Strut presents the new album from the modern day leader of Afrobeat, Seun Kuti. The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti is as incensed by injustice as his father ever was and, with his mighty new album Black Times including features from Carlos Santana and Robert Glasper, he honors the revolutionaries who have gone before and rallies the torch-bearers to come. Black Times is the fourth album by Seun and Egypt 80, the extraordinary dance orchestra created by Fela Kuti as a conduit for the common people. Inherited by the 14-year-old Seun in 1997, the younger Kuti has been building to this, his most accomplished and honest album yet.
Here, then, are tracks designed to spark conversation and realign priorities. The elegant "African Dreams" insists that commercial success counts for little. "Black Times," with its rousing male and female harmonies, furious guitar riffs courtesy of Carlos Santana and Kuti's soaring tenor sax, gives us truth. "Bad Man Lighter" is a horn-heavy track calling out duplicity and defending the right to smoke the good weed. The politically charged "Corporate Public Control Department (C.P.C.D)" is a roiling protest anthem directed at Muhammadu Bahari's Nigerian government and deceitful politicians the world over.
The frenetic, finger-pointing "Kuku Kee Me" borrows from a Nigerian saying ("When someone is always on your case, you're like ‘Save yourself the stress and kuku kill me now'") while "Theory Of Goat And Yam" ridicules a homily invented by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who justified corruption by likening politicians to goats tempted by yams. "Last Revolutionary" featuring Robert Glasper's keys is a paean to authentic leaders past, present and future.