Thursday, February 18, 2010

fela, rick, mos

Fela Kuti had a distinctive style and focussed political message. The entire musical event revolved around him, whether he was singing, dancing in skin tight clothing, playing a solo on sax, synth, or drums . . .

Later in that same concert (Glastonbury (1984)), Fela called down his army of backup singers / wives to dance center stage. But this had been part of his show for a long time:
Fela Kuti and Africa 70 in Calabar (1971)

Apparently, the revealing clothing was an essential ingredient throughout:

These same mannerisms and affectations can be seen percolating throughout the funk world. Rick James, for example, faintly shadows the mannerisms (without the politics) of Fela in this 1982 performance:

Some do attempt to preserve the spirit as well as the showmanship. A serious attempt here is Mos Def (2009):

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