Fela Kuti’s 'Zombie' is One of Jay Z’s "Songs For Survival"

Jay Z selects Fela Kuti's 1976 anti-military protest anthem "Zombie" for a new playlist highlighting social injustice in America.

“Zombie” is not simply Fela Kuti’s best known song. The 1976 protest anthem is a scathing attack on the Nigerian military that uses zombies as a metaphor for soldiers mindleslly following orders. The song triggered the Nigerian government’s horrific assault on the Kalakuta Republic on 18 February, 1977, in which the compound burned to the ground, Fela was brutally beaten and his mother, Nigerian feminist icon Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, was tragically thrown from an upstairs window.


Fela’s lyrics carry a haunting relevance in 2016 America. And today, the song features alongside a selection of music dealing with contemporary issues of "social injustice" curated by Jay Z. Titled “Songs For Survival,” the two-hour playlist for Tidal includes songs by Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Kendrick Lamar, Gil Scott-Heron, Common, Yasiin Bey, OutKast, Kanye West and more.

Listen below. For more "Zombie," revisit Fela Flex on Okayafrica TV.

Popular