Almost two decades after his death, vindication has come to Fela Kuti, Africa's musical genius. AfroBeat, his gift to the world, is now an international staple on his own uncompromising terms, social content intact. Throughout his life, Fela contended that AfroBeat was a modern form of danceable, African classical music with an urgent message for the planet's denizens. Created out of a cross-breeding of Funk, Jazz, Salsa and Calypso with Juju, Highlife and African percussive patterns, it was to him a political weapon.
By 1972, when Music Of Fela: Roforofo Fight was originally released (on two vinyl albums, Music Of Fela Volume One and Volume Two), Fela was becoming one of the most avidly followed musicians in West Africa. His audience came from among the region's urban poor, the "sufferheads" living in the shanty towns around the major cities, along with growing numbers of students and political dissenters.
Fela championed, and sang about the problems of, oppressed and exploited people and denounced the ruling elites lording it over them, with their seemingly endemic corruption and their ready use of violence to crush dissent – and because he generally sang in Broken English rather than Yoruba, and adopted an increasingly pan-Africanist outlook, his message resonated throughout Anglophone Africa. Roforofo Fight includes four upbeat, rhythmic tracks all clocking in at 12 to 17 minutes.
1. Roforofo Fight
2. Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am
3. Question Jam Answer
4. Go Slow