The amazing Fela Anikulapo Kuti was to Afro-Beat what Bob Marley was to reggae: a prophet and visionary. Unlike Marley Fela was persecuted by the government, attacked and beaten, denied visas, and generally harassed in his native Nigeria. He also labored in relative obscurity outside of Africa. Despite these setbacks Fela continued undeterred, releasing dozens of albums and playing all night at his nightclub, The Shrine.
Equal parts Marley, James Brown, and Gil-Scott Heron, his live shows were intense jams puncuated by Yoruba rituals. In keeping with tribal tradition, Fela had 27 wives (known as The Queens), most of whom performed with him. Fela died of AIDS related complications in 1997.
The Sundance Channel is showing a 1982 documentary on Fela this month.
The Fela's drumer is playing in the Good, The Bad and the Queen, I think.
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