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Okayafrica TV: Joakim Noah on Fela Kuti and Knowing His Roots

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May 8, 2012...Coinciding with The Chicago Bulls'  "win or go home"  game tonight against Philly, Knitting Factory Records is celebrating the release of Fela Kuti's Live In Detroit 1986 today - the first new Fela material to be released since 1992, mastered from the bootleg recording of Fela Kuti & Egypt 80‘s performance at Detroit’s Fox Theatre.

Bulls' center Joakim Noah grew up listening to Fela Kuti with his tennis star father, Yannick Noah, and his Cameroonian soccer champion grandfather Zacharie Noah. Above, Joakim talks about Fela's audacity to speak the truth on behalf of his people, Tupac as a new generation's Fela, the importance of knowing one's roots, and how Obama sonned him.

And continuing on the all-great-things-Fela meme, if you haven't seen the Fela Kuti musical yet, you just aren't living right (see this ?uesto post, or die). Upcoming tour dates for the traveling show are in Baltimore, Houston, and St. Paul. Get tix here.

Finally, there are literally 2 of these left in the world - the Limited Edition ?uestlove curated Fela Vinyl Boxset - they include six handpicked Fela Kuti albums with painstakingly re-created original artwork, including Joakim's favorite, Sorrow Tears And Blood, and a personal essay by ?uesto himself. We have them both here. Obvi these will not last long...

After the jump get more details on all the albums and their gorgeous covers by Lemi, Fela's album cover artist.

Video by Native Resonance.

 

 

The ?uestlove boxset includes:

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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