There has been no shortage of groups building on the late Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat legacy, but the majority have focused on the sonic and rhythmic aspect of the form. The hard-?line political commentary so crucial to Fela’s whole ethos of “music is the weapon of the future” hasn’t just been left out; it’s been completely negated by party and bullshit lyrics.
So it’s very heartening that Fela’s youngest son, Seun (pronounced “Shay-?oon”), hasn’t simply reconstituted his old man’s Egypt 80 orchestra to continue with a repertory version of Fela’s popular hits of the 70s. Our man Seun has grown some balls for his full-?length debut. He’s now taking a more proactive approach to the problems he sees in Africa, an approach that can seem confrontational in songs like Don’t Give That Shit To Me. He’s sharp enough, though, to remain on the engaging side of his father’s fire-?spitting militancy in order to get the message in his music heard.
This is the album that many people were hoping to hear from Kuti’s kids.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 play Harbourfront Centre Wednesday (July 2) for free.