Femi Kuti

Nicolas Hidiroglou

Antibalas is usually given credit for kick-starting the Afrobeat revival; that honor actually should go to Olufela Olufemi (Femi) Anikulapo Kuti. The eldest son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, his 20-year career attained critical mass in 1998 with the release of the now-classic Shoki Shoki. Though he has been criticized by Fela purists for not being as militantly outspoken as his legendary dad and for crossing Afrobeat with hip-hop, neo-soul, and house music, Femi's music retains a great deal of cultural authenticity — you can't get closer to Fela's spirit (unless you're talking about his brother, Seun). Plus, Femi's vibrant live shows are always a wonder to behold.

 
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