Red Hot A Tribute to Fela Kuti: Red Hot + Riot

Nigerian revolutionary, Fela Kuti introduced the world to the music of his country as well as the corrupt politics that ruled the land. Fela died from the HIV virus--now his music can help others avoid the tragedy. The Red Hot organization has done a great job of keeping the spirit of Fela’s music and life alive. Serving as a tribute to Fela as much as raising awareness about HIV, pairing together young African American artists with members of Fela’s original band “Africa 70” with guidance from his son Femi, most of the artists here cover or interpret Fela’s songs. Take “Water No Get Enemy,” a great neo-soul treatment by D’Angelo, Femi & Macy Gray, where D’Angelo seems possessed by James Brown. The album’s centerpiece “Shuffering+Shmilling” by dead prez, Talib Kweli, Bilal & Jorge Ben Jor, pays tribute to the original while offering new insights into the current state of affairs concerning both the people of Nigeria and the AIDS epidemic that’s sweeping the country and continent. Some of the other highlights are originals, among them the futuristic soul of Kelis’ “So Be It,” Common w/Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Tears + Sorrow,” Sade’s “By Your Side” remixed by Cottonbelly with afrobeat flavor and the new electronica of Bugs In The Attic on “Zombie.” Great record, great cause. (

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