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Questlove Praises the Funkiness of Fela Kuti

“Music is a weapon,” Fela Kuti once said. “Music is a thing of the future. Music is the weapon of the future.” Indeed, years later the Afrobeat pioneer’s own music would go on to become part of hip-hop’s arsenal. Roots drummer Questlove recently sat down to talk about how the West African’s bled of jazz, calypso, African beats inspired artists like Mos Def, X-Clan, and a young Busta Rhymes during his Leaders of the New School rap days. Questlove admits that even as a teen he was “shocked that there was a rhythmically funky African.”

The sit-down is part of Knitting Factory Records’ Fela Kuti archive project. Dubbed ‘Chop ‘N Quench,’ nine Fela albums released between 1969 and 1974 have been remastered — ‘Koola Lobitos,’ ‘The ’69 L.A. Sessions,’ ‘Live With Ginger Baker,’ ‘London Scene,’ ‘Shakara,’ ‘Roforofo Fight,’ ‘Open & Close,’ ‘Afrodisiac,’ ‘Gentleman’ and ‘Confusion.’ The albums have been jammed into six physical CDs available for less than $60 and currently available at

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