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AfroBeat

Fela Kuti – Why Black Man Dey Suffer

Why Black Man Dey Suffer – LP (1971)

On 1 January 1971, Fela changes his band’s name from Nigeria 70 to Africa 70. It is a breakthrough year for the group, which will remain the hottest attraction in Nigeria (and elsewhere in West Africa) into the 1980s. Fela stops playing trumpet, saying it is damaging his lips, and switches to electric keyboards. Africa 70’s growing popularity leads to a move from the Afro-Spot to a bigger venue, the Surulere Night Club, which Fela renames the Afro-Spot.
The band makes its first British visit and Fela reconnects with Ginger Baker, who records with Africa 70 in London. Three albums are released, which show Fela’s style rapidly developing towards fully fledged Afrobeat. He records his first overtly political song, “Why Black Man Dey Suffer,” which EMI Nigeria refuses to release.
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See also: Original Sufferhead with Ginger Baker

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