Afrobeat rocks so hard.
OK, say you’re a rock star… and you think you’re pretty big stuff, right? Fela started his own country, jack. Top that. The Kalakuta Republic was autonomous from the Nigerian government and maintained its own “security force.”
Fela and his band, renamed “Africa 70”, then returned to Nigeria. He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune which also served as a recording studio. Fela also changed his middle name to “Anikulapo”, stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name. The recordings continued, and the music became more politically motivated. Fela’s music became very popular among the Nigerian public. However, it was also very unpopular with the ruling government, and raids on the Kalakuta Republic were frequent. In 1974 the police arrived with a search warrant and a cannabis joint, which they had intended to plant on Fela. He became wise to this and swallowed the joint. In response, the police took him into custody and waited to examine his feces. Fela enlisted the help of his prison mates and gave the police someone else’s feces, and Fela was freed. He then recounted this tale in his release Expensive Shit.
I am listening to Expensive Shit as we speak. When US/UK pop/rock gets to be too boring/materialistic/sophomoric/cynical, I pop in some Fela or King Sunny Ade and rock the house… If you can listen to Afrobeat and not have the urge to jump around and shake something, you’re past salvation. Seriously.