“Music is a weapon of the future.”
“Music is the weapon of the progressives.”
“Music is the weapon of the givers of life.”
These are the words of legendary Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, words that remain as true as ever over two decades since his untimely death. A pioneer of the Nigerian revolution, his fight against police oppression remains an ongoing conversation in the country. Now, Defected pays tribute to the vital work of Fela with a special 12” release, as Armonica and MoBlack revisit Fela Kuti’s ‘International Thief Thief (I T. T.)’ as the fight against systemic corruption continues to be a pressing issue in Nigeria. The A-Side features Armonica & MoBlack’s flawlessly executed and ever respectful remix of the record where Fela called out and directly attacked former Nigerian president General Obasanjo and Moshood Abjola, the CEO of Nigeria’s biggest national telecommunications conglomerate I.T.T and Decca Records. Their homage to Fela brings a powerful and culturally relevant piece of music to the forefront of dance culture in 2020.
On the reverse side is ‘Chagu’, where a powerful and evocative spoken word narration is provided by South Sudanese-Canadian artist, actor, former child soldier and political activist Emmanuel Jal. A collaboration between Emmanuel, MoBlack and Henrik Schwarz, both producers provide their own version of ‘Chagu’, with MoBlack opting for a classic afro-house beat and hypnotic percussion, while Henrik’s signature crisp, harmonious composition makes for a guaranteed dancefloor weapon. Both visionary producers, Henrik and MoBlack’s versions are equally impactful, complementing the immediacy of Emmanuel’s lyrics.
Fela Kuti, MoBlack, Emmanuel Jal, Henrik Schwarz - International Thief Thief
January 8, 2021