Eleven years after his death, the legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti lives on. Born on October 15, 1938, Fela died on August 2, 1997 from an AIDS-related illness. In his lifetime, he saw a period of tremendous change, as African nations threw off the yoke of European colonialism. Despite independence, the government of Fela’s native Nigeria soon became notoriously corrupt, inspiring well-known protest songs like “Zombie,” “Army Arrangement,” “Water Na Get Enemy,” “Expensive S*it,” and “Coffin For Head of State.”
Known as the father of Afrobeat, Fela pioneered a sound which integrated traditional Yoruban melodies and vocal chants with elements of funk, jazz, and soul. After visiting America in the late ‘60s, Fela became hip to the liberation movement associated with the Black Panthers. From then on, his already sexually-charged music began to resonate with messages of community empowerment and political outspokenness. Changing his last name from Ransome-Kuti to Anikulapo-Kuti (“He Who Carries Death in His Quiver”), Fela declared famously that “music is the weapon.”
In honoring Fela’s birthday, Sila and the Afrofunk Experience and DJ Jeremiah hope to raise awareness while giving people an opportunity to dance, party, and find their community. A live performance by the Afrofunk Experience will preview selections from Shelter as well as material from The Funkiest Man in Africa. As if that wasn’t enough, DJ Jeremiah and the Afrobeat Nation will add live instrumentation to Fela classics. This birthday celebration, which also features sets by Andy Allo and Pleasuremaker, promises to be an evening of funky, danceable, and consciousness-stimulating rhythms with a powerful message -- namely, that music is still the weapon of the people.
Official Website: http://afrofunk.net
Added by afrofunk on September 23, 2008