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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.


Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey & His International Bros – The Horse The Man & His Son?

I don't know how well your readers might know Juju music. Juju music was the first traditional music in Nigeria, electrifying itself. Afrobeat is African music professionalising itself. It is different from African music electrifying itself. It is electronic. So the scene was steeped in traditional values and musicality. Also, trying to explain things through our traditional parables. When this album was written, the music came out as original, traditional, then the guitar became, with King Sunny Adé and the rest, empowering it, embracing.

This is one of the classics, one of the greatest Juju albums ever made. The song 'Ko Sogbon To Le Da' basically explains that you can never make everybody happy. But, no matter what you do – let me sing,

Ko sogbon to le da, Kosi wa to le wu Kosi ona ti o le mo to le fi da aye lorun o

There is no way you can do it. There is no reasoning, there is no sense you can use, there is no way you must offend someone. I could have included many other Juju musicians, but I included Ebenezer Obey because I believe he is more musical. Even more than King Sunny Adé or anybody else. He is the best, the best as a musician, his guitar playing, his melodies and his singing.

The song is sung in Yoruba, he talks of a man, his son and their horse, going on a journey. So they start the journey off, with the man on his horse and his son walking next to him. And they are walking and then he meets a stranger, and the stranger says to him, "You are such a wicked man, you are on your horse, and you leave your son to be walking on the ground." And so the man says, "Wow, he's right."

So he comes down from his horse and puts his son on the horse and he's walking. And then they see another stranger. And the stranger says, "Oh, you stupid man! You are walking on the floor and your son is on the horse." And so the man says, "Oh! Okay, fine." So he goes on the horse with his son, and they are going and they see all these other strangers saying, "You wicked people! The two of you are on the horse! Are you trying to kill this horse?" So he said, "Oh! It's best if I come down. So there is nobody on the horse." And then they are going and they get interrupted, "You stupid foolish people! The two of you have the horse and you would rather walk!" So, basically, you cannot make anybody happy. That is the story of The Horse The Man & His Son?