Nigeria: Why I Titled My Song Fela Kuti – Wyclef Jean

By Samuel Abulude*

Lagos — Haitian rapper, Wyclef Jean, formerly of the Fugees has never hidden his love and respect for the afrobeat Legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He released a single titled Fela Kuti.

The singer said he named his new single ‘Fela Kuti’ because he wants young ones to know about the legendary progenitor of Afrobeat. Wyclef Jean’s new song ‘Fela Kuti’ is the first single off his forthcoming album.

The musician and actor also said he shares many similarities with the late Fela Kuti – who died twenty years ago. “I decided to name it Fela Kuti because for me, I feel like we are thinking of Bob Marley, we give a lot of people from our past props, so when the kids hear Fela Kuti, I really want them to Google it,” he said.

 “Fela Kuti studied jazz in England. Wyclef studied jazz at Vailsburg High School. Fela Kuti then went back to his country and tried to help his country by running for president. Wyclef, you know, did the same thing.

Then, Fela, through all his obstacles and all that, his music is what pillared him right back to the top. He understood that the strongest way to help politically was to make sure the music was banging. So for me, the same way kids can have songs called “Wyclef Jean” that are influenced by me, I want kids to know who Fela is and what he means.”

Jean’s ‘Fela Kuti’ was produced by Supah Mario who was responsible for the production of Young Thug’s ‘Wyclef Jean’. The former Fugees star will release ‘Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee’ on September 15.


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