Following the success of Red Hot + Riot, and the ongoing need to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in sub saharan Africa, Red Hot did another Fela Kuti project, with a more contemporary and relaxed approach. The album featured a version of “Lady” by Tune-Yards with ?uestlove and Angelique Kidjo as well as a striking version of “Sorrow Tears and Blood” produced by Stuart Bogie featuring the Kronos Quartet, Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimple (from TV on the Radio.)
Red Hot + Fela Live!
Red Hot +FELA LIVE! was the opening concert of the KRONOS at 40 series, featuring a diverse group of artists, including drummer Tony Allen, Sinkane, rapper M1, Sahr Ngaujah and Abenda Koomson of Broadway’s Fela!, and more. The concert was a celebration of the legacy of activist and Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The evening kicks off with Superhuman Happiness and Kronos Quartet playing music from the soundtrack to How to Survive a Plague. The show took place at New York’s Lincoln Center in the summer of 2013.
Fela Kuti’s pioneering, joyous Afrobeat rhythms shook the world before his death following complications brought on by Aids in 1997. The Red Hot organisation, who raise money to fight HIV, paid tribute to the Nigerian musician with the 2002 compilation ‘Red Hot + Riot’, but they’ve decided it is time for a fresh wave of musicians to tackle another volume.
Some liberties were taken, but hip-hop probably doesn’t count as a big, dangerous liberty when dropped in a sea of Afrobeat.Red, Hot + Fela carries Fela’s music further, finding some very unlikely contributors along the way.
As is the case with Kuti’s original material, there’s no concrete formula to what makes these numbers so compelling, as Just a Band, Bajah and Chance the Rapper’s cover of “Gentleman” is a loose reworking, while “Buy Africa” by Baloji & Orchestre de la Katuba captures Kuti’s venomous delivery wholesale.
- Executive Producer:
- John Carlin
- Produced by:
- Anthony Demby + Paul Heck