AFROBEAT founding father and steely political activist Fela Kuti gifted us a wondrous back catalogue investigating jazz, funk, hiphop, rock, traditional Nigerian musics, so much more, before passing in 1997.
Of course, he also gifted us his son, Femi; and in turn Femi’s gifted us his son, Made, to continue that legacy and take it forward.
And the father and son have announced that come February 5th, Partisan Records, curator of Fela’s catalogue, will release an album apiece from them; packaged together as Legacy +.
They’ve shared a song apiece from this united twin work; scroll down to the bottom to hear them.
On “Pà Pá Pà,” a bright, brassy (in both sense) slice of the crispest highlife funk, taken from Femi’s album, Stop The Hate, he exhorts Nigerians to rail against the dishonesty of local politicians, declaring: “When government waste our time, government waste our life”. You can also watch the video for that one, directed by Adasa Cookey.
Made’s shared “Your Enemy”, from his album For(e)ward, which turns on a beat his father would be proud of, intricate guitars and amassed vocals for an equally impassioned call for justice.
Both the component albums that make up Legacy + are steeped in the ways of Fela, but take off on different tacks from those heartlands: we’re told Femi’s Stop The Hate is fun, sharply political, and affirming, while Made’s For(e)ward is a progressive manifesto for freedom – he also plays every instrument on the album. That’s some chops.
Femi says: “I am very excited and happy because as a father I get to perform with my son on my album again, and I get to see him compose, arrange, and play all instruments on his own album.
“Most importantly, we get to release this project together. It is spiritually soothing and comforting to witness this chapter in my life.”
Made adds: “I truly believe that once in a while we are fortunate enough to write stories for ourselves that we can look back on much later in our lives. This has been one of the greatest positive highlights of my life so far, both musically and transcendentally.
“I’ve learnt so much from my father politically, socially, philosophically and musically that I know this lovely project is only the beginning of more beautiful things to come.”
Legacy + will be released by Partisan Records on digital download, 2xCD and 2xLP on February 5th; there’s also a variety of merch bundles to peruse. You can pre-order your preferred choices from the Partisan online store now.