the "All Star Remix" now.

"Tear Rubber," one of the standouts from DJ Neptune's latest album, Greatness, gets a big remix that'll jump start your week.

The track, which originally featured Mayorkun, now gets a massive revisit featuring Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty and Afro B.

All three are potent additions to this laid-back and addictive Young John-produced track which was already getting a lot of spins.

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Listen to Sade's Beautiful New Song—'The Big Unknown'

Sade has graced us with her second single of the year—this time for Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, "Widows."

We now have two new Sade songs to shed thug tears to before the end of 2018, y'all.

The queen herself released a lyric video for her new track, "The Big Unknown." This single will be played during the end credits of Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, Widows, which is due to be released in theaters November 16, Highsnobiety reports.

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