Video: Beyonce Influenced By Fela Kuti + Performs W The Roots!


Last night Beyonce made a visit to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  Check out the interview, above, where Yonce reveals that she was heavily influenced by Fela Kuti (we know she loved the Broadway hit FELA!, which her hubby Jay Z co-produced) and Africa in general for her latest album, 4.  Then peep the performance vid, below, where B is backed up by the Legendary Roots Crew for a stunning version of "Best Thing I Never Had."

Eddie "STATS" over at okayplayer says it best:

Holy hell. Do I really have to tell you anything other than what’s in the header to sell this one? Last night Beyonce joined the baddest MFs in late night on Jimmy Fallon for a rendition of her single “Best Thing I Never Had” which is proof that this woman can sing just about anything (‘suck to be you right now’) and give it the emotional weight of the Dream Girls finale. I’ll just add that Questlove gets the big bucks not because he’s the greatest drummer technically. He makes the big bucks cause he is the greatest drummer technically who can still think about time-signatures while Beyonce Knowles is writhing around and choking the soul out of a mic a few short feet away. Check out that game-face. If that was me you would be able to read my lips saying “look at the drums, look at the drums.” Beyonce’s LP 4 is in stores now.

Image courtesy of Peintre Obou.

Ivorian Artist Peintre Obou Speaks on Expression Through His Masked Characters

Peintre Obou talks about how he came to be an artist, his fervour for the mask, and his uplifting project, 'Abobo E Zo'.

Gbais Obou Yves Fredy better known as Peintre Obou is an Ivorian artist whose work is centered around the political-military crisis in his home. To date, his career has been an exploration of his passion for the human condition and the traumas he has experienced as a result of human-orchestrated disasters. He goes as far as highlighting life in the slums and the individuals who opened their arms to him in the lowly communes of Abidjan. He distinctively distorts the faces of his subjects with masks and places vibrant colors upon their bodies as he weaves tales of war, trauma, suffering, and oppression.

Last summer, the Ivorian commune of Abobo underwent renovation in a project titled, Abobo E Zo commissioned by the Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Not only were downtrodden areas within the community rehabilitated and sanitized but multiple buildings around the populous commune were painted to the delight of residents. It was street art set on enlightening a disadvantaged community piloted by Obou with help from hundreds of crafty volunteers.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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