CD Shoki Shoki (CD 1183084),
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1. Truth Don Die
2. Beng Beng Beng
3. What Will Tomorrow Bring
4. Victim Of Life
5. Blackman Know Yourself
6. Look Around
7. Sorry Sorry
9. Scatta Head
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 559035
Personnel: Femi Anikulapo Kuti (vocals, alto & tenor saxophones); Olufemi Fadipe (guitar); Adeyinka Osindeinde (tenor saxophone, background vocals); Oluwaseyi Clegg (baritone saxophone, background vocals); Gbenga Laleye (trumpet, background vocals); Tiwalade Ogunlowo (trombone, background vocals); Olayinka Oluwole (keyboards); Tosin Aribisala, Muyiwa Oke (drums); Gbenga Obisesan, Olusegun Damisi (congas); Olusoladegbin Anikulapo-Kuti, Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, Funke Anikulapo-Kuti, Shade Alalade (background vocals); Dris Badarou, Sebastien Martel, Herve Salters, Nicolas Genest, Bruno Maman, Princess Erika, Marie-Lyn Marolany, Pierre "Kropol" Gauthe, Mabinuori Idow.
Composer: Femi Anikulapo Kuti.
Personnel: Femi Anikulapo Kuti (vocals, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Adeyinka Osindeinde (tenor saxophone); Oluwaseyi Clegg (baritone saxophone); Gbenga Laleye (trumpet); Tiwalade Ogunlowo (trombone); Olayinka Oluwole (keyboards); Muyiwa Oke, Tosin Aribisala (drums); Gbenga Obisesan (congas); Mark Saunders, Vladmir Nesckovic, Sodi (programming).
Audio Mixer: Mark Saunders.
Recording information: Guillaume Tell; Musica; Zarma.
Photographer: Philippe Bordas.
Arranger: Femi Anikulapo Kuti.
On his American debut album, Femi Kuti, son of legendary Afro-beat inventor and world music legend Fela, carries on the legacy of his late father. During his father's imprisonment by the Nigerian government in the mid-'80s, Kuti led the late bandleader's outfit. As a result, his style has maintained many characteristics of Fela's music--a driving horn section, bouncing bass, snatches of wah-wah guitar, and chanting choruses--that make this funk at ground zero.
Kuti's song topics strike a balance among sexual braggadocio ("Beng Beng Beng"), political concerns ("Sorry Sorry"), and cultural pride ("Blackman Know Yourself"), the last of which picks up its message from James Brown's "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud"). All of SHOKI, SHOKI is infused with non-stop grooves and chugging beats as Kuti often doubles up on his bandleading responsibilities with some sinewy and soulful sax playing. The 37-year-old bandleader includes ambient nuances that beautifully juxtapose his music's polyrhythmic tendencies ("Truth Don Die") and works with the Roots to provide a direct link to hip-hop's origins ("Blackman Know Yourself").
Rolling Stone (3/2/00, p.95) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...he treats Afrobeat's basic rhythm formula as sacred, adding only slight embellishments and updates....providing genuine vitality..."
Spin (12/99, p.221) - "...takes dad's [Fela Kuti] big-band Afro-funk and pitches it up to +8, trading slow-build hypnotics for DJ breakdowns and rare groove vamps..."
Entertainment Weekly (2/18/00, p.87) - "...brilliantly forges a link between Afrobeat and James Brown, he spices his percussive stew with acid jazz, hip-hop, and soul flavor while remaining true to his roots, proving himself an able ambassador to all rhythm nations." - Rating: A-
The Wire (1/00, p.67) - Included in Wire Magazine's "50 Records Of The Year ['99]"
CMJ (1/08/01, p.49) - Included in CMJ's "Year's New World Albums" from 2000.
CMJ (1/31/00, p.3) - "...contains grooves heavy on the funk and full of call-and-response horn charts that recall classic soul....evoking the searching, high-energy blowing that punctuated many of Motown's early-'70s hits....ultimately vibrant and uplifting..."
The Source (3/00, p.259) - "...marries the muscular grinding funk of James Brown to the deep, trance-inducing beats of African music....[His] songs are short and structured, making his brand of Afrobeat easier for r&b and hip-hop trained ears to absorb....a must for disciples of the beat."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.143) - "...A lighter, more melodic and accessible version of Afro-beat..."
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Decca (USA) E5590352
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