Friday, October 13, 2006

GEN X AFROBEATERS



The New Sounds and Faces





In my effort not to teach you nonsense, I have been also educating my self on Afrobeat. Ther is power in knowledge and Education folks (duh). I have learnt so much over the past week about this very important part of our culture that I actually feel like an 'expert'. Today's lesson is about Afrobeat in the 21st century. The soldiers who are now carrying the torch and the message of Fela to the young Nigerians and the rest of the world. But before we go into that we have to look back and see who the people are that set the pace along with Fela. This part of today, lecture is called Sankofa; looking back into our past and understand why and how we got to today so we can move ahead to the future . If there's anyone that I am missing from this list or if you have some inside story you want to share, please leave it in the comment section. If you don't participate, I will send Fela's Area Boys to obtain from you and you know what that means.








SANKOFA

You know, Fela indeed is Afrobeat because as I was searching for people who may have been his contemporaries, I discovered they were all his former band members and friends. What a way to hold a monopoly....

Koola Lobitos was the name of Fela's band before he relocated to the US and changed it. They included Tony Oladipo Allen who was the co-founder of afrobeat and Fela's lead drummer. Fela once said, and I paraphrase without Tony Allen there would be no Afrobeat.

Dede Mabiaku was Fela's friend and protege and they had a some resemblance

Segun Damisa and the Afrobeat Crusaders who died July 17, 2006 was a Kalakuta resident

Lekan Babalola played with Fela as well, not sure if he fits under here, but his stuff is pretty good


The Future of Afrobeat

Femi Kuti was not the only one who is keeping the spirit of Afrobeat alive. Here are some new breed afrobeaters of our generation. They are helping to spread the essence of the music to a diverse audience. A Detroit newspaper calls them Fela's Children. A number of them are on independent labels so you may want to scour the internet or your local indy-music shop for their stuff. Listen to their stuff....do they match up (because none can compare) or are they just half bad.

Ade Bantu and the Afrobeat Academy. Visit the Bantu Crew website for more (psssst...hotness:)

Seun Anikulapo-Kuti and his Egypt 80 band (the remix)

Kokolo

Ramses Revolution

Boston Afrobeat Society

Afro Beat Down

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Ayetoro. Also visit his Myspace page

Akoya

Chicago Afrobeat Project

I could not find many women who were band leaders. I guess that was not on the agenda, especially with the way Nigerian society is. And judging from some of Fela's lyrics and things that he has said, I can imagine him saying something like 'A woman does not play drum or blow trumpet.' Sorry if this offends anyones sensitivities but indeed Fela was an unapologetic chauvanist who objectified women. Interestingly his mother was the leading women's and human rights activist so I can't explain some of his positions. Anyways share your thoughts on this lesson and add any of the new generation that I may have left out. I will try to post pictures but now I have to run out of the house.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree that Fela was a misogynist, and I also think that this was one of his inner conflicts. As Singto correctly said (paraphrasing), all great men are hypocrites. On the one hand he idolised his feminist mother and (according to their testimony) treated many of his close female friends and relatives with respect; but on the other hand he definitely objectified women, especially sexually. I know there is some psychological phenom called Madonna-something-or-the-other (sorry can't remember)which basically describes a man who wants the woman closest to him to be pure, angelic and undefiled but can't stop himself from going out and 'defiling' women he thinks are 'dirty' and already spoiled good(so to speak) - the kinda guy who would be shocked and traumatised if his wife ever did anything remotely risque in the bedroom but is practically a pervert when it comes to his sexual proclivities outside the house. Could Fela have had a touch of this? Could he have idolised his mother and the females who were close to him, and objectified other women because he figured they didn't measure up? I don't really think so (doesn't seem to fit somehow), but I certainly think he had inner conflict on the status of women. Thanks for raising this Ada, would be interesting to hear other views. Apologies for the long comment!

Aba Boy said...

Ada

Your list wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to my friend and school room mate – Eme Awa.

Eme is lead vocalist - Union Street Band and Chopteeth (all afro beat, all good music)


http://www.unionstreetband.net/

http://www.chopteeth.com/

Nice post

kulutempa said...

i remember the first time i realized that "Lady" wasn't truly a glorification of the African woman, but rather a placement based on his own chauvinism. i was heartbroken, and i nearly cursed his memory. my feelings about Fela definitely changed after that day; they became a sort of beautiful conflict within me, where now i love so many things that he stood for, but find it so easy to deplore his character. i suppose it's that quality in men like Fela that make them so great: their ability to make you question your own self and beliefs without even having known you.

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