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The Best of Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti

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Album Review

The Best of Femi Kuti serves as a fine introduction to the Nigerian Afro-beat composer and bandleader, and the oldest son of the genre's founder, Fela Kuti. It's compiled from his two Barclay recordings, Shoki Shoki (1998) and Fight to Win (2001), and contains about half of each album. His Tabu/Motown album Wonder Wonder is inexplicably shut out despite some excellent tracks — and the fact that Universal owns both labels! The latter half of the disc contains collaborations with Mos Def ("Do Your Best"), Common ("Missing Link"), and Jaguar Wright ("Fight to Win"). "Beng Beng Beng" is here, as are "Scatta Head" and the burning "'97." Unfortunately, none of the excellent 12" versions are included here, which makes it nonessential for fans. Given the deep influence of hip-hop and modern urban soul on Femi's music, this collection also serves as a sampler of the new, updated, and truly revitalized Afro-beat sound.

Biography

Born: 16 June 1962 in London, England

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The eldest son of Afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Femi Kuti (born Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti) spent years playing in his father's band before eventually rising to superstardom following his father's death in the late '90s. Since few artists can match the elder Kuti's musical legacy, Femi's association with his father has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it's never been difficult for Femi to garner press or attention, and MCA went out of its way to push his career with...
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The Best of Femi Kuti, Femi Kuti
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