Audio

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's 'A Long Way To The Beginning' LP

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's third studio album "A Long Way To The Beginning' is out now.


In A Long Way To The Beginning, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 aim to reshape Fela's politically-charged afrobeat for the modern ear. The group's highly-anticipated third studio album, co-produced by Robert Glasper, is a relentless 7-track excursion into horns, drums and call and response. Glasper's keyboard appears on several tracks, while additional collaborations arrive throughout the release from M-1 of Dead Prez ("IMF"), Nigerian songstress Nneka ("Black Woman"), and Ghanaian/NY rapper Blitz the Ambassador ("African Smoke"). The album's combination of classic afrobeat sounds and contemporary social commentary is most apparent on lead single "IMF (International Mother Fucker)," a horn-flanked jab at the International Monetary Fund's intervention on Nigerian economic and oil policies. Watch the video for "IMF" below and scroll down to see the band's upcoming North American tour dates along with our own NYC contest. Grab a copy of A Long Way To The Beginning, available on iTunes now from Knitting Factory Records.

>>>Buy Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's 'A Long Way To The Beginning' LP via iTunes

>>>Stream 'A Long Way To The Beginning' via NPR

>>>Enter to win tickets to Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 Live in NYC w/ Rich Medina

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 2014 Tour Dates:

06/10/14 New York, NY Highline Ballroom

06/11/14 Washington DC Howard Theatre

06/13/14 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Festival

06/14/14 Black Mountain, NC Pisgah

06/17/14 San Diego, CA World Beat Center

06/19/14 San Francisco, CA SF Jazz Center

06/20/14 Boonville, CA Sierra Nevada World Fest

06/21/14 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst

06/22/14 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl

06/28/14 Somerset, UK Glastonbury Festival

07/11/14 Quebec City, QC Festival d’ete International De Quebec

07/12/14 Toronto, ON Phoenix

07/13/14 Detroit, MI Concert of Colors

07/14/14 Chicago, IL Concord

07/15/14 Iowa City, IA Englert

07/16/14 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center

07/20/14 Vancouver, BC Vancouver Folk

07/21/14 Seattle, WA Neumos

07/22/14 Portland, OR Star Theatre

07/23/14 Boise, ID Knitting Factory

07/24/14 Missoula, MT Top Hat

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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