.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/23a7ef72a263c33444418b6b113c5f92b168f2b9.jpeg Africa for Africa

Femi Kuti

Africa for Africa

Knitting Factory
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
July 18, 2011

As one might expect of a musical giant who married 27 women, the late Nigerian pop radical Fela Kuti fathered some talented kids. Two of them are furthering the family business in Afrobeat, the Africanized vision of James Brown's funk that Fela invented (and which has influenced everyone from Beyoncé toTV on the Radio). Femi, Fela's eldest son, fell out with his dad in the late Eighties, leaving the fold to start his own band. On Africa for Africa, he's still denouncing dirtbag Nigerian politicians over big-band brass and busy polyrhythms. But his grooves have mellowed, as Fela's did over time, and so has his delivery: There's a tenderness in "Boys Dey Hungry for Town" that Fela never approached.

Where his brother smolders, Seun—Fela's youngest son— burns. Still in his twenties, with "Fela Lives" tattooed across his back, dude has built a ridiculously hot band around the surviving members of Fela's Egypt 80 crew. Longtime Afrobeat fanatic Brian Eno co-produces with a light touch: Percussion is up front, tone colors flicker. "Rise" opens with guitar shaping a looped melody, then takes flight on a trumpet solo while indicting corporate bloodsuckers. Addressing Nigeria's history ("Slave Masters") and militarism ("African Soldier"), Seun's proper coming-out closes with some positive thoughts on cannabis ("The Good Leaf"). Fela lives, indeed.

Listen to "Obasanjo Don Play You Wayo":

Related
Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, 'From Africa With Fury: Rise': Four Stars
Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com