Fela and Egypt '80: Beasts of No Nation (LP)
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Fela Anikulapo-Kuti & Egypt '80 – Beasts Of No Nation
Beast of No Nation is the first song Fela wrote in 1986, after he was liberated from prison—serving two years from a five year prison sentence for trumped-up foreign currency violation charges. Everywhere he went after his release, people were asking him what he was going to sing about: ‘Fela wetin you go sing about? Them go worry me!”. 1989’s Beasts Of No Nation has many targets, being another great Fela diatribe, despite some vocal weakness. This quietly meditative number starts with fine musical interplay and some Yoruba choruses, before Fela appears as “basket mouth” to deliver his message: he speaks of time spent in prison on trumped-up charges, and references a campaign unleashed by the military government led by General Buhari, known as the ‘war against indiscipline’, in which the Nigerian public were deemed “stupid.” Fela then speaks of the “animals in human skin,” such as Thatcher, Reagan, Botha and Mobutu – the “Beasts Of No Nation” of the title. Overseas issues also had the track “Just Like That” (issued in Nigeria as a separate album with “MOPP”), a witty, funky ditty in which Fela says that change can come swiftly in Africa – both positive and negative.
Label: Knitting Factory Records – KFR2043-1