Why Black Man They Suffer

Why Black Man They Suffer

Also featuring Ginger Baker, the title track is among Fela’s first overtly political lyrics.

Artist: Fela Kuti

Genre: Afro-Beat

Label: Knitting Factory Records

Release date:


His political perspective had evolved during the 1969 / 1970 tour of the US, largely through his friendship with the black-rights activist Sandra Izsadore, who introduced him to the writings of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis and other revolutionary thinkers. By the time Fela wrote “Why Black Man Dey Suffer,” his songwriting and public statements were becoming increasingly critical of the power structure in Nigeria and throughout post-colonial Africa. The album was actually recorded for EMI, but wary of the title, the label refused to release it. First re-issued as part of Fela Kuti Box Set #5 curated by Chris Martin and Femi Kuti in 2021.

About the artist

Fela Aníkúlápó Kútì, also famously known as Abàmì Ẹ̀dá, was a Nigerian musician, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist. He is regarded as the King of Afrobeat, a Nigerian music genre that combines West African music with American funk and jazz. 

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