Black Times from
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
in stores today, 3/2

Seun Kuti, the youngest son of Afrobeat legend and African music icon Fela Kuti continues to draw from the deep well of his father’s music while forging his own path in the 21st century. He returns with his fourth album, Black Times, which is in stores today. The album features appearances from Carlos Santana, Robert Glasper, and others.

Seun Kuti has carried the did mantle of his father and his father’s music since 1997 when Fela passed away and he inherited his band as a 14-year-old. Egypt 80 was originally known as Egypt 70 and appeared on many of Fela’s most important works.

Though Seun maintains his father’s band and has the same understanding of the role of music in addressing injustice in the world as the famed musical revolutionary, he is clearly living in this century. As with his previous album, A Long Way To The Beginning which was released three years ago, Black Times was co-produced by the Grammy-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall-of-Fame legend, guitarist Carlos Santana has always reflected the quandaries of conscious living in his music while creating a joyful sound, and he knew Fela as a kindred spirit. He adds a furious guitar solo to the title cut.

The conscious rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, and vocalist Nai Palm of future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, also appear on the album. The two artists are featured on the first song, “The Last Revolutionary.” The cut, which percolates with a pulsing keyboard line and punchy horns, captures the overall intent of the release as a paean to authentic leaders past, present, and future as Kuti reels off a list of greats.

In these troubled times, Seun Kuti hedges no bets with this recording. His outrage is palpable. But like his father, his powerful messages are couched in great music. Black Times stands as his best recording and holds it down with the music of his father as the 34-year-old carves his own place in the struggle.

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