Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Seun Kuti

Seun Kuti

JOHANN SAUTY

When: Fri., Nov. 25, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $28, $26 members
At the end of September, Nigerian Afrobeat scion Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 dropped their first new record in a couple of years with the three-track EP Struggle Sounds, the initial release of a new deal with Sony Masterworks. It was coproduced with jazz keyboardist Robert Glasper, who was smart enough not to fuck with success. The 25 minutes cleave tightly to the classic agitprop-funk approach pioneered by Seun’s legendary father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and considering the shortsighted, selfish decisions happening in voting booths around the globe—including our recent presidential election—this blast of righteousness is plenty welcome. Though Kuti’s lyrics probably weren’t conceived with the U.S. in mind, the seething “Gimme My Vote Back (C.P.C.D.)”—the parenthetical stands for “Corporate Public Control Department”—sure seems prescient about what populist supporters of our president-elect are likely to get over the next four years: “You promise jobs / And you close the factory / But there’s always work in the penitentiary.” Nothing can supplant direct action, but truly combustible sounds can certainly help motivate it—especially when Kuti’s such an electric performer.
— Peter Margasak

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