Felabration: Top 7 Fela-Inspired Tracks We Love
When people say Fela lives forever, it is absolutely inarguable. It’s been 20 years since we lost the ‘Abami Eda‘ himself yet his legacies, his flowing streams of creativity are still being tapped till date as years after years, there’s been eulogies, references and samples from Fela’s classic works.
On the 15th October, if Fela were alive, he would have clocked 79. And in commemoration of ‘Felabration’, we have picked 7 of our favourite Fela-Inspired songs at Urban96FM.
Nas – ‘Warrior Song’ Ft Alicia Keys
Granted, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, has a special affinity for African sounds.
In 2002, the American Hip-Hop veteran sampled Fela’s 1979 hit song, ‘Na Poi’ on his track ‘Warrior Song’ off his 6th studio album, ‘God Son’.
J. Cole – ‘Let Nas Down’
40 years after Fela released ‘Gentleman’, American rapper, J.Cole sampled this hit song for ‘Let Nas Down’ off his second album ‘Born Sinner‘ which was released in 2013.
Missy Eliot – ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ Ft Timbaland
Missy Elliot samples Fela’s ‘Colonial Mentality’ for her 2001 hit song, ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ featuring Timbaland.
Wyclef Jean – Fela
Wyclef Jean‘s 2017 album, Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee, is an ode to the late Fela. Wyclef also idolizes Fela that much, that he names a full track after the legendary icon.
“So for me, the same way kids can have songs called “Wyclef Jean” who are influenced by me, I want kids to know who Fela is and what he means”, Wyclef comments on the track.
Wizkid – ‘Jaiye Jaiye’
Asides featuring Fela’s first son, Femi for this 2013 hit song, Fela’s influence could be seen and heard everywhere on ‘Jaiye Jaiye’, from the costumes to face-painting, Afrobeat, set and lots more.
Burna Boy – ‘Soke’
On ‘Soke’, you can definitely feel the originality & some Fela inspired verses from Fela’s 1973 song, ‘Fefe Naa Efe’.
Oritsefemi – ‘Double Wahala’
‘Double Wahala‘ coincidentally happens to be Oritsefemi’s commercially most successful song. On this hit song, he samples Fela’s song/line “double wahala for dead body” and he further dedicates the song to the late Afrobeat Legend.