One People One World

One People One World

by Femi Anikulapo KutiFemi Anikulapo Kuti


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In the five years between Femi Kuti's Grammy-nominated No Place for My Dream and One People One World, he's been a busy man. He regularly performs at The Shrine, the performance space he built as a memorial to his late father Fela Kuti, he's a touring musician, and he also serves as a traveling ambassador for Amnesty International. (He also found time in 2017 to break the Guinness world record for the longest-held single note on a saxophone -- 51 minutes and 35 seconds.) One People One World is Kuti's tenth album with his longstanding band Positive Force and its musical director and guitarist Opeyemi Awomolo. Unlike the righteous anger that inspired almost all of his previous recordings, One People One World is by contrast more affirmative; it's celebratory without sacrificing its activism. While Afrobeat is at the core of these 12 songs, Kuti picks up on the mosaic he began weaving on No Place for My Dream by incorporating the harmonies and rhythms of reggae, highlife, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and other global sounds into its mix, adding depth and complexity without sacrificing immediacy and accessibility. The title-track single commences with driving Afrobeat horns, but the rest of the band erupts into calypso and highlife celebration as Kuti and his backing singers deny racism, greed, and hatred the power to conquer the earth. With an infectious, swinging organ, "Africa Will Be Great Again" is a protest jam that details the corruption and greed that hold her back as a continent, but its pulsing wave of salsa, soca, and highlife makes it an irresistible anthem as Kuti posits the reclamation of the continent as the cradle of civilization and the heartbeat of the world. The D'Angelo-esque soul in "It's Best to Live on the Good Side" is carried by slinky, bubbling basslines, vamping R&B guitars, and a swirling organ. When the horns enter, thunder cracks as circular drumming and percussion thread in Afro-Cuban (Yoruban) rhythms. Second single "Na Their Way Be That" opens with cooking reggae before Femi's soulful saxophone solo and an Afrobeat chant cut in from the margin. "Evil People" is stomping, funky R&B, fueled by J.B.'s-style horns, layers of breakbeat drums, chunky wah-wah guitar, and congas. Immediately following is "Equal Opportunity," where Kuti and his backing chorus evoke the celebratory vibe of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up," and add jazzy Rhodes piano and Afrobeat horns and rhythms. Even straight-up Afro-funk jams like "Dem Militarize Democracy" open to embrace driving son rhythms, popping R&B basslines, and souled-out vocal and guitar choruses. The dubwise soul of closer "The Way Our Lives Go" is the set's most poetic and inspiring track. Kuti and Positive Force don't let up at all during One People One World. Impeccably sequenced, it runs from strength to strength, dazzling with expansive sonic textures, killer arrangements, and a musical genre palette that exists seemingly without boundaries. As a recording artist, Kuti has been reliably consistent, but this date is his masterpiece.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/23/2018
Label: Knitting Factory
UPC: 0720841114222
catalogNumber: 11142

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Femi Kuti   Primary Artist
Patrick Goraguer   Drums,Keyboards
Rico Kerridge   Guitar
Imeh Akpan   Shaker
Onome Kate-Udi   Background Vocals,Dancer
Gbenga Ogundeji   Trumpet
Idris Badarou   Bass
Femi Anikulapo-Kuti   Organ,Trumpet,Saxophone,Vocals
Fanibe Mathew   Percussion
Bernard Antonia   Background Vocals,Dancer
Ayodele Alaba   Drums
Awomolo Opeyemi   Guitar,Leader
Ankra Babatunde   Trombone
Ajayi Olywaseun   Keyboards
Ághedo Andrew   Bass Guitar
Adigun Olajumoke   Background Vocals,Dancer
Adebanjo Ayodeji   Tenor Saxophone
Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti   Bass Guitar,Keyboards
Sowunmi Dayo   Trumpet
Magbagbeola Ayoola   Baritone Saxophone
Igor Vince   Percussion

Technical Credits

Sodi   Producer,Engineer
Louis Arnould   Coloring
Imeh Akpan   Clefs
Femi Anikulapo-Kuti   Arranger,Composer
Benjamin Louvet   Pro-Tools
Thomas Dechaud-Fauchet   Coloring
Victor Demoëte   Pro-Tools
Victor Cristani   Pro-Tools

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