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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

September 23, 7:00 pm | The Big Top | $25 – $40

Seun Kuti’s mission is as vast as the continent from which it sprang: “Inspire Africa to be what it is supposed to be.”

 

The youngest son of visionary Fela Kuti, Seun has continued the family tradition of fusing music and politics into something transcendent. Like his parents and grandparents, Seun is an activist on the frontlines – a revolutionary in every sense of the word. He has responded to our global moment of crisis in a burst of creativity.

 

With his weekly radio show, his mythical gigs at The Shrine in Lagos, and a righteous social media presence, Seun is a towering figure in Nigeria. In “When We Move,” his recent collaboration with Common and Black Thought (from The Roots), he continues to ask the difficult questions:

 

“Would they feel the pain like we do?

 

Would they hear a cry like we do?”

 

“I have to give all the flowers to Black Thought,” Seun says from his home in Lagos. “He has has been a big brother to me for a long time. He called me up, asked ‘You want to do this with Common?’ He sent me the tune. I did my vocals, added the hook, added the horns. Black Thought did a little verse, then we shot the video here at The Shrine.”

 

Common, Black Thought, and Seun, though from different parts of the world, confront universal issues, citing inspirations from Fela to Mandela. “Everything is a struggle, school, housing, we are all children of sacrifice,” says Seun. “Women and kids, destitute and displaced, we must ask these questions. How else will they be heard?”

 

Seun channels this pain into a joyous cry for justice, giving voice to the voiceless. Like his father, Seun doesn’t just stand against corruption – he dances against it, sings against it, pressing onward with his family’s sacred musical mission: resisting oppression, uniting the people with rhythm.

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