Audio

Erykah Badu Selects Her Favorite Fela Kuti Songs

Fela.net's on-going artist playlist series recruits Erykah Badu to share her favorite Fela Kuti tracks in a Spotify mix.


""Beasts of No Nation" is maybe one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard," writes Erykah Badu about one of her selections for Fela.net’s on-going artist playlist series. For her favorite Fela Kuti picks, Erykah mixed classics with rarer cuts from the afrobeat pioneer.

Erykah also provides detailed descriptions for her selections to Fela.net: “Coffin For Head of State” (“I played this song on blast from my balcony on repeat when I moved into this house to let the neighbors know what type of party it was“), “No Agreement” (“No matter how many baths I take, after this song the funk remains”) and “Beasts of No Nation” (“The album cover had 3 of the former presidents depicted as blood sucking demons. Now that was brave for Africa in the 80s, to say the least”).

Like we previously mentioned in The Roots Of… Erykah Badu, the singer has had a career-long relationship with Afrocentric references, from lyrical allusions to her personal iconography of ankhs. Even her adopted surname ‘Badu’ is a suffix used for the 10th-born child among Ghana’s Akan people.

Stream Erykah Badu’s Fela Kuti playlist below and read her complete track descriptions underneath. For more, check out playlists from QuestloveBlack ThoughtTalib KweliBrian Eno, Rich Medina, and Ziggy Marley.

1. “Coffin For Head of State” because the message is so clear and profound. I feel like I’m walking with them. It’s a funeral processional that ends on the steps of the police station. Ha. I played this song on blast from my balcony on repeat when I moved into this house to let the neighbors know what type of party it was. I had no furniture.

2. “No Agreement” because the groove is a HESI. A chant. A prayer. Locked on the 1. No matter how many baths I take, after this song the funk re mains. Yes RE & MAINS is two words.

3. “Army Arrangement” is a classic . Nice obscure piano solo. I appreciate it’s imperfections. Hypnotic.

4. “Je’Nwi Temi (Don’t Gag Me)” —

5. “Beasts of No Nation” is an epic piece. Maybe one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. It was strong and very very social politically forward. Lol. The album cover had 3 of the former presidents depicted as blood sucking demons. Now that was brave for Africa in the 80’s, to say the least. Ironically the chord progressions are very beautiful. It’s an emotional piece.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.