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'Finding Fela' Archives: Questlove & Tunde Adebimpe Talk Fela

To celebrate the theatrical release of Finding Fela, Okayafrica takes a look back at when Questlove and Tunde talked Fela's influence.


'Finding Fela,' the new Fela Kuti documentary from Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney, begins its North American theatrical run on August 1st. To celebrate we'll be finding Fela in our Okayafrica archives with a look back at our favorite Fela-related videos, galleries, remixes, interviews and much more.

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To kick off our Fela archival series, we head back to 2010 with Questlove and Tunde Adebimpe. In the first of the two videos, ?uesto talks the "rhythmically funky African" and his reflection in the post-soul movement (specifically citing music from Busta Rhyme's first group Leader of the New School, X-Clan, and Mos Def). "Fela is the one African figure whose story resonates with modern American hip hop culture," says ?uesto. "It's the story of hip-hop." Two years after being interviewed, ?uesto joined tUnE-yArDs, Angélique Kidjo and Akua Naru in covering Fela's "Lady" for Red Hot + FELA. Find out more on the project here.

In the second video, TV On The Radio frontman Tunde discusses which TVOTR songs are "clumsy attempts" at afrobeat, why his mother was never able to go shake it at the Shrine, and how Fela's music tattooed itself on his brain when he was growing up in Nigeria. "His body of work dovetails with most of the music I've heard my entire life that has really really influenced almost everything that I do musically now," says Tunde on the afrobeat father's pervading influence in his own career. Watch both interviews below and scroll on for more information on Finding Fela's theatrical run .

Finding Fela North American Theatrical Dates

New York, NY, IFC Center (August 1-7)

Denver, CO, Landmark Chez Artiste (August 8-14)

Washington, DC, Landmark E Street Cinema (August 8-14)

Vineyard Haven, MA, Martha's Vineyard Film Society (8/8-8/10 & 8/15-8/17 ONLY)

Santa Fe, NM, The Screen (August 8-14)

Berkeley, CA, Landmark Shattuck Cinemas (August 15-21)

Los Angeles, CA, Landmark Nuart Theatre (August 15-21)

San Diego, CA, Landmark Ken Cinema (August 15-21)

San Francisco, CA, Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema (August 15-21)

Atlanta, GA, Landmark Midtown Art Cinema (August 15-21)

Boston, MA, Landmark Kendall Square Cinema (August 15-21)

Philadelphia, PA, Landmark Ritz at the Bourse (August 15-21)

Nashville, TN, Belcourt Theatre (August 15-21)

Minneapolis, MN, Landmark Lagoon Cinema (August 22-28)

Albuquerque, NM, Guild Cinema (August 22-25)

Columbus, OH, Gateway Film Center (August 22-28)

Oklahoma City, OK, Oklahoma City Museum of Art (August 29-30)

Houston, TX, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (August 29 - September 4)

Seattle, WA, Landmark Varsity Theatre (August 29 - September 4)

Montreal, QC, POP Montreal (September 19)

Memphis, TN, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (October 23)

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Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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