Nigerian police, seeking to frame Fela Kuti, tried to plant a joint of marijuana on him during a gathering at his home. Wise to their plan, he quickly swallowed the joint. However, the police threw him in jail to wait for the evidence to make its way through his system. With some wily plotting Fela escaped charges and subsequently produced this opus mocking the police for wasting resources on hassling him instead of furthering justice in Nigeria. Opening brass sounds give way to interplay between Fela’s narration about the episode and responses from his group of female singers.
Vinyl LP £11.64 KFR2015-1
LP on Knitting Factory.
- Includes download code
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- Expensive Shit by Fela Kuti
10/10 Tom 10th January 2019
Expensive Shit is an exquisite album, with a great back story. Having riled up the Nigerian government by creating his own commune (the Kalakuta Republic) and declaring it independent from Nigeria, as well as taking various shots at the government for causing societal issues, the Nigerian police planted a joint on Fela Kuti and arrested him. Fortunately Fela ate the joint, and presented a fellow-inmate's shite as his own to get off the possession charge. The resulting album is a joyous and funky affair, with some of the greatest rhythms and most memorable saxophone melodies of Fela's career. Likewise, "Water No Get Enemy" is soulful and jubilant. Whether you enjoy Fela for his confrontational politics, his incredible music, or both, Expensive Shit is basically sunshine committed to tape.
10/10 Laurie 3rd January 2017
Thi is a masterpiece of Afrobeat, penned by the genre's inventor and performed by he and his Africa 70. The title track recounts one of many episodes in which our hero's tormentors (the Nigerian police) attempt to bang him up for smoking weed and, convinced that he has swallowed his stash to avoid punishment, hold him in a cell for three days in the folorn hope that he'll squeeze out a jobbie that smells recognisably of the fragrant herb. But, as Fela reminds us in the chorus "The shit go be the last thing wey he go like to see ... Because why o? ... Because the shit de smell".
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