Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Album from The Green

Coming all the way from the Hawaii, The Green are bringing a different type of Island Vibe with their new album Hawai'i '13 out August 20, 2013 on Easy-Star Records.  I've been doing a lot of road-trippin' this summer and this cd happened to make it into my car's cd player.  Listen after listen, it just keeps growing on me more and more.  Tight reggae rhythms behind slick vocals and an attitude of flavor and life make this album special.  There's a lot of reggae being played these days, but hardly any of it has the kind of attitude and flavor The Green bring to the table.  Stream my favorite track from the album, Something About It, below, and cop the album at your leisure.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Ikebe Shakedown Remixes

Just when you thought Ikebe Shakedown couldn't get any funkier, Ubiquity Records is putting out a new 12" of 4 dance-floor shaking tracks.  Brennan Green is putting his funky house twist on Tujunga, the Ikebe Shakedown jam that kicks off their self-titled album (a must have for any afro-funky fanatic).  Be careful before you hit play on this one.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Mixtape from Boddhi Satva

Boddhi Satva is part of a group of budding beatmakers blending organic African sounds with contemporary electronic mediums.  The end result is absolutely magical if you're like me and the raw soulful sounds of the continent speak to your core mixed with the produced electronic elements that make you dance.  Blending the best of both worlds is a task few producers pull off so seamlessly.  Dig the mixtape and see for yourself.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tasty Free Track from Bosq featured on Waxpoetics

This track is so delicious I absolutely had to share it.  The release from Bosq as featured on Waxpoetics is a link back to a bygone Tropicalia time.  The smooth sound of the rhodes, the gentle pattern of the drums, the beautiful glide of the vocals: pure heaven.  Dig it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jungle Fire is back at it Again

Jungle Fire is back at it igniting the afrobeat flames on the west coast.  Their new 45 Firewalker b/w Chalupa are two afro-grooves sure to set any dance floor ablaze.  Dig it.

Delicious Peace

Every once in a while a project comes around that I just have to publicize.  Delicious Peace is exactly that kind of project.  The songs in this collection are written and performed by the coffee farmers of the Peace Kawomera (Delicious Peace) Fair Trade cooperative in Mbale, Uganda. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim farmers work together to overcome generations of conflict and poverty. Village guitar groups and women’s choirs sing to stress the transformative impact of Fair Trade prices and to encourage their neighbors to join the coffee cooperative. Accompanied with xylophone, drums, and other traditional instruments, these farmers sing of the benefits of interfaith cooperation and, through music, teach new cooperative members how to produce great coffee. J. J. Keki, the founder of the cooperative, says: “Use whatever you have to create peace! If you have music, use your music to create peace. For us, we have coffee. We are using coffee to bring peace to the world.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

John Brown's Body Returns to the Studio and The Stage with Kings and Queens

John Brown's Body, one of the dopest bands on the planet creating and representing contemporary roots reggae music is about to tour the USA in support of their new album, Kings and Queens, out April 16, 2013 on Easy-Star Records.  JBB has been working for years to build a solid reputation around their world-class musicianship and stage presence.  I've seen them perform several times in venues large and small, and they never neglect to put on an amazing show.  Lead singer Elliot Martin is the focal point on stage but the tight horn section and funky rhythm section keep things skanking along nicely throughout.  JBB is touring coast to coast, so find a way to catch them live.  You won't be disappointed.

4/26 Water Street Music Hall | Rochester, NY – BIG UPstate Reggae Fest  
4/27 Paradise Rock Club | Boston, MA  
5/17 The Jewish Mother | Virginia Beach, VA 
5/18 Electric Factory | Philadelphia, PA -with SOJA  
5/23 Tralf Music Hall | Buffalo, NY 
5/24 The Rex Theater | Pittsburgh, PA 
5/25 Dark Star Jubilee Festival | Thornville, OH  
5/26 Summer Camp Music Festival | Chillicothe, IL  
6/23 Onondaga Lake | Liverpool, NY –with Rusted Root
7/12 & 13 The Beachcomber | Wellfleet, MA
7/19 Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival | Trumansburg, NY
8/01 Horning’s Hideout | North Plains, OR 

Kobo Town Brings a Fresh Take on that Old Calypso Sound

Kobo Town re-introduces Calypso to a contemporary audience with their new album Jumbie in the Jukebox, out today on Cumbancha Records.  Light and flavorful like all good calypso, Kobo Town has something fresh going on.  Updating the sound with some Latin flavor, reggae skanking, and dynamic percussion, Kobo Town is something new and different to catch your ears.  Just like Trench Town in Jamaica, Kobo Town is a reference to the neighborhood in which Calypso was born.  From Kobo Town to the rest of the world, this album puts calypso back on the map.  Dig a free track from the album below.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Zongo Junction, Federator No. 1, Uhuru Afrika Bring the Afro-noise to The Middle East Tomorrow Night

Afrobeat returns to Cambridge, MA tomorrow night.  Zongo Junction, Federator No. 1, and Uhuru Afrika will be hitting the stage at The Middle East Upstairs tomorrow at 8pm.  It will be a night full of afro-flavor.  Mmm I can taste it already.  Delish.  Get tickets here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

ANerGy Afrobeat Ensemble EP and Tour

French Afrobeat group ANerGy Afrobeat Ensemble are about to embark on a tour across France in support of their new EP, Afrobeat for the World.  If you're across the pond and can make it to one of their shows, definitely check them out.  For the rest of us, dig the preview mix of their new EP.

6th May 13 : Saluting The Black President Fela Kuti w/Ginger Baker, Tony Allen/Inna Modja, ANerGy Afrobeat & more at "La Bellevilloise" 20PM Paris (France)
25th May 13 : Kiala invite Anergy Afrobeat at Chinois  20PM Montreuil (France)
15th June 13 : ANerGy Afrobeat at Chinois 20PM Montreuil (France)
06th july 13 : Peniche Cancale 20PM Dijon (France)

Charles Bradley - Victim of Love

Soul icon Charles Bradley is returning to the spotlight this spring with his new album and supporting tour.  Victim of Love, the second chapter in the soul saga of Charles Bradley was released April 2, 2013 on Dunham Records.  For those who fell in love with the soulful, sultry voice of Charles Bradley after No Time for Dreaming, you're in for a treat with Victim of Love.  

The pain, the hurt, the love, the attitude, all the things that make Charles Bradley who he is are all back in full force on Victim of Love.  That amazing combination of The Menehan Street Band backing up Charles Bradley is such a rare combination of musicianship and vocals.  If ever there was a match made in heaven when it comes to producers and frontmen, Tommy Brenneck and Charles Bradley are it.

I remember the first time I saw Charles Bradley perform I saw him open for Sharon Jones in Buffalo, NY in 2011.  He absolutely stole the show.  He came out in a 3-piece red velvet suit and lit up the stage.  The crowd went absolutely wild, and he soaked up every bit of it.  Knowing the story of how he struggled for years in soul obscurity, dealing with all kinds of trials and tribulations, I could see how much he was loving performing as the star he was born to be.

Be a part of the next chapter in Charles Bradley's incredible story.  Catch the documentary about his life, and definitely see him live when he comes to a town near you.

Apr 21 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
Apr 24 Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
Apr 25 Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
Apr 26 Lafayette, LA - Festival International de Louisiane
Apr 27 New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Apr 28 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
May 01 Austin, TX - Ant one’s
May 02 Dallas, TX - Trees
May 04 Nashville, TN - Exit/In
May 05 St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
May 07 Minneapolis, MN - The Cedar Cultural Center
May 08 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Ballroom
May 09 Chicago, IL - The Metro
May 10 Ferndale, MI - The Magic Bag
May 11 Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre
May 13 Montreal, QC - Corona Theatre
May 16 New York, NY - Apollo Theater
May 17 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
May 18 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
Jun 12 Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
Jun 14 London, England - Islington Assembly Hall
Jun 15 Bergen, Norway - BergenFest
Jun 16 Oslo, Norway - Norwegian Wood
Jun 17 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
Jun 19 Hamburg, Germany - Grünspan
Jun 20 Dresden, Germany - Beatpol
Jun 22 Ballinlough Castle, Ireland - Body&Soul
Jun 23 Duisberg, Germany - Traumzeit Festival
Jun 25 Aarhus, Denmark - Posten
Jun 26 Berlin, Germany - Huxleys
Jun 28-30 Glastonbury, England - Glastonbury Festival
Jul 02 Vienna, Austria - Jazz Fest Wien
Jul 03 Karlsruhe, Germany - Zeltival - Tollhaus Karlsruhe
Jul 07 Arras, France - Main Square Festival
Jul 08 Argelès-sur-Mer, France - Les Déferlantes Festival
Jul 11 Bilbao, Spain - Bilbao BBK
Jul 13 Juan-les-Pins, France - Jazz à Juan
Jul 14 Rotterdam, The Netherlands – North Sea Jazz Festival
Aug 2 – 4 Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
Aug 10 Burnaby, BC, Canada - Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival

G&D Live in South Africa

I don't quite know how to describe Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (G&D).  They've got old-school black power vibes mixed with futuristic hip-hop jazz modalities a la Madlib for days.  They truly are original.  Their new album, The Lighthouse, out May 21, 2013, is about as next level as it gets.  Wet your beak with a podcast of their live performance in South Africa from late 2010.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Video from Nikhil P. Yerawadekar and Low Mentality

Nikhil P. Yerawadekar, one of the coolest cats on the scene, and his band Low Mentality have an awesome new video out for their single Run Fast.  It premiered on OkayAfrica a couple weeks ago, but I figured it couldn't hurt to post it here as well.  Nikhil is a veteran of afrobeat heavyweights like Antibalas and Akoya, with appearances along the way in bands like Superhuman Happiness and Ikebe Shakedown.  All that to say, Nikhil is down with some of my favorite musicians on the planet.  Dig the video and cop the 7" from Ubiquity Records when it drops.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Flying Lotus N. American Tour

Flying Lotus 'Layer 3' – A Red Bull Music Academy Film from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

Flying Lotus, possibly the world's dopest beatmaker, is set to embark on a N. American tour.  Check out this video where Fly-Lo breaks down his live set, and then catch him on tour this spring.

4/21: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom 
4/23: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Heaven Stage)
4/24: Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel 
4/25: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
4/26: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
5/5: New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (RBMA)
5/12: Boston, MA @ Paradise
5/13: Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
5/15: Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
5/16: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues Cleveland
5/17: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
5/18: Chicago, IL @ Metro
5/19: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
5/22: Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
5/23: Vancouver, BC @ Vouge Theater
5/24: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
5/25: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

Afropop Ghana Kickstarter

There aren't a whole lot of people around doing more to promote and proliferate African music than Afropop Worldwide.  I know Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre personally.  They're great guys, and they absolutely love African music.  Do them a big favor and throw a few dollars towards their kickstarter campaign to do some field work in Ghana for their upcoming Hip Deep Series.  I can't think of anyone else on the planet doing such high quality work in different corners of the globe, especially Africa.  Do the right thing and throw them a few dollars.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Balkan Beat Box American Tour

Wailing horns, booming bass, winding guitar lines, thumping drums and screaming vocals all combine to make up a Balkan Beat Box live show. The crowd is dancing, if not jumping, rhythm is reverberating from all angles and directions as percussionists, horn players, vocalists, and dancers all rotate around the stage. Objects, substances and people fly on, off and around the stage as the show romps and raves from set to set. There are very few live musical experiences quite like a Balkan Beat Box concert.

BBB is bringing their world-class live show back to the USA starting this Thursday night in Boston.  I've had the privilege of catching them live four times before, and each time, they re-affirmed why they're one of the most dynamic live acts on the planet.  Check out their tour dates below and catch them live when they come to a city close to you.

Thursday - March 14 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
Friday - March 15 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
Saturday March 16 - MASS MOCA - North Adams, MA
Sunday March 17 - Webster Hall - New York, NY
Tuesday March 19 - 9:30 Club - Washington, D.C.
Wednesday March 20 - The Blockley - Philadelphia, PA
Saturday March 23 - The Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO

Monday, March 11, 2013

Turntables on las Ramblas

You may have heard of Turntables on the Hudson, the collective of dj's and beatmakers known to throw parties at destinations across New York led by NYC's own DJ Nickodemus, but have you ever wondered what would happen to that same party if it hopped across the pond to Barcelona, Spain?  It would probably sounds a lot like Turntables on las Ramblas, the new compilation out March 19, 2013 on Wonderwheel Records.  This comp is the first in River to River, City to City series curated by Nickodemus that will feature stops in Peru, the Caribbean and Egypt.  This album is one non-stop global dance party.  Need I say more?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wogdog Blues

If you're interested in staying up with the latest in African Hip-Hop, dig this: Wogdog Blues, the new album from Art Melody, the MC from Burkina Faso, out March 5, 2013 on Akwaaba Records, is pushing the envelope of African hip-hop the hardest out of almost anyone on the continent.  Imagine if MF Doom or Madvillian went to West Africa.  Throw in a few samples of assorted African musical sounds and you'll get close to Wogdog Blues.  

This is much more than just an African hip-hop album.  Produced by Redrum and Minimalkonstrunction, the beats draw from afrobeat, bass music, 1990s hip hop, African tradition and retro-futurism to best carry Art Melody’s unique flow. The album is mastered by Dave Cooley (Spoek Mathambo, J Dilla, Madvillain) in Los Angeles.

Art Melody will be touring throughout France over the coming month or two to promote the new album.  Check out his FB page to be up on the latest.  Cop the album via bandcamp.  This kind of thing doesn't come around often.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Album from Superhuman Happiness

Hands, the new album  from one of my favorite bands on the planet, Superhuman Happiness, out March 5, 2013 on Royal Potato Family Records, is finally available for mass consumption.  Led by Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Sway Machinery, Iron and Wine, TV on the Radio, etc. etc.), Superhuman Happiness is a collage of sounds and colors all designed to move you physically and otherwise.  

I first saw Superhuman Happiness in 2007 at a crowded Zebulon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  A lot has changed about the band in that time (the personnel, the instrumentation) but that same rhythmic, danceable, universally resonant sound is still there.  

It's been extremely interesting to see SHH grow over the years, and this album definitely represents a major step forward in that growth.  The album is streamable on all the major providers, but if you're interested paying for the music in a way that will get back to the musicians, go to the label website and pick up the album on vinyl, CD, or digitally.  This music lives up to its name.  It is deeply human in the best way possible.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Video from Superhuman Happiness

This video really needs no introduction, but for the sake of shout-outs, this amazing video is for Superhuman Happiness' amazingly beautiful song, See Me On My Way.  SHH is a project led by Stuart Bogie, one of the coolest cats I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Enjoy.

Stop the Crisis in the Congo

Femi Kuti posted this video on his fb page.  20 minutes later, I'm absolutely ashamed of the human race that we're capable of doing this to each other, and then standing by letting it happen again and again.  We're better than this.  We should only let the shame and sadness sit in long enough for us to do something to change it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Track from The Sway Machinery

The Sway Machinery, one of the most inventive bands on the planet, have made a track from their new EP, Monsters of the Ancient World, available for download in advance of the full EP release.  Dig it.

New Afrobeat 45 from The Polyrhythmics

It doesn't get much funkier than this.  The Polyrhythmics' new afrobeat 45 available via pre-order from Kept Records is about as diabolically funky as they come.  A-Side, Bobo is an upbeat jump-up jam while B-Side Moon Cabbage is a more mellowed out smooth groove.  Both cuts will set any dance floor on fire.  Preview the track below.  Pre-order the 45 here.

The Battle of Santiago Takes Afrobeat in a New Direction

The Battle of Santiago is an instrumental ensemble out of Toronto, Canada that combines elements of a variety of afrocentric influences to create a uniquely original sound that is at the same time progressive and traditional.  Group founder, Michael Owen, describes the different backgrounds and viewpoints represented in the group as a "push and pull."  Listening to their new album, Followed By Thousands, out March 5th on Made With Pencil Crayons Records, I couldn't agree with that characterization any more.  Preview and download a track from the new album, cop the full album when it drops, and to all those in and around Toronto, go see these guys live when you have the chance.  The dynamic energy on their recorded stuff has got to translate to their live show.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Afrobeat Remix from Grant Phabao

Grant Phabao of Paris DJ's just got his hands on L.A. Afrobeat collective Jungle Fire's cut Tokuta.  The end result is absolute fire, as is always the case when Grant Phabao works his magic.  Dig the track below and cop it for one Euro.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Video from Bantu - OYA OYA

Bantu - "OYA OYA" (Official Video) from bantucrew on Vimeo.

This new video from Bantu for his new song OYA OYA is absolute fire.  He teamed up with Nigerian filmmaker Siji and took over the marketplace in Bariga, Lagos capturing the spontaneous, infectious energy that urban Lagos, Nigeria has to offer.  Dig it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

EMEFE Brings their Afrobeat Sound to Breakthru Radio Studios

My afrobeat brothers EMEFE recorded a live version of the title track of their latest album, Good Future, in the BreakthruRadio Studios.  These guys are some of the most talented young cats playing afrobeat music today.  Get a taste of their sound here and then check out their album as soon as humanly possible.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Love is King Love is Queen

Sometimes I have the good fortune to stumble upon some music that touches my soul and changes my perspective on things.  A friend of mine turned me onto Avasa and Matty Love's album, Love is King Love is Queen.  These two lovers have created some truly beautiful music that is at the same time soulful and afrocentric.  Preview it below and cop it at your leisure.

Monday, January 28, 2013

DJ Sun Touches All Living Things on 100

What touches more lives and affects more living beings than the sun?  Very few things are more universal, much like the approach DJ Sun takes when sculpting the musical soundscapes for his new album 100.  Beautifully mellow yet rhythmically satisfying, 100 captures elements of many genres and sounds creating something unique and original.  Get a taste below of my favorite track from the album featuring Leah Alvarez on vocals and Martin Perna on the flute, then cop the album for yourself at your earliest convenience.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

KonKoma Remixed

KonKoma Remixed, the new collection of remixes featuring beatmakers like Chico Mann, debruit, and Auntie Flo, is absolute fire.  Preview the track below, and cop the album.  Now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Afrobeat Blog Best Albums of 2012

2012 was a great year for music.  A lot of great bands put out some amazing albums.  While most people compiled their best of lists in the waning days of 2012, it took me a little longer to get around to it.  As the saying goes, better late than never.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Femi Kuti Tours USA

The legendary Femi Anikulapo Kuti kicks off his US tour tonight.  I'll be catching him live next Wednesday night in Boston.  Check out the interview I conducted with Femi in 2009.  Catch him when he comes to a town near you.

17 JAN Belly up Tavern, Solana Beach
18 JAN El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles
19 JAN The Fillmore, San Fransisco
21 JAN Metro, Chicago
23 JAN Paradise Rock Club, Boston
24 JAN World cafe Live, Philadelphia
25 JAN  9.30 Club, Washington Dc
26 JAN Webster Hall, New York

The Afrobeat Blog: How would you describe the evolution of your music? Where is your music today that it wasn't several years ago when your last studio album came out?

Femi Kuti: I'm getting more experience, age, more mature, and so the music is changing with all of this. I'm happy people think it's getting better, people are enjoying it, people support what I'm doing, that's most important.

The Afrobeat Blog: What are you listening to right now that's inspiring you?

Femi: Nothing really, I'm trying to start work on my next album, so I'm working on some new stuff

The Afrobeat Blog: You've shared the stage with a lot of amazing musicians, With whom have you collaborated in your career that you've learned the most from? 

Femi: My father

The Afrobeat Blog: How old were you when you started playing with Fela and Egypt 80?

Femi: 16

The Afrobeat Blog: Who are some African musicians you feel are pushing their genres and innovating new trends in African music today?

Femi: I think most Africans are trying to do that. There's a lot of hip hop Nigerian artists that are very American-Nigerian orientated. That may be typical of my fathers influence on the music scene. There are many artists developing a unique style for themselves. It would be wrong for me to pick one.

The Afrobeat Blog: Who specifically within the genre of Afrobeat do you respect and listen to?

Femi: Nobody. 

The Afrobeat Blog: Nobody, really?

Femi: What are they going to teach me?

The Afrobeat Blog: Well, I guess you have a point.

Femi: Well I mean if I was playing at a concert and any afrobeat band is there, I would be forced to listen. I could listen from my dressing room I could hear. There are not a lot of bands playing good afrobeat, I mean, it's ok. There are many in America, Australia, France. Many are getting hooked on the afrobeat.

The Afrobeat Blog: As someone who thinks of something different when they hear the black president than someone like me who grew up in the US What did the election of a black president, Barack Obama, mean to you and what do you think it will mean for Africa on the whole?

Femi: Well, what it means to me might take a while. Barack Obama is first an American, generally, it shows that Americans are open-minded. I never believed Americans would vote a black man or black person President, the highest office in America. Americans are open-minded, there's a new generation of Americans who are not thinking on a racial basis, and are completely open-minded. So that impressed me, that gave me a lot of hope for the world and America. If Americans can see things in this light, there's a strong future for them and the world. America dictates a lot of world opinion, if America moves to the right, the world moves to the right, if America moves to the left, the world moves to the left. It impressed me a lot.

The Afrobeat Blog: Do you hope because of his African roots Obama will change the way America has dealt with Africa in the past?

Femi: I hope he will be very objective. I hope he won't be lenient in dealing with the corruption of African governments because he's a black man. I hope he doesn't fall for that. He has to be very objective, because all the African governments are corrupt. So it should not be because he's a black American he should be lenient on corruption, I think that is where he should be hard because he should want Africa to become a great continent. He has to be very hard on his policies, because he has to put an end to the corruption with his policies in Africa. He has to prove that the African government is not being proper democracy according to what we know it should be. The African government is corrupt. 

The Afrobeat Blog: I read in an interview on, when talking about the raid on Kalakuta republic that killed your grandmother and ransacked Fela's compound, you raised the possibility of the CIA being involved. What makes you think that's the case and would you clarify your stance on the issue?

Femi: Because somebody came to warn my father before the attack and warned him the CIA wanted him dead. He said it many times. He was warned that the CIA was going to kill him. I was there, I heard him say it many times.

The Afrobeat Blog: Who came to warn Fela?

Femi: An american, I don't want to name names here.

The Afrobeat Blog: The CIA definitely has a history of targeting African ideologues that oppose them like Patrice Lamumba and many others.

Femi: Lamumba, anyone, Any western government is always opposed to any Pan-African in government.

The Afrobeat Blog: One of Fela's major accomplishments that is often overlooked was his ability to mobilize people into action around a cause. A lot of people dismiss him as a dissident, just a crazy musician, but he made things happen in Nigeria organizing youth groups and political action groups. Could you talk about some of the ways in which you've continued his legacy of political action outside of your music?

Femi: I think its just through music. I stopped giving to organizations because I found out its so corrupt, people are just taking my money, I give people money to make posters you know, put up the flyers, but they get ripped up in the street. And they're just ripping me off in my money. We're at a critical point, where the corruption is so bad, people are so desperate for money right now. It is not smart for me right now. I'll just continue to talk about the problems, sing about the problems, and deal with the problems. I can be in any part of the world today, having a good life, or having a better life than I'm having here [Nigeria], but staying here is a political statement. People are mad at me for staying here, so maybe I mobilize many generations by staying here. Three generations have passed through me knowing I have achieved what I've achieved by staying here in Nigeria. I didn't go to America to stay, I didn't go to Europe, I've stayed here. Everybody told me you've got to move, fuck that. Everybody said I won't be in demand if I stay in Nigeria. I opened the market, I've kept the market my father opened. It won't do any use to admire what I've done. I use my music, what I sing about to make a difference. And I don't want to run for office, any kind of office. I just want to be a musician.

The Afrobeat Blog: What are some of your unfinished goals for your music career?

Femi: Wow, that's a question for God Almighty to answer, not me. I want to arrange and produce some albums. I hope I can always impress and please my fans and other people, and my self as well. I'd like to spend more time with my family. What else...I'd like to see Africa Unite in my lifetime I'd like to see highways running north to south east to west like I see in America, I'd like to see big airports like I see everywhere, train stations like I see everywhere, I'd like to see the United Countries of Africa, I would like to see the eradication of poverty and the end of suffering. We're the richest continent I can't understand why we're suffering. I would like to see the end of corruption. And all these things that I stand for in my lifetime, I would like to see an end to it in my lifetime. But that's up to the creator to decide that. I'll just do my part, keep practicing, playing music, and fighting.

Femi: Just for your information the shrine was closed yesterday by the government. So now we're having a big battle right now, trying to get it open.

The Afrobeat Blog: On what grounds did they close it, they just decided they didn't want it to be open?

Femi: They said people were selling things outside, like sweets, and fried meats, biscuits, things like this on the streets, not in the shrine, on the streets, on the major road. Now they're saying we're responsible for those people. So they are closing the shrine because we let people come and sell things there. And we're like how do they expect us to get rid of these people? Do we own the road? The road belongs to the federal government. How we can we go to the federal governments' property and say get out of here? It's the government's problem to do that. They have to remove them not us.

The Afrobeat Blog: Have they tried to do things like this before?

Femi: Yea. They have closed the place for two days now, we are losing all kinds of money, our instruments are there, we can't rehearse.

The Afrobeat Blog: So what can you do to fight them?

Femi: We don't know yet, we have many options, maybe we are going to court, we don't know yet. Right now we're talking to the office of the commissioner to give us the go-ahead to open the place. They said 10 o'clock this morning, they didn't show up, then they said 2, they didn't open it, so we're still waiting.

The Afrobeat Blog: Well whatever I can do to help, I'm not sure how receptive the Nigerian government is to petitions from American music fans...

Femi: Well maybe put it in your article on the internet so that more journalists will put it in their papers, 'The Nigerian government closed the shrine, blah, blah, blah, things like that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EMEFE Embarks on Southeastern US Tour

One of Brooklyn's finest afrobeat enesmbles, EMEFE, is about to embark on a tour of the southeastern United States.  I've seen EMEFE rock it live a number of times, and each time they hit the stage, they bring it.  If you can make it to one of these shows, definitely make it out and catch some afro-love.