Friday, February 25, 2011

Fela Kuti - Coffin for the Head of State EP (1980, Barclay Records)

In 1977 Fela and the Afrika '70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military.

The darkest album he ever made, "Coffin for Head of State" was a response to the death of Fela's activist mother from being thrown out a window during the ensuing 1977 army raid on Kalakuta. The government of Nigeria had enough of Fela Kuti and decided to take action on his compound residence that he called the Kalakuta Republic. Over a thousand soldiers took the compound and savagely beat the residents. Fela himself escaped death but this did result in incarceration.

This is the soundtrack to his funeral march as he delivered his mother's coffin to the steps of Nigerian president Obasanjo himself. As his sadness grows he sings: "Them kill my Mama/So I carry the coffin." Full of anguish and sadness, this is the most emotionally open record he ever made.

Get It Here

Or: Coffin for Head of State - EP - Fela Kuti


  1. Thank you very much for the post.

    Kuti was as authentic as they came. So much so that you have to shake your head in disgust at the whinny bleatings of those like Jello Biafra. Hey Biafra, you got busted for distribution. Kuti had stormtroopers shit on his mother's face. Consider yourself lucky.

  2. Thanks for this, been relistening to the great man recently and was unaware of his history.