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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.

Still from YouTube.

Yemi Alade Enlists Djimon Hounsou for New Music Video 'Remind You'

The veteran Beninese actor stars in the sultry music for Yemi Alade's latest single.

Yemi Alade shares her latest music video for her single "Remind You," and it stars none other than celebrated Hollywood actor Djimon Hounsou.

"Remind You" is a sultry R&B track from the singer's latest album, 2019's Woman of Steel. The vibrant music video, directed by Ovie Etseyatse, sees the singer gallivanting in an empty mansion in various elegant gowns. Honsou graces the screen throughout the video as well, but the two don't meet until the very end, when things take a funny and unexpected turn.

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Photo courtesy of Afro Nation.

Interview: Afro Nation Festival's Smade On Unifying Africans Across the Continent & Diaspora

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Afro Nation co-founder Adesegun Adeosun aka Smade to talk about how it all started and what the future holds.

Within minutes of speaking with Adesegun Adeosun, it's apparent that Afro Nation is much more than an urban music festival.

The Afro Nation co-founder, better known as Smade, talks passionately about connecting Africans across the globe. In less than a year since its debut edition, Afro Nation has successfully done this and gone on to establish itself as the largest festival celebrating African culture on the continent and in the diaspora.

This year, Afro Nation will touch down in Puerto Rico for the first time over spring break—from the 18th to the 21st of March—on the beach of Balneario de Carolina. Headliners will include Burna Boy, Chronixx, Davido, 2Baba, Naira Marley and many more.

As the festival prepares to make its Puerto Rico debut this spring, we sat down with Smade to talk about Afro Nation, how it all started and what the future holds.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun in "Noyé." Photo: Ben Depp.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Makwa x Maraza x AKA, Joeboy, Zlatan, Nadia Nakia, TOBi x The Game, Yilian Canizares, Aewon Wolf and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music 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.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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