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Paul McCartney Smoked the Strongest Weed of His Life With Fela Kuti

He told the story in an interview for Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

Paul McCartney recently sat for an extended interview with Marc Maron in which he covered a bunch of Beatles memories, as well as many from his releases with Wings and solo career.

One anecdote that stands out is about his 1973 album with Wings, Band on the Run, which was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria.

Paul mentions that he decided to record in Nigeria because at that time it was "kind of fashionable for people not to record in their normal studios." So, he asked his label EMI what international locations they had studios in, and when he heard of the Lagos studio he was set on Nigeria.

When Paul arrives in Nigeria, the first thing he sees in the papers were headlines of Fela Kuti accusing him of "coming to steal the black man's music," a story he's told many times before.

So he calls up Fela and invites him to the studio to hear the songs he's working on, to prove that his recordings are nothing like afrobeat or any other African music. That's where the new bits of details of this story start.


In Paul McCartney's own words:

"[Fela] came over with his 30 wives and a studio full of ganja. He was one wild cat, he used to have a bottle of whiskey in which was marinating a pound of pot... in the whiskey. We turned out to be real good friends, he got it, he said 'no you're not doing that' [stealing African music].

Ginger Baker was there, he was his big friend. So, Fela invites us to his club which was outside Lagos, the Afrika Shrine. This was a few of us, little white people, me and a couple of friends. So we go out there and I say, '"let's not smoke any pot." Cause it's pretty crazy, we're out in the jungle and it's pitch black.

So we're sitting there with Fela [at The Shrine] and one of Fela's guys comes up, he's crouching and he's got a packet of Rothmans cigarettes. They're all joints. He goes, '"You want one of these?" I say, "no thanks," so he carries around and gets to Ginger Baker who says "Yeah man! Sure!'"

Then Fela shouts, "Ginger Baker! The only man I know never refuse a smoke!"

So I go, "A-ha! Ok, I'll have one of those."

Man. I tripped out. It was so strong. It was stronger than anything I've ever had, I don't know if there was something in it.

But in the end it was a good night.

You can listen to the full Paul McCartney interview with Marc Maron for WTF here, it starts at around the 50-minute mark.

Paul's previously talked about his favorite Fela songs and memories on video which you can revisit below.

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(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

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