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Femi Kuti – Femi Kuti (1995)

July 29, 2020

Learning to be anti-racist

“I’ve been getting in good trouble, necessary trouble ever since.”
– Congressman John Lewis

For years, I have been mistakenly under the impression that ‘racist’ and ‘not racist’ were opposites. I’ve since realized that ‘anti-racism’ is actually the opposite of ‘racism’ & I need to do a better job of being actively anti-racist.

As a starting point, I want to commit to doing two small things every week:

  1. Listen & Learn. Share resources that I’ve found helpful.
  2. Amplify Black Voices. Each Wednesday, feature a Black Artist from the 1001 list.

 

So far, I’ve looked at Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today, The Crusaders’ Street Life, Cypress Hill’s Cypress Hill, Cee-Lo Green’s Cee-Lo Green…Is the Soul Machine, Maxwell’s Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s, Shaka Zulu, Muddy Waters’ Hard Again, and Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker’s Live!.

This week, Femi Kuti’s eponymous 1995 album.

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[Album 789/1001]

I imagine that following in the footsteps of a famous musical parent would be, at best, a mixed blessing.

Thanks to a familiar surname, perhaps a door or two might be opened that otherwise would have been closed. It’s also difficult to envision the distinction/label of being “the child of ______” being easily escaped.

However, despite contending with some enormous parental shadows, I can picture 3 artists that recorded some pretty impressive music in the mid-to-late 90s.

1. Given his roles in The Guess Who & Bachman Turner Overdrive, Randy Bachman would be among the most accomplished Canadian guitarists.

That didn’t stop Tal Bachman from writing She’s So High, a practically perfect pop song, full of fabulous guitar tones & melody lines.

2. If you google the term ‘singer songwriter’ – can you guess which photo appears first?

And yet, while few would confuse the tunes on Bringing Down the Horse with those on Femi_Kuti_album_coverBringing it all Back Home, Jakob Dylan put together a practically perfect side one with his band, The Wallflowers.

3. Femi Kuti & Fela Kuti

As the eldest son of the legendary Fela Kuti, Femi would also have the mixed blessing of inheriting family musical talent while attempting to establish a independently successful career.

With his self-titled debut, Femi Kuti created a practically perfect sound.

The combination of the percussion, the production, and the performance blend magnificently.

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It’s possible that the sons, Tal / Jakob / Femi, will never be quite as renowned as their famous fathers.

That being said, considering the strength of their songs, sides, and sounds, these kids are significantly better than alright!

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Helpful Resources

In the interview below with Stephen Colbert, the late Congressman John Lewis delivers a terrific answer (at 1:20) about the importance of #goodtrouble – and then following the interview, he crowd surfs!

From → 1990s

5 Comments
  1. I have a big pile of Fela albums – guess I should hear this too sometimes.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Shuggie Otis – Inspiration Information (1974) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Gang Starr – Step in the Arena (1991) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Jurassic 5 – Power in Numbers (2002) | 1001albumsin10years

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