Watch video footage from Seun Kuti performing live at Bluebird Nightclub in Bloomington, Indiana, via Funk It Blog.
Afrobeat prince Seun Kuti is currently on a worldwide tour in support of his most recent LP A Long Way to the Beginning, a relentless seven-track excursion into horns, drums and call-and-response co-produced by Robert Glasper. Playing at Indiana's Bluebird Nightclub this past Friday, the singer/saxophonist performed the gloriously frenetic songs off the record. It's one thing to hear Seun's socially conscious and intensely exciting afrobeat; it's another entirely to watch it, to see the 31-year-old speak his mind while never losing sight of his duties as a performer. While the music-as-message influence of his father is clear, Seun seems intent on sharing his own politics and views. As "Black Woman" and the darkly comedic "IMF (International Motherfucker)" show, Kuti is almost painfully in touch with today's world. Speaking with Okayafrica back in June, Seun discussed trying to communicate his beliefs to the Nigerian people:
"It’s kind of sad in a way, but it’s also kind of inspiring. There’s a battle and I’m always inspired when there’s a battle. Maybe I wouldn’t be inspired if it was easy and I could just walk into the radio station and everyone’s happy to play my music all day in Nigeria. Then maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard. The fact that we want to do it and we don’t care about the obstacles in our way, for me, that’s an inspiring thing."
As passionate as Seun is about creating change through music, he's equally interested in putting on a simply great show. Watch footage from his Bloomington set below via the Funk It Blog. After the show, Seun also spoke with Funk It to discuss his father's influence, what afrobeat means to him, and the playful nickname he has for Glasper.
Pt. 1/6 "IMF (International Mother Fuckers)"
Pt. 2/6 Seun speaks
Pt. 3/6 "Black Woman"
Pt. 4/6 "Black Woman" (continued)
Pt. 5/6 "Higher Consciousness" (second half), "Kalakuta Boy"
Pt. 6/6 "Kalakuta Boy" (continued)