Thursday, January 20, 2011

Music is the weapon.

I can not even try and write all there is to write about such a prolific and inspirational character as Fela Kuti. I will say that Fela's career and music transcend simple artistry and go into political revolution, social consciousness, and spiritual awareness. I recently watched the French filmed documentary "Music is The Weapon" and to put it simply was completely floored by Fela and his life's work. To be a revolutionary in Nigeria during the 70's takes more than courage, it takes a clear mind and a direct link to the consciousness of others. Fela seemed to be able to embrace his culture and heritage while wanting to change the iron fisted government and the inherit greed that was growing within Lagos. Fela was considered dangerous by the government and was often the target of severe violence and vandalism which included having his house burned down. His live performances seemed to have been more than just about music as Fela would stop halfway through a concert to preform a ritual. After learning a fraction of what there is to know about this man, his career, and his legacy, it is simply inspiring that one man can stand against the villainous armies of an evil society and stir the pot of social awareness that it is still quite important and relevant in today's world. One of the most important reminders I personally get from Fela's music is that music is simply more than just something to hear. It is a religion, a spirit, an idea, a form of identity, and above all it is personal autonomy. Fela's music proves this to me as I do not speak Pidgin nor do I need to. It is the movement of the spirit and soul that allows me to hear Fela's music and sense every feeling that is put into song. I realize this may all seem a bit pretentious and I certainly don't intend for it to be that way. I am simply floored by Fela and can only hope to have one percent of the consciousness that this single person possessed. Download "Yellow Fever" and see what you find.

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