Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti & Positive Force performs at the new Student Union Auditorium in the BMU at Chico State on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Simply put: Politically conscious dance music. Femi Kuti updates his father’s classic Afrobeat sound with trends such as hip-hop and r&b while maintaining the high energy and spirit of his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria (the inspiration of unruly traffic/chaos/unrest is reflected in the manic energy at times). Dense trumpet grooves are wedded to taut guitar riffs and hypnotic beats, while the political messages include fervent cries for new leadership in Africa ("forget about your wealth/ won’t you get up and help/ before history repeats itself"), as well as maintaining cultural identity and fighting AIDS in Africa (where protection is officially discouraged by Catholics and Muslims alike). Femi’s horn stands out from the thick chorus like a lone voice—while his signing often breaks into background chants—all of which should translate to an exciting live show.

Guest artists on this album include NYC hip-hop artist Mos Def on the opening track, "Do your Best," and Philly rapper Common on the closer, "Missing Link." Also, Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark lends his funky talents to the entire album. Gone are the hour-long jams of Femi’s father, replaced by a more immediate, though no less heartfelt, message of unity and freedom for Africa.