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Baker's Dozen

Elevate Your Mind: Seun Anikulapo Kuti's Favourite Albums
Richie Troughton , May 30th, 2018 08:47

Following the release of Black Times, his fourth album with Egypt '80, Seun Anikulapo Kuti guides Richie Troughton through a selection of 13 revolutionary, spiritual and mystical albums that have inspired him.


Tony Allen – Secret Agent

Secret Agent is an awesome record and it resonated with me. Everybody knows what Tony Allen is about. I have selected this album to pay respect to him.

With Secret Agent, though I think there is a certain resilience in this record, because after all that time, this album also was a new style for him, where Tony changed his music a bit as well. He is more music master than Afrobeat master on this record, even though it constantly has and contains many of the ingredients of Afrobeat music that Tony is known for. Secret Agent showed his range and all these different genres that he has infected. It is even different from his latest record, The Source, which is more traditional Afrobeat again. This album, for me, was wider in terms of him being and showing himself as a music master. This is a different sort of record.

The thing about my father and Tony's relationship, as well as the music, is something I do not like to discuss. [Allen was a long-time collaborator with Fela Anikulapo Kuti as drummer in Koola Lobitos, Africa '70 and Egypt '80] My father is not here. Tony is the only one alive. What I can say is this, the really great thing, is he played a great role in this music.

Soul, funk, that's what I like in this record. Tony had done so much, and many people unfortunately did not have that next step, so this album was him saying, "No, I'm actually going to do a lot more." And you can tell from the album that there was enough still left in him for more to come.