Saturday, October 15, 2016

40 Year Itch : No Break, No Job, No Sense

Fela Kuti and Afrika 70 : Zombie

With perhaps his most famous song, Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti isn't anticipating the zombie craze we still seemed to be steeped in. He is referring to the unreasoning soldiers who follow orders without thinking. After five minutes of pure rhythm and horn solos, Fela sings "Zombie no go stop unless you tell him to stop/ Zombie no go think unless you tell him to think". The album was a smashing success across much of Africa.

As you might guess the Army didn't care for those words. The Nigerian military's response was vicious. One thousand soldiers raided the star's commune. Fela's elderly mother was tossed out of a window and killed. His recording studio and all the tapes within were burned and destroyed. Soldiers beat Fela who later said he would have been killed had a commanding officer not intervened.

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