Though he recorded over 70 albums and gained international acclaim, Kuti's African identity always remained centrally important to him (which is evident in his music) and he chose to remain in or around Nigeria instead of moving to the west, where he could have become an international superstar. As a result, he became a local leader (he tried to run for president of Nigeria twice but was prevented by the government) but only maintained a small, but very strong, cult following in the United States and never received massive international success and popularity.
This is one reason why I am very happy that there is a (relatively) new broadway musical 'Fela!', which has enjoyed much critical and popular acclaim. I have not seen it (though I have seen the preview performed on The Colbert Report embedded below) but I very much hope to do so soon. The non-Colbert videos were posted by the the show's producers on Youtube. They briefly and succinctly explain more about Kuti's musical sound and personality. Enjoy!!
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Fela! - Zombie|
For tickets and more information of the musical, please go to www.felaonbroadway.com
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