VARIOUS ARTISTS / Fela Tribute Mixtape
A Mash-Up/Re-Mix, all over the place in deep respect to the reach and influence of Fela Kuti, Africa’s brightest musical sun who done shone so hard he has illuminated the globe, got people in Poland practicing afro-beat, jingoistic United States-ians brushing up on Yoruba—yes, you are hearing right, that is Michael Jackson singing on a few of these tracks. Really, Jacko remembering a time when he was who he was before… That’s the power of this heart-throb music. We going to be hearing Fela beat innovations for decades to come, at least for the rest of our lifetimes because it is the sound of our lives. Crouching, stomping the earth in our hip swinging sway. Fuck you oppressor. Yes, you beat me down but I dance to the licks. Not a death dance. A life dance. They downpress us. We rise up dancing. You see us anywhere we are. In the midst of the horrible-est shit anyone can imagine, maimed, disease ridden, uneducated, abused, psychologically damaged. Still. Regardless. What we got is the ability to beat life. Not by force but by rhythm. If our hearts are beating, we going to make music. Yall know Fela’s story. Beatings. Jailing. Throw his mother out the window, kill her; she who helped create Nigeria was assaulted and slaughtered by Nigerian male politicians—not men mind you, merely male in their gender orientation. They burned down The Shrine. Raped all the women they found there. Monsters. So Fela what he do, he no go hide. Carry his mama coffin to head of state and leave it on the front steps. Marry all the women who were dis-honored. And carry on. So this is what Fela’s music is about. Resistance. Strong as the persistence of sun. Sun shining. Sun light illuminating. Cultural photosynthesis—as far as we are concerned, shit is also fertilizer. We continue to grow. Oppression was our higher education and many of us earned terminal degrees. This Mixtape is what some of our avatars learned while passing thru the 20th century. And this is a true mash-up in the ways diverse voices, different inclinations, musical moments, skins on skin pushed up beside computer crafted noize with new age, ghetto-based programming. If you don’t know that it was displaced Afrikans who made music new, you best ask somebody. Listen to the wildness on this Mixtape. Listen to people you never would have associated with Fela. Listen. This what happens when roots take root and produce a cornucopia of musical fruit. I can’t even begin to describe all that is going on except to say that this golden shit is really happening. Whether it is Fela himself or the Broadway cast channeling Fela’s articulations, whether it is South Africa’s newest diva daughter Simphiwe Dana or bad-ass Meshell Ndegeocello, whether the cool beauty of Sade or the insane exquisiteness of Macy Gray, and don’t even start on the rappers, and the jazz of the Art Ensemble of Chicago or Hugh Masekela. Whether whatever from wherever, this is all a tribute to Fela, a demonstration of the universality of the Kuti vision and example, showcasing how Fela be influencing everybody in the world who is shrouded up under exploitation and seeking the sunlight of freedom, using the music as a container opener, a knife slice ripping thru the fabric of oppression. If you put this Mixtape on your sound system and turn it up loud, I bet you start thinking about some shit you don’t normally think, not simply how did they do that but more relevantly, how can I do that? Because ultimately, in this age of global capitalism, unless you got billions in the bank, these songs, to one degree or another, are all about all of us: how can we live a better and more beautiful life, how can we protect the planet, keep the seas clean, the soil fertile. What does it matter how much money we make if we fuck up the world for our grandchildren and leave behind environmental disasters for them to deal with. This Fela tribute is about future life, not a focus on past wrongs but rather anthems for future world, for us to dance forward with rather than be stuck trying to go backward. For all us, cause we all here. All now. We all got a stake in shaking up the system. We all want a future, better beats it into existence. Sing. Dance. Create an atmosphere that embraces life. Fela encouraged us to do that. Regardless of the odds. Regardless of the beatdowns. Get up. Dance. Make this world better. The best tribute to Fela we can make is to keep on dancing, keep on making music, keep on keeping on… and so the story goes. To be continued… Surely. Always. Fela! —Kalamu ya Salaam Fela Tribute Mixtape 01 “Introduction to Fela Kuti” – The Messengers – J. Period & K’Naan 02 “Kalakuta Show - Mixmaster Mike” – Red Hot + Riot - Mixmaster Mike 03 “Remember The Time (Roforo Remix)” – The King Meets The President In Africa – Michael Jackson & Fela Kut 04 “Remember Fela” – Whendo - Gangbé Brass Band 05 “Time Traveling (A Tribute To Fela)” – Like Water For Chocolate – Common 06 “Fela” – Make Every Second Count – Rad 07 “Fela” – Felatastic: A Tribute To Fela Kuti – G-DO & Xception 08 “Upside Down” – Original Broadway Cast Recording – Fela, Sahr Ngaujah, Saycon Sengbloh 09 “Tears And Sorrow” – Red Hot + Riot – Common, Meshell Ndegeocello + Djelimady Tounkara 10 “Sorrow, Tears and Blood” -Original Broadway Cast Recording – Fela, Sahr Ngaujah 11 “Earth Song vs Sorrow Tears & Blood” – The King Meets The President In Africa – Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti 12 “Sorrow Tears and Blood” – Love For Sale - Bilal 13 “Shuffering And Smiling” – Red Hot + Riot – Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, J Ben 14 “Zombie” – Ancient to The Future – Art Ensemble of Chicago 15 “Zombie” – Original Broadway Cast Recording – Fela, Sahr Ngaujah, Lilias White 16 “Zombie 2003” – Zombie - Bugz in the Attic featuring Wunmi 17 “Beat I.T.T.” – The King Meets The President In Africa – Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti 18 “Gentlemen” – Red Hot + Riot – Meshell Ndegeocello and Yerba Buena 19 “By Your Side” – Red Hot + Riot - Sade Adu 20 “Lover” – Original Broadway Cast Recording – Fela, Sahr Ngaujah, Saycon Sengbloh 21 “Lady” – Hope – Hugh Masekela 22 “African Lady” – Red Soil In My Eyes - Somi 23 “Shakara Lady Part 2” – Red Hot + Riot - Cheikh Lô, Les Nubians + Manu Dibango 24 “Everything Scatter” – Original Broadway Cast Recording - Fela, Sahr Ngaujah 25 “Rain” - Original Broadway Cast Recording - Fela, Lilias White 26 "EWF & Fela (Fela vs Earth Wind and Fire)" – Afroheat 1 & 2 Bootleg – Afrodisiac Sound System 27 “Water No Get Enemy (Intro)” – Red Hot + Riot – D’Angelo, Femi Kuti + Macy Gray 28 “Water No Get Enemy” – Red Hot + Riot - D’Angelo, Femi Kuti + Macy Gray 29 “Fela 2” – Sonic Trance – Nicholas Payton 30 “Felas Azania” – Kulture Noir – Simphiwe Dana 31 “Fela” – Sixty – Hugh Masekela
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