Alagbon Close / Why Black Man Dey Suffer (Wrasse, 2007)
Two of Fela Kuti’s classics, Alagbon Close and Why Black Man Dey Suffer, are now available in a single CD released by Wrasse Records. The original albums came out at a time when Fela Kuti was at his prime. There only four lengthy tracks included in this release.
All pieces are excellent examples of revolutionary Afrobeat jams, with a combination of powerful Nigerian rhythms, a solid brass section, electric organ and piano, rhythm guitar and the unmistakable vocals and saxophone of Fela Kuti. While some of the modern Afrobeat bands focus exclusively on musical jams, Fela Kuti delivered mesmerizing music mixed with strong social and political messages.
Listening to the lyrics one can understand why he infuriated politicians in Nigeria and he was persecuted for his political messages and lifestyle (communal living and smoking pot). Alagbon Close depicts the infamous Lagos police station and jail. Why Black Man Dey Suffer criticizes colonialism. Ikoyi Mentality Versus Mushin Mentality condemns the well to do in Africa (the bourgeoisie).
An incendiary collection by the master of Afrobeat.
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