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Fela Kuti
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    (October 15, 1938-August 2, 1997)
    Birth name was Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
    Frequent critic of corrupt Nigerian regimes
    Founder of the recording studio/compound The Shrine
    Founder of the political party Movement of the People
    Died of AIDS-related sarcoma
    He married 27 of his backup singers in a ceremony at the Shrine and demanded total submission from them.
    He was a heavy cannabis user.
    He changed his name to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, wreaking havoc with record catalogs everywhere.
    'Anikulapo' means 'he who carries death in his pouch.'
    Most of his songs are extended workouts reaching a half-hour in length.
    He gave most of his performances smeared in war paint and wearing only briefs.
    He used cryptic initials for song titles (ITT, JJD, MOP, CBB, etc.)
    His mother died from injuries suffered in an army raid at the Shrine. He sent her coffin to the Nigerian Presidential Palace in protest ('Coffin for Head of State').
    He was noticeably silent throughout the brutal regime of dictator Sani Abacha in the '90s.
    He denied having AIDS, even after diagnosed by his brother, who is a physician.
    He is considered the founder of a distinct musical genre (Afrobeat).
    He had few musical imitators during his lifetime.
    He was not afraid to accuse political leaders of corruption in many of his songs.
    His father was a conservative Christian minister and his mother was a Marxist feminist leader.
    Due to his influential mother, he met many leftist world leaders (Mao Tse-Tung, Fidel Castro).
    He was imprisoned frequently for his criticizing government malfeasance.
    During one arrest, he swallowed marijuana, while in custody the police waited to get the evidence 'from the back end' ('Expensive Shit').
    A fellow prisoner provided him with a clean sample, and Fela was freed.

Credit: Mojosapien

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