Seun Kuti, the 33-year-old last son of Afrobeat creator and legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is considered by some in Nigeria as not being as prolific as his father.
In reality it is hard to follow the footsteps of a demi-god but when you have the Kuti surname greatness is not an achievement, it is a standard.
Not only is Seun Kuti judged unfairly by his father’s once-in-ten lifetimes achievements but he is pitted against his older brother Femi Kuti. The owner of the New Afrikan Shrine has been nominated four times at the Grammys and is a popular name within music circles in Europe and North America.
Also Femi Kuti had his own band almost two decades before Seun Kuti took over his own father’s legendary band Egypt ‘80. Critics of Seun Kuti have said he has not been able to permeate pop culture like his bro.
Seun Kuti shares artwork of the Kalakuta clan on instagram
Afrobeat is a difficult genre. Fela Kuti did not score his first hit until 1973, a decade after he created his first band- Koola Lobitos. As for Femi Kuti his first breakout hit was ‘Wonder, Wonder’ released in 1995. Femi Kuti struck out on his own in the late ‘80’s. So in Afrobeat it takes a while before that hit track comes.
Seun Kuti however isn’t a bad musician. After listening to his works you will discover that he is a very good composer and musician. Going beyond the music it must be stated that Seun Kuti is continuing the family tradition of challenging the authority more than any Kuti alive right now.
The father of one recently granted an interview to Sahara Reporters and he expertly bashed the authority and system with the trademark components of yabis– humour, logic and wit.
In the interview published on August 1, 2016 Seun Kuti talked about the mis-education of the Nigerian youth, why Nigerian artistes must do conscious music, why he would no longer go clubbing, President Buhari’s tenure, and the Ooni of Ife claiming Jesus as his father.
Seun Kuti not only challenged the system but he also criticized himself for spending $10,000 clubbing on his birthday. This interview proves and establishes the fact that Seun is the most vocal personality from his clan right now.
Within the last few years Seun Kuti has made it his passion to speak on the plethora of Nigeria’s problems. He was an active voice during the Occupy Naija protest and has been a constant critic of the past government and the present one. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Seun Kuti asked why only Goodluck Jonathan’s government was under probe and not the other past governments.
Seun Kuti is keeping the protest culture the Kutis are known for alive. His older big bro has admittedly said he has stayed away from criticizing the government these days because he is growing older. Besides Femi Kuti has earned his stripes when it comes to challenging the establishment.
With Femi Kuti taking a chill pill on the government, Seun Kuti has picked up the mantle and is doing a swell job of it. People shouldn’t be worried about the hits- it will come. For now Seun Kuti is doing the business of his father extremely well and that is challenging the establishment.