Unknown Soldier (1979)

by Fela Kuti

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One of Fela’s response-pieces over the events of the infamous Kalakuta Republic raid, “Unknown Soldier (Parts 1&2)” is Fela’s vivid and chilling description of the events which took place that day. Reports came days after the invasion that the works of “unknown soldiers” were responsible for the raping, beating and torturing those on the premises and throwing Fela’smother out the window. The song, which spans over two album sides and plays over 30 minutes in length, is Fela’s detailed account of all that he witnessed. The A-side is an instrumental Afrobeat groove, while the B-side carries over into Fela’s gruesome and pointed attack against the Nigerian government and their militia attacks on his home. “Unknown Soldier” is one of Fela’s sharpest and brutally honest attacks on the Nigerian ruling class.

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released January 18, 2011

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Fela Kuti Lagos, Nigeria

Over a decade after his death, vindication has come to Fela Kuti, Africa’s musical genius. AfroBeat, his gift to the world, is now an international staple on his own uncompromising terms, social content intact.

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