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Video: Joakim Noah on Fela Kuti and Knowing His Roots

Watch NBA star Joakim Noah discuss his love for Fela Kuti and the importance of knowing one's roots.

May 8, 2012...Coinciding with The Chicago Bulls' "win or go home" game tonight against Philly, Knitting Factory Records is celebrating the release of Fela Kuti's Live In Detroit 1986 today - the first new Fela material to be released since 1992, mastered from the bootleg recording of Fela Kuti & Egypt 80's performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre.


Bulls' center Joakim Noah grew up listening to Fela Kuti with his tennis star father, Yannick Noah, and his Cameroonian soccer champion grandfather Zacharie Noah. Above, Joakim talks about Fela's audacity to speak the truth on behalf of his people, Tupac as a new generation's Fela, the importance of knowing one's roots, and how Obama sonned him.

And continuing on the all-great-things-Fela meme, if you haven't seen the Fela Kuti musical yet, you just aren't living right (see this ?uesto post, or die). Upcoming tour dates for the traveling show are in Baltimore, Houston, and St. Paul. Get tix here.

Finally, there are literally 2 of these left in the world - the Limited Edition ?uestlove curated Fela Vinyl Boxset - they include six handpicked Fela Kuti albums with painstakingly re-created original artwork, including Joakim's favorite, Sorrow Tears And Blood, and a personal essay by ?uesto himself. We have them both here. Obvi these will not last long...

After the jump get more details on all the albums and their gorgeous covers by Lemi, Fela's album cover artist.

Video by Native Resonance.

Visit Fela.net and the Regular Trademark store. Use discount code OKAYFELA for 15% off all orders!

The ?uestlove boxset includes:

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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