Music Is the Weapon Review

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by Phil Hinton Jul 1, 2003 at 12:00 AM

    One of Africa's most controversial and prolific musicians (recording more than 70 albums), Fela Kuti is to African music what Bob Marley is to reggae - it's prophet. He fought for the rights of the common man despite harassment and even imprisonment by the Government in Nigeria
    Having been in a highlife band during the 1950's Kuti developed his own distinct sound and in 1968 announced the arrival of afro beat (many of the beat and bass lines being revived in the 1980's during the birth of Hip Hop in the US). Music is a weapon is a documentary film which was filmed in 1982 by Stephane Tchal-Gadjieff and Jean Jacques Flori the film is a must for anyone who wants to know more about an artist at the heart of African musical history. His story is far from sunny with his attempt at standing for president costing the life of his mother and the rape of his wives by the Nigerian army in response to his political ambitions. For many years he continued to fight the corruption in his country and was much loved by his people who affectionately called him the black president until 1997, when he died of aids.
    Music is The Weapon is a journey through Kuti's life and music.

    The Rundown

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