Fela Kuti - Cross Examination

Fela "Music Is A Weapon" as you'll see

Below you'll find a YouTube clip of Fela Kuti and Africa 70 performing a classic Afro-Beat tune titled "Cross Examination." Although the performance took place at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1978, the sound hasn't dated and still sounds just as fresh and exciting today as it did at that time.

It actually reminds me of the comprehensive show at the Africa Shrine in Lagos during those heady days. The live performances at Shrine were usually songs that Fela hadn't released as recorded music. 

We the fans were treated to music no-one else was aware of unless they came to a live show. This exclusivity brought fans and lovers of the fledgling genre to Shrine in droves.

The song is a political tune, indicting the African Military dictators that seized and monopolised power in a lot of the independent nations on the continent shortly after independence. 

Accusing the soldiers of seizing power by force in military coups and also pointing out that some of these military rulers were the instruments of repression and oppression used by the colonial masters to put down civilian politicians that were working toward independence for their nations.

In the intro to the song, he mentions people like Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Beko Kuti his own brother, his own mum and of course, his best friend JK Brimah.

Please enjoy the prologue.

The clip will give you an idea of the sight and sounds of a Comprehensive Show at Africa Shrine during the 1970s and 1980s.




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