Yesterday was Fela Anikulapo’s 77th post-humus birthday and we thought to share and celebrate the legend with some interesting facts about him. The felabration concert is presently going on and its free to attend at the New Afrika Shrine. Fela Kuti, also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, and political maverick.
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Born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He lived from Oct. 15, 1938, to Aug. 2, 1997.
His political consciousness inspired him to change what he called his “slave name” Ransome and adopted the middle name “Anikulapo,” meaning “to have control over death,” in the late 1960s.
1. In the 1960s, Kuti pioneered and popularized the Afrobeat genre, which is a combination of funk, jazz, salsa, calypso and traditional Nigerian music. Once he had recorded a song, he never played it live again. He had reportedly been offered several thousands to perform his old hits, which he refused.
His rebellious song lyrics established him as a political dissident. Afrobeat was associated with making political, social and cultural statements about greed and corruption.