- 25 Feb 21
Goodfelas: The Kutis Unite In Celebration
You’d have to go an awfully long way to find music as infectious and grin inducing as Afrobeat with its combination of the percussion and guitars of Highlife and the horns of Soul. It was The Black President himself, Fela Kuti, who first gave it a name and spread the word outside his native Nigeria. Gentleman and Expensive Shit are two personal favourites, but all the records Kuti left behind are pretty great. If they don’t have you up and jumping around, you should consider booking a time slot at your local morgue.
Femi Kuti joined his father’s band when he was still a teenager and has been touring with his own band, Positive Force, since the eighties. In turn, his son, Made, joined his father, playing bass and saxophone. Legacy+ combines Made’s debut, For(e)ward, and Femi’s latest, Stop The Hate, into one package that both pays tribute to the family legacy and carries it forward.
Fela was never slow to express a political opinion, despite the cost of such outspokenness, and his descendants follow suit, whether it be Femi’s ‘You Can’t Fight Corruption With Corruption’ or Made’s sexual harassment decrying ‘Young Lady’.
As important as the messages are, however, it is the glorious music that will have you coming back to these records. ‘Pá Pá Pá’, ‘As We Struggle Everyday’, ‘We Are Strong’, ‘High You’ll Find’ and several others here dig grooves as deep as the Marianas Trench. The Kutis may aim to ‘Set Your Minds and Soul Free’ but, as the late, great George Clinton once nearly put it, while they’re freeing your mind, your ass will surely follow.