News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fela Kuti's Wikipedia Listing

By Robert Fox

Wikipedia has a very nice entry on Fela.

Many people are now familiar with a wiki: it's a website where any site visitor can edit or change the content. Someone who goes to the site after you can change what you wrote, and the next person after that can change it again. And so on. In some situations wikis produces excellent results, which is Labelssomewhat counter-intuitive.

It's a concept based on the idea of the iterative intelligence of decentralized groups of people, which is explained in a book called The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. The idea is that large decentralized groups of people working on a problem can often come up with an answer that is better than that of any one individual in it.

Sound like Afrobeat? Check out the entries on Fela and Afrobeat and add your own perspective. Here is a sample of the Fela entry on Wikipedia--a little dry, but to-the-point:

The musical style performed by Fela Kuti was called Afrobeat, which was essentially a fusion of jazz, funk and Traditional African Chant. It was characterized by having African style percussion, vocals, and musical structure, along with jazzy, funky horn sections. The "endless groove" was also used, in which a base rhythm of drums, muted guitar, and bass guitar are repeated throughout the song. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles, and can be seen in funk and hip-hop. Fela's songs were almost always over ten minutes in length, some reaching the twenty or even thirty minute marks... Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa. Fela was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild.

Anyone out there want to spice up Fela's entry? Just click on the "edit" button at the end of each paragraph on the Wikipedia site, and enjoy your 15 minutes of fame!

No comments:

Post a Comment