FELA KUTI - GENTLEMAN (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

FELA KUTI - GENTLEMAN (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

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Released: 23/06/23

1973’s ‘Gentleman’ is the seventh in the series of celebratory Fela 50th Anniversary reissues and the last of Fela’s early 1970s albums recorded with the Africa 70.

The title track can be interpreted literally or as a metaphor concerning a wider issue. Fela deftly addresses the colonialism-induced, inferiority complex which led many in Africa’s new governing elites to reject African style, concepts of beauty, and modes of behaviour in favour of European imports.

‘Gentleman’’s other tracks, ‘Fe Fe Ne Eye Fe’ and ‘Igbe’, have more direct, less metaphorical lyrics. On ‘Fe Fe Ne Eye Fe’, an Ashanti motto from Ghana, Fela tells a woman dumped by her boyfriend that she must get over the heartache and move on. On ‘Igbe’, Fela declares that anyone who betrays a friend is shit, and that anybody who lacks self-respect is shit - something you want to expel from your body as soon as possible. He sings the word ‘shit’ in several Nigerian languages, so there is no
misunderstanding.