Today marks the 19th anniversary of the death of Nigeria’s biggest musical export in history, and arguably one of Nigeria’s most famous citizens in the world. His music has hit all corners of the earth, and has inspired university level courses to study his art. Blessed with the gift of musical composition and motivational oratory, Fela was able to deliver absolutely captivating music while passing along important and often controversial socio-political messages in his lyrics.

He is the King of AfroBeat music, and has influenced generations of artists from Lagos Afro-Pop to New York Hip-Hop, German classical music to Carribean Reggae. You name it, and his influence has reached it.

So today, in honor of the great Fela Kuti, we’re putting out the 10 biggest Fela songs (in no order) you need in your life. From the most popular songs to the songs with the deepest thought provoking messages.

1Water No Get Enemy

Black power that everyone on earth just can’t do without. No one earth is the enemy of water.

 

2Shakara

Before there was fronting and faking it, there was Shakara.

 

3Overtake Don Overtake Overtake

If you need a reminder that Nigeria is an endless cycle, this is it.

 

4Army Arrangement

A song that accurately describes the farce that was the period of Nigerian military rule.

 

5Beast of No Nation

Between Buhari & 80s world leaders, they will not want to hear this, but you can’t say it’s a lie.

 

6Shuffering and Shmiling

The Nigerian citizen and their endless hope for a better afterlife while suffering in the current one is summed up in 21 mins

 

7Lady

Fela had strong opinions about how he felt the African woman should be represented. Good or bad, he spoke his mind. One of his most infectious melodies till date.

 

8Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense

If you need a short musical lesson on the monstrosity that is Colonialism and Nigerian politics, this will give you that.

 

9Unknown Soldier

Fela’s emotional tribute to his mother and the events that lead to her death directly caused by a military attack on his house, and their subsequent denial of the attack.

 

10Yellow Fever

Before some people were turning their skin from black to white, Fela had already to seen a pattern of self hate that made many men & women resort to bleaching.

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That’s it people! There’re many more songs from Fela that you can get in your life including Colomentality, Coffin For Head of State, Sorrow Tears & Blood and many more. But we’ve stopped with 10. If you have contributions, please don’t hesitate to drop em.

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