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Questlove Speaks On FELA!


Few stories are as inspiring as that of Fela “Anikulapo (he who wears death in his pouch)” Kuti. He lived life exactly as he wanted to, fighting against corruption, calling out oppressive regimes everywhere. He fought hard and, at his renowned club The Shrine, he partied hard, inspiring a generation of Nigerians to shake their yanch both literally and figuratively . You can live that life for a few hours too in the city that never sleeps (the musical is back on Broadway for a very limited run, July 9 through August 4. Grab tickets here.) and on that score, nobody is living for now like ?uestlove.

You already knew that el patrón really, really supports FELA! the musical. But in a current radio spot, the afro-lord broadcasts the immense effect FELA! had on him back when he saw it for the first time in 2008, reveals that he’s seen the show 15 times (!) and lists the only valid excuse for missing it's return to Broadway as "death." So he really likes it, is what we're saying to you. Listen to ?uesto’s endorsement below, and read his impassioned diatribe here.

[audio:http://www.okayafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/FELA_QUESTLOVE_60.mp3|titles=Questlove on FELA!]

Stream: Questlove on FELA!

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.