Seun Kuti's Black Woman

I love this!

But here's the thing - I've always struggled to appreciate Seun Kuti's brand of Afrobeat. Yes, struggle! I believe his brother, Femi Kuti, succeeds in crafting his own conceptual identity from their dad's, just like Damian Marley is distinct from Bob Marley. Ziggy Marley too. But Seun's Afrobeat still comes off as an evolving dilution of the original, a musical idea still seeking its own form and structure but already carrying itself as "formed". It's just what I always think. But there are few songs that show promise of "maturity".

For every time I hear it, I'm curious to know what informed the lyrics, and also the attendant mood of the period the song came out, towards women. On the one hand, it sounds celebratory of a "modern" African woman. On the other, it sounds mocking of a new and assertive African woman who "now" exhibits a somewhat cosmopolitan and European-type confidence. I don't know.

Seun's craft seems like an adventure to define a distinct path for himself, as gleaned from his songs. I don't think he strives, in a conservative sense, to maintain Fela's style. Maybe a bit of its content. (After all, Afrobeat owes a lot of its existence and sustenance to political content and ghetto storytelling form). If he likes Fela's style, that's fine but if he wants to maintain that style, I bet he isn't pretty close to it. Also, as much as I don't see anything wrong in maintaining a musical form and content, I personally subscribe to derivative arts that push a known form to new terrains.

I almost cynically dismissed this video when I saw it on my timeline but I decided to watch it. And it's a good video and a beautiful song. The song is made even more compelling as it contrasts well with his father's popular "Lady" - a song that one doesn't know the extent which it celebrates the African woman or if it exhibits Fela's misogynist tendencies or one composed in response to feminist agitation. 

Seun is good on his one; the lyrics, the composition, the name-calling, everything!

(Maybe he should just stick to feel-good, celebratory music. Political agitation may not be his musical calling).