Though he continued recording up through the early '90s, few of Fela's records after the early '80s can really touch his classic material; he died in 1997 from complications due to AIDS. By then, his son Femi had already been leading his own Afrobeat band for almost a decade, and Africa Shrine is a fine and funky example of 21st-century Afrobeat (which, it must be said, doesn't sound much different from the 20th-century kind). While he lacks his father's immense presence — no crime, really, just ask Jakob Dylan — Femi's intimate vantage point gave him a deep understanding of what makes the best Afrobeat work.
By Richard Gehr on 06.24.11 in Spotlights
Born to different mothers in 1962 and 1982, respectively, afrobeat architect Fela Kuti's oldest and youngest sons, Femi and Seun, have upheld their late father's musical legacy in distinctly different ways. Femi has alwa...
By Richard Gehr on 04.09.11 in Reviews
Afrobeat is hardly the world's most effective protest music — Nigeria has suffered under a horribly corrupt political system for decades, with no end in sight — but it's probably the only politically-...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...