As opposed to our favorite songs, or songs we'd like to think define our listening habits, taking a look at what a person actually listens to can be far more revealing. With that in mind, every so often we'll ask an artist to take a look at the most-played songs in their iTunes libraries and share with us the results. We do this on the honor system, and we ask our subjects to share a few words about each song.
When afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti passed away in 1997, saxophonist and bandleader Seun Kuti, then only 14 years old, took up the political and musical work of his father with his former afrobeat orchestra Eygpt 80. In warm, rich tones, Kuti continues the legacy of his dad's music and performs his own material: colorful, vibrant songs of Africa, equality, and human rights.
His most recent album, From Africa With Fury: Rise, a lush, Brian Eno produced release, is an explosion of polyrhythms, horns, and percussion, and songs like "Rise" encourage listeners to stand up against, as he sings, "companies like Monsanto and Hailburton, who use their trade to make my people hungry."
Kuti's been busy getting ready to travel to the states, but stole away for a few moments to email us the top three most played songs in his iTunes. I tacked on the wonderful single "Rise" to round out the list, and to give you a small taste of the show when Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 play Neumos this Friday (3/16).
"Star Bwoy," Mavado: Well, I have to say I listen to a lot of reggae music and this is my hottest track at the moment. "But me no star no do movie, they want starbwoy!"
"Me In Love," Vybz Kartel: Heard this song through my friend, DJ Meredith and it relates to me. You have to listen to understand. *Wink*
"Slave Masters," Jacques Renault Remix: My favorite from the new remix album.