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Seun Kuti in Conversation

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For years, the late Fela Kuti used Afrobeat to speak out against the government in Nigeria. Now his sonsFemi and Seun Kuti, are 4th generation musicians with their own political message. Leading up to his recent performance in London with members of his father's band, Seun stopped to speak at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) with professor and BBC Presenter, Lucy Duran and Stephen Chan (whole discussion in the video above). The conversation began with a recording of Seun's great grandfather, Reverend J.J. Ransome-Kuti, in Britain in 1922 singing a hymn. It was the first musical recording of its kind for release in West Africa. When the recording ended, Seun laughed and said, "My dad didn't have much love for this music."

Reminiscing about his father, Seun laughed a lot. He explained that his family required music, and was strict about practice. His father was beaten if he didn't practice, but Fela never had to hit Seun. "It's Fela. He doesn't have to beat you. He just opens his eyes!"

Not only are the Kutis known for their music, but various members of the family became other important figures. Seun's grandmother was one of Africa's first women's rights fighters until she was assassinated. Seun added, "In the Kuti family, we always try to be the best at everything."

The discussion soon turned to Seun's message: "I am a revolutionary first, and a musician second…if I had to choose one or the other, that is." Yet, Seun explained he is not the revolutionary his father was. At some point Seun realized that Africa is being affected by external forces more than by internal forces. He went on to list multinational corporations like oil companies and global institutions like the World Bank, IMF, and UN as culprits.

 

Seun's music is still about Nigeria, and resonates with the people there, but he blames the outside world for keeping Africa down. Seun's latest album, From Africa with Fury: Rise, calls for Africa to take control back. "We have to bring empathy back…no one has started a genuine fight for the people."

The rest of the hour-long discussion talked about issues ranging from the education system in Nigeria, to corruption in the country. The young Kuti, 28, has formulated his opionions and is using his music to share it. "I want my people to feel me, but I want the world to understand me," he said, proving that the revolutionary musician lives on.

Yes, Shaquille O'Neal Dropped A Diss Remix of 'Mans Not Hot'

"The real" Shaq responds to British comedian Big Shaq's viral grime hit. The ting goes skrrraaa.

Today, in things you didn't know you would ever hear (or needed to), NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal has dropped a diss remix to British comedian Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq aka Roadman Shaq aka MC Quakez's "Mans Not Hot."

The track's a response to Big Shaq's ultra viral freestyle on BBC Radio 1's "Fire in the Booth" segment, where the comedian first dropped his now timeless "the ting goes skrrraaa" lines. Since its release back in August, the clip's gone beyond viral—Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq's even released an official version of the track.

Fast forward to last week, the NBA's Shaq went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, in which The Roots played "Mans Not Hot" as his walk-on music.

Well, with all the attention on the track, it seems the OG Shaq's taken notice and, in his own tongue-in-cheek way, has fired off some bars at the comedian taking his name.

To make things even more confusing, he's also joined by Toronto rapper ShaqisDope on the comedic diss track.

"There's only one Big Shaq," the NBA star rhymes.

Check out Shaq's diss and the original video below. skrrraaa pap bap bap.

A Nasty Boy Magazine's 'Creative Class of 2018' Highlights 40 African Creatives Who Are Disrupting the Status Quo

For its inaugural list, the trailblazing Nigerian publication highlights 40 creatives who are disrupting the norm through art, photography, writing and more.

With it's emphasis on unapologetically interrupting the status quo and championing all things striking, artistic and unconventional, A Nasty Boy is the rare and severely necessary publication shaking up Nigeria's conservative media landscape.

Keep reading... Show less

Erykah Badu Curated A New Fela Kuti Box Set

Badu: "Fela Kuti is a Fucking Genius. Please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt.. with a nice slow burn."

To celebrate Fela Kuti's birthday and the many Felabrations going down across the globe, Knitting Factory Records has announced the upcoming arrival of their new Fela Kuti box set.

The new box set, which will be the fourth installment the label has released from the king of Afrobeat, will be curated by none-other-than Erykah Badu.

"Fela Kuti is a Fucking Genius," Badu writes in a press statement. "Please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt.. with a nice slow burn."


Erykah Badu's selections include her "favorite Fela Piece of all times," 1980's Coffin For Head of State, alongside Yellow Fever (1976), No Agreement (1977), J.J.D. (Johnny Just Drop) (1977), V.I.P. (1979), Army Arrangement (1984), and Underground System (1992).

The box set will be limited to only 3,000 copies, which come with a 16" x 24" poster designed by Nigerian artist Lemi Ghariokwu, the creative force behind 26 of Fela Kuti's iconic album covers, and a 20-page full-color booklet. The booklet features seven personal essays written by Erykah Badu.

Previous Fela Kuti box sets have been curated by Questlove, Ginger Baker, and Brian Eno for Knitting Factory Records.

Pre-order Erykah Badu's Fela Kuti box set now.

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