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Questlove, Erykah Badu, Ziggy Marley, Talib Kweli, Black Thought & Rich Medina Curate A Fela Kuti Playlist

Okayplayer, Okayafrica & Fela.net present a TIDAL Fela Kuti playlist from Questlove, Erykah Badu, Ziggy Marley, Talib Kweli & more.


To mark what would've been Fela Kuti's 77th birthday, Okayplayer, Okayafrica & Fela.net present a 30-track playlist of highlights from the afrobeat legend's discography compiled by Questlove, Erykah Badu, Black Thought, Ziggy Marley, Talib Kweli, and Rich Medina. The co-curated Happy Birthday Fela playlist, hosted by TIDAL, runs through several classics and rare cuts from Fela's catalog which were originally published in Fela.net's artists playlist series. Read some of the curating artists' thoughts on Fela below and stream the full playlist on TIDAL underneath.

“[Fela’s music is] not microwave music, it’s souffle. It’s a slow burn that just sizzles, and gets hotter… He clearly had the ear and the adoration of the people. To use this time & time again, and to get thrown in jail every time a single comes out. I mean, I have 16 records and can’t imagine that I might have to go to jail for every time my album comes out. Not many people are willing to suffer for their craft.” Questlove

“Fela is one of my biggest influences in a very spiritual sense. His music is spirit and so is Fela. Fela is an overall influence, it’s not just music it’s everything else too.” Ziggy Marley

“I was introduced to the music of Fela Kuti in 1994 by my good friend Santi Gold. I accompanied her to a record store in Philly to purchase some of her dad’s favorite music as a birthday gift for him. I decided to purchase the album Original Suffer Head for myself and the rest is history. I identified with the Nigerian Afrobeat sound in a way that I had never identified with any other music before and the spirit and feel of Fela’s music became the soundtrack for the best part of my life.” Black Thought

“Fela Kuti shows us that the music of the oppressed must always be connected to the struggle. It is never made just for the sake of making something beautiful, it has purpose that goes far beyond entertainment. Fela taught us how to be exactly who we are and to be unapologetic about it.” Talib Kweli

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Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker. (Photo by Echoes/Redferns/Getty Images)

Remembering Ginger Baker's Afrobeat Collaborations With Fela Kuti

After Cream, Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Nigeria, most notably with Fela Kuti.

Ginger Baker, pioneer British rock drummer and co-founder of the band Cream, passed away yesterday. He was 80-years-old.

"Baker had been suffering from myriad ailments, including chronic respiratory illness and osteoarthritis," Okayplayer reports. "On September 25th, his family asked fans to keep Baker in their prayers, as he'd reached a critical point that warranted hospitalization. And [Sunday] morning, they informed fans on Facebook the drummer had 'passed away peacefully.'"

Baker was well-known across the world for his work with Cream, the group he formed alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce.

Once Cream disbanded—and short stints with projects like Blind Faith and Ginger Baker's Air Force—the drummer turned his attention to Africa, eventually building a recording studio in Lagos, Nigeria.

The documentary, Ginger Baker in Africa, follows him as he traveled by Range Rover from Algeria to Nigeria, across the Sahara Desert. Once he reached Lagos, he started setting up the studio. Though it took some times to figure out, and several setbacks, Batakota (ARC) studios finally opened at the end of January 1973.

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Photo courtesy of JM Films

Watch Tiwa Savage's Striking New Music Video for '49-99'

On her latest single, the artist references Fela Kuti and addresses poverty in her home country.

Tiwa Savage shares her latest song and video "49-99."

The pulsating track sees the artist referencing Fela Kuti's famous "49 sitting, 99 standing" line from his 1978 song "Shuffering and Shmiling." Throughout the track, the Nigerian artist sings about the pursuit of money in her home country, offering commentary on widespread poverty.

"'49-99' is a term coined from the hard life many Nigerians go through," explains the artist in a press release. "A transit bus serves as a case study. It ought to have only 49 seated passengers, however due to poor economic conditions, we often have nearly twice that number of passengers standing (99)."

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(Photo Courtesy of DIARRABLU)

Meet the Senegalese Designer Making Math Chic

Diarra Bousso uses algorithms to create designs for her line DIARRABLU.

Who knew that math and fashion could work together so seamlessly? Apparently Diarra Bousso did, the self-described "Creative Mathematician" and mastermind behind DIARRABLU. The Senegalese serial entrepreneur and multidisciplinary artist left a career of trading on Wall Street to pursue design and it paid off. She has just been awarded a coveted spot as the Designer in Residence at the San Francisco Fashion Incubator for her innovative use of equations and algorithms in her beautiful designs.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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